Birthday Photoshoot in Paris to Celebrate Turning 50!

It’s my Birthday! I am looking forward to this next chapter of my life. I’m excited about what’s ahead and I’m ready for whatever God has planned for me. Now, let’s get into this photoshoot! A few weeks ago, I needed to change my flying schedule to accommodate another important family event. The only trip left for me to accept was a trip to Paris. I’d just flown there the week prior and was a little bummed that I didn’t coordinate to have my photos done that weekend. So, when the opportunity presented itself for me to go back the following weekend, I immediately started the planning process. I received a makeup artist referral, but that individual was already booked for that day. But, she put me in contact with another makeup artist that was available. I reached out to her via WhatsApp and booked my appointment.

My photographer was someone that I saw while scrolling through social media a few months back. After reading the reviews and seeing his work, I knew he was the one I wanted to shoot my 50th birthday photos. I reached out to him via his link on Instagram. He responded in a timely manner, and I was able to book him for the afternoon immediately following my makeup appointment.

I share a birthday with Bessie Coleman. She was the first African-American woman to earn a pilot’s license in 1921. During that time, the United States did not allow women or people of color to attend flight school. She then traveled to Paris, France where she earned her international pilot’s license. This photoshoot for me was more than just the makeup, outfit, and the Eiffel Tower. It was a time to reflect on how far we’ve come in the aviation space, although we have more work to do. I am grateful to Bessie Coleman for having the fortitude to chase after her dreams. Because of her, a little black girl from Sumter, SC now flies a Boeing 777 and get to experience all the world has to offer! That little girl is ME!

I love the end results of my photoshoot in Paris, but I’ll let you in on a little secret. It was freezing cold. I was borderline miserable after the first 8 minutes. If you know me at all, then you know that I do not like being cold! I’m that person who brings a jacket or sweater everywhere I go, even in the summertime. Thankfully, one of my crew members, who is also French speaking, came with me. I have no idea how I would have made it through without her. She not only cheered me on, but she braved the cold for almost an hour and a half while I took pictures.

My makeup artist’s name was Debora and she was simply amazing. If you’re ever in Paris and need your makeup professionally done, you need to contact her. We chatted back and forth through WhatsApp for a little over about 2 weeks. We agreed upon her coming to my location. My hotel was so accommodating and provided us a space, that was extremely suitable for her to set up and do her magic. I’m not a makeup girl at all, so I normally opt for a natural glam. I was very pleased with the outcome, and I couldn’t have been happier. Click HERE for her Instagram page.

My photographer’s name was Thai. He was very helpful with suggesting what wardrobe color combinations would look best against the Paris backdrop. I shared with him that when it comes to posing for pictures-I’m a bit uncomfortable in front of the camera. He reassured me that I was going to be fine and that he poses all of his clients. He sent me the exact location of where to meet and he was there early. My photoshoot was scheduled for an hour, and we went several minutes over that block of time. I really appreciated his commitment to getting the best shots and it showed when he sent me the final photos. I received my pictures within 72 hours, and I couldn’t stop looking at them! He did a phenomenal job, and I couldn’t be happier. So, if you are in need of a photographer while you’re in Paris, make sure to book Thai. You can contact him through Instagram HERE.

Make sure you go to my Instagram page and check out the reel Thai created of the background footage from my photoshoot. It’s so good!

I’d like to also thank Wavy Chip for always being up for the challenge when I want to try something different with my hair. My suit was purchased from Banana Republic back in the summer and I believe my shoes are from White House Black Market.

I’m looking forward to spending quality time with some of my closest friends and family members over the next couple of days. Now that I have a little more free time, I’m going to start blogging again about my life outside the cockpit. Make sure you subscribe to the blog and follow me on social media for updates and be the first to know about some of my upcoming projects. Thank you for stopping by!


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Stephanie R. Grant

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