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Spirit of Boise Balloon Festival | Boise Photographer

There is no denying that being a photographer can sometimes have it’s perks.  I do get to meet some really fascinating people, attend events I wouldn’t ordinarily go to and even do something as cool as take a hot air balloon ride.  The later….probably being my top favorite photo shoot in recent history.  Sure, standing in the media pit at a concert or press conference can be somewhat exhilarating…. but neither compares to the rush of going up in a hot air balloon for your very first time.

A few weeks ago the Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic was back in town and I was fortunate enough to get a chance to go up for a ride.  It was “media days” and I  was one of the many who got the opportunity to go up in a balloon.   I wasn’t sure at first how I felt about going up.  I have a slight fear of heights and I was concerned I might regret my decision  once up in the air.  However, I stopped, thought about it and realized…. these type of work opportunities don’t come along very often.  So….Go….Go…Go!

The day started out early….very early.  I drove into Ann Morrison Park at 6 am.  This may not seem early to you…. but for those who know me well….they know I’m rarely out of my house before 8:30 am.  If it’s morning and it’s still dark out… I’m in bed.

Once I got checked in and was assigned to a pilot the morning flew by.  I watched, photographed and helped the best I could with pre-flight preparations and then all of a sudden it was time to take off.   The photos below show the progression of my day.   It’s an opportunity I’m glad I didn’t let pass me by and I’d do it again if ever given the opportunity.



The morning starts really early for Festival organizers and balloon pilots.  Scott Spencer the director of the Spirit of Boise Balloon Festival talks to KIVI TV just before the morning pilot briefing.

TV crew interviews Scott Spencer of Boise

Baskets, volunteers and spectators await the pilots return from the morning weather briefing.

just before dawn at the Spirit of Boise Balloon Festival

The pilot of Simpatico and a volunteer hard at work, working on the first step of inflating the balloon.

hot air balloon crew hard at work



Me….  hard at work snapping photos and watching the balloon field fill up.

(cell phone photo courtesy of my husband)

photographer taking photos at Balloon Festival

My viewpoint!

filling a hot air balloon with hot air

Another candid capture…. courtesy of my husband.

Brenda Leap standing in front of hot air balloons

Just one of many gorgeous sites I witnessed while waiting to board Simpatico.

hot air balloon in Boise sky

Right before take off.

hot air balloon at take off

My view from just above the balloon field.

view from above the Boise Balloon Classic

another great shot from my husbands perspective……my balloon just after take off.  You can even see me, with camera in hand snapping away.

Simpatico Hot air balloon

Oh….the views from above!  Totally worth the 6:15 am check in time.

Looking down on a hot air balloon

hot air balloon silouette in Boise Skyline

hot air balloons above downtown Boise