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Airports are one of my favorite places to be. Of course there is the obvious thrill of traveling to or from someplace exotic. Most often that is why I’m in an airport. My photographic career has taken me all over the world — Paris, London, Hong Kong, South America, Australia, Iceland, Alaska, Africa, Thailand, Bali… and beyond. Every trip begins and ends at the airport. So I’m either thrilled to be going someplace wonderful, or excited to be home after a great trip. But there is another airport plus for me. You might think this is strange, but… I love going through security. I think it’s great that they almost always examine my bag in great detail. Before I have the chance to put my shoes back on, someone inevitably says, “You must be a photographer.” And I get to blush and confess it’s a dream come true. A lot of kids want to be something special when they grow up. A fireman or a policeman… From a young age, I dreamed of being a photographer. Now, firefighter and police officer are wonderful careers. And from an ego standpoint they have one great benefit over the photographer — they get to wear a uniform so everyone can plainly see what they do for a living. By the time I’m through security it’s as though I have a uniform and a big sign that says “Photographer!” As if that weren’t enough, airports and airplanes are breeding grounds for conversations with strangers. “What do you do?” and “Why are you traveling?” are questions that would be impolite at a restaurant or cocktail party, but are perfectly acceptable conversation starters inside an airplane. Another chance for me to announce my childhood dream has turned into reality. While I do wish photographers still wore fedoras with a sign that says “Press” inserted in the hatband, a few hours in an airport is a pretty close second.

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