To boldly go where no kid has gone before. An Uncommon photo shoot.

I was 3 years old when the original Star Trek premiered on television but it wasn’t until it showed up in reruns that I was forced to watch it. Forced is a strong word. Let me back up a little.

It was probably around 1970. The world of television only included three stations plus PBS. And of course, we had to get up and turn the dial in order to change the station.  My oldest brother Tony liked Star Trek. So that’s what we watched after school.  Maybe he got to pick because he was the oldest but I doubt it. It was probably the only thing worth watching at that time. So, I refuse to have any ill will towards Tony. But I didn’t really like the show. I didn’t like Lost in Space either. I did love The Jetsons and have named my beloved Roomba vacuum cleaner Rosie. (You’ll get this if you are over 50 and if your not, look it up just for grins. You too will want a Rosie in your life. haha!) But I digress.

I watched the show. I know all of the characters, sounds, story lines, set pieces. I know that if there’s a random guy that I’ve never seen before in the search party that is beaming down to the alien planet, then he’s gonna die. AND, he’s probably wearing a red shirt. (That’s true kids. In fact, so true Wikipedia even has an entry about it. “A “redshirt” is a stock character in fiction who dies soon after being introduced. The term originates from the original Star Trek television series …”)

Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock discover dead “redshirts” in the Star Trek episode “Obsession” (1967).

So I am a tad reluctantly nostalgic about Star Trek. And my nostalgia combined with my love of kids combined with my love for my friend Kevin, had me volunteering to do a photo shoot for a Star Trek themed music video. Let me explain.

My friend Kevin teaches elementary music by day and on evenings and weekends creates Emmy-award winning film scores. Seriously. He does! He created the film score for my documentary film Leaving A Legacy  and the trailers. (Please feel free to pause in your reading and hop over and take a listen.)

For the past several years, Kevin has created a music video with a few of his students. He holds auditions, creates the score, writes the screenplay, sources costumes and pulls together professionals and an army of parents to pull off a 3-5 minute video.  But this year, he went a step further. He found a place in Harrison, Arkansas that has replicas of the Star Trek set. Who knew that even existed? Of course, my camera and I had to be part of this.

On an outrageously cold Saturday morning, I found the Star Trek set with only a couple of missed turns, out in the middle of rural Arkansas in an old warehouse. There was no heat! It was a frigid 25 degrees most of the day. The generators were powering lights and computer panels on the set pieces and a few pitiful space heaters.

Star trek set
On the Bridge in the Warehouse

Thankfully, the kids were able to keep warm in a lodge near by and that’s where I found the transformations taking place. Ordinary 4th and 5th graders were turning into Federation Officers. I was fascinated seeing the iconic Spock appearing before my lens.

Spock on set
Spock on Set

I was also enthralled by the transformation of Lieutenant Uhura. A beautiful young girl with an equally beautiful smile. She was so excited that she couldn’t quit smiling. But after the makeup, wig and costume was on, she quickly dropped into character.

Lt. Uhura on set
Lt. Uhura on set

And who doesn’t love the Klingons? Male, female, lots of facial hair and menacing expressions! Glue, sticky base makeup and moustaches that refused to stay on.

Klingons on an alien planet
Klingons on an alien planet

On set, the kids were professional, excited and COLD. But they were troopers. Here are a few of my favorite action shots.

The Starship Enterprise has just been hit!
The Starship Enterprise has just been hit!

And who could overlook the young Captain Kirk that had perfected the William Shatner lean, calm demeanor and take charge attitude. This kid was on set for hours and never once complained about the cold. Unlike me. I was complaining non stop. In my head at least.

Captain Kirk
Captain Kirk sitting in the iconic chair on set

And I don’t want to let you go without knowing that the kids had fun! And to show you a few photos of Kevin and his crew in action.

Overall, it was fun shoot. I wanted to be there to support my friend and his kids. I wanted to give the parents photos they could look back on and relive the day with.

As I write this blog I am discovering things about myself that I always suspected but had never seen in black and white.  I love creativity. I love people doing good in the world. I love being around them. I love telling a story with my camera. And most importantly, I love knowing that experiences like shooting a music video by an elementary school teacher in a small town in Arkansas happen in today’s world. It gives me hope.

One more thing before you go — Here’s the music video on Youtube! It’s awesome and precious and makes me smile every time I watch it.


Did you like this story? If you did, I have a feeling you’d like this one too. It’s all about the The Elusive Search for Belonging.  Go here to read my most popular blog post. Curious about the post that started it all? You can find it here. Want to read them all? Start at the top right here and work your way down.

Interested in my work as a Life Coach or need someone to listen and help you navigate your way in this crazy world we are living in? Learn more here and then reach out to me. I love to listen and help.

  1. So sweet! Everything turned out amazing and the kids will be able to look back on your phenomenal pictures . So inspiring that while you are gently doing what’s right for you, you are gently doing what’s right for others.

    1. Aww thanks Karen. I love capturing stories. And when Kevin told me about this year’s video, I knew it was going to be extra special. And the Easter Bunny was pretty phenomenal too! Lol

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