Keeping up with the acronyms required for modern life is a bit exhausting. I don’t know whether to cry or LMAO.

There’s one that never seems to stick in my mind. It’s IRL which means “in real life” to people who tend to have a strange sense of reality.

Being a photographer means that I need “real life” to do my work. It’s also where I choose to exist instead of being stuck in a studio or cubicle.

While I think TV, apps, online tutorials and simulations are great, they’re no substitute for the real thing.

You could watch hundreds of hours of ballooning videos and probably gain some insight. However, if you want to know what it’s like in real life, walk up and experience it the right way.

My evening last night was peak IRL. A late summer picnic in the park surrounded by glowing “lighter than air” flying machines. Experiencing the world in all its dimensions with all of my senses is the only way to fly.

About the author: I am Stephen Kennedy, an experienced photographer with more than 2500 completed sessions in all 50 US states.

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