December 2004/January 2005 
Volume 03, Issue 8 
Integrated Defense Systems

Lights shine on Blue Angels

Creative Services team handles portraits, video

Blue Angels Commander Steve Foley smiles for his offcial portrait.Fat Albert never looked better. The C-130 cargo aircraft had its "formal" portrait taken last month with key members of its crew, courtesy of the St. Louis Boeing Creative Services team. Fat Albert, the support plane for the U.S. Navy Blue Angels aerial demonstration team, and the team's six blue-and-gold F/A-18 Hornets are definite crowd pleasers and draw large audiences wherever they appear.

With a Hornet in the background, each Blue Angels pilot-including Commander Steve Foley-had his portrait taken for the upcoming 2005 air show season. The Blue Angels perform their aerial shows in front of millions of spectators each year at more than 35 locations.

Every November since 1986, Boeing has participated in the photo shoot inside a hangar at the Blues' home base at Pensacola Naval Air Station, Fla.

Boeing takes the official officers' portraits, puts together the promotional video and lithographs, and designs the Blue Angels yearbook.

"We are very proud to work with the Blue Angels team to help the Navy put its best face forward," said Bob Williams, director of Creative Services, Boeing Shared Services Group. "We have a long-standing relationship that is mutually beneficial to Boeing and to our customer, the U.S. Navy."

Generally, Boeing sends a graphic designer, two still photographers and a videographer to the annual event. This year was no different.

"It's a very demanding assignment but a very rewarding one," said Ron Bookout, a Boeing still photographer from St. Louis. Among the gear for the shoot: 18 cases of lighting and photo equipment. "Everyone chips in, and it's an absolute pleasure working with Blue Angels personnel."

Throughout the years, "the photo shoot has taken place outside with the pilots in their jets, inside the Naval Museum, and now in their hangar where we can control the lighting," said Mick Monahan, a graphic designer from St. Louis. "The shooting has evolved from using film, which took up to two weeks to view the photos, to digital photography viewed instantly."

Since 1986, Boeing has photographed more than 300 Blue Angels pilots and staff officers for the Blues' yearbooks and related promotional materials.

The Blue Angels fly F/A-18A/B-model Hornets. Boeing currently is producing the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet for the U.S. Navy. The F/A-18E/F Super Hornet is the Navy's newest strike fighter.

To read more about the Blue Angels, visit


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