Framing Memories: Airman's Passion for Photography Soars

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Victoria Nuzzi
  • 432nd Wing/432nd Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

It all started with her family's portraits. Her family's love for capturing memories together inspired her as a child. She developed the same love for capturing memories and turned it into art. Carlyn Brown is now a senior airman in the United States Air Force with a passion for photography; this is her story.

“I initially needed to do photography to participate in pageants when I was little since I needed photos of myself but, it quickly became something I liked doing. It was a way to capture memories and moments just like my family did,” said Brown.

As Brown began experimenting more through her multiple photography college courses she learned what photography she did and did not like.

“I gravitated towards portrait photography rather than landscape because I like to capture the beauty of the individual rather than nature,” said Brown. “There is something about a person's characteristics that show through in a photograph. It could be from their smile to facial features or personality shining through.”

She loves to photograph major events in people's lives ranging from graduations, baby showers, weddings and beyond.

“One of my favorite shoots was of a law school graduation because the student's mother could not attend the graduation. When the mother received the photos she was so happy to see the photos of her daughter graduating and that touched me deeply,” said Brown.

In middle school, Brown had been interested in robotics and technology. This interest overlapped with her love for photography.

Brown was fascinated by how fast photography was advancing, from film cameras in the late nineteenth century to modern-day mirrorless cameras. Even the advancements in editing intrigued her by how you can manipulate images with artificial intelligence.

Technology also came into play as she embarked on her career as a crew chief where she worked on aircraft such as the MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft. The exposure she received in her career; led her to enjoy aircraft photography.

“When I went to an airshow, I saw multiple aircraft which inspired me to keep taking photos and gave me a deep sense of pride for the military,” said Brown. “Being able to document things in the military is one of the big ways we will be able to remember things for years to come. We can spread our legacy with photography.”

When the shoot is over, the thing Brown enjoys the most about photography is being able to look back at her work and reflect upon it.

“It’s one thing to take pictures and to enjoy the moment but, admiring the artwork is what I enjoy the most…

“If I find myself being homesick, something that helps me is remembering all the things I've been through and the people I have met so far with my photos,” said Brown. “I can even look back on photos with my family and remember when I was first inspired.”

Moving forward, Brown plans to continue growing her skills and photograph life's greatest moments inside and outside the military.