If you’ve seen The Right Stuff, Gravity, or, God help you, Armageddon, you know that astronauts (but mostly Bruce Willis) are some of the bravest people Earth has.
Photographer Aaron Sheldon’s son originally got the idea to dress up like one of these tough rocketeers when he was afraid during a check-up. But Sheldon took his son’s statement and ran with it. The project took on a bigger meaning when he noticed that a kid’s entire life is like a mini mission to Mars: Their universe is totally alien, and everything they encounter is awe-inspiring.
In “Small Steps Are Giant Leaps,” Sheldon gorgeously documents his travels with this son, whom he hopes to get to New York, Washington D.C., and possibly Cape Canaveral to complete this project. If you want to keep his journey going, consider contributing to the Kickstarter campaign. Ironically, it’s also how NASA now funds most of its projects.
“The first shot we did in the project came about as my 4-year-old’s idea when I was helping him get over his fear of the doctors exam table. He decided to act brave like an astronaut and then asked if he could wear his spacesuit to his next appointment.”
“What place better to show all the adventures possible than a library?”
“A vintage toy store in the Short North neighborhood [in Columbus, OH]. Narrow aisles and bad lighting but an epic shopping spree once we got the picture.”
“A local AM institution and my sons favorite restaurant near our house. Only mistake was trying to take pictures before he had breakfast. Even astronauts get hangry sometimes.”
How Do You Get A Haircut In Space?
“More feared than the exam table for my son are hair clippers. Not something that can be cured while wearing a space helmet. This was our first trip to the ‘grown up’ barbers, just to let him see the place and so he could see me getting a hair cut with clippers, so we could talk about what would happen when he went back at haircut time. Having that positive experience without the trauma of exposure to the clippers went a long way towards helping him over that fear.”
He Reads It For The Articles
“Also at his first trip to the barber shop. I asked him to sit in the chair and handed him the magazine, everything else was all his idea.”
How Do Astronauts Do Laundry In Space?
“While looking at a schematic of the International Space Station in one of his space books, he asked me where their washing machine was. I said that I didn’t think they had one, so then he asked how they did their laundry. Then I went onto Amazon to see if they had plaid boxer shorts for 4-year-olds.”
Ride In Style
“My son loves to ride the bus. It’s when we are out for a day in the city that my little explorer really shines.”
So Far Away From Home
“The closest I have been able to get my little astronaut to space so far … the 9th floor of the Le Meridien Hotel here in Columbus, Ohio.”
‘What could be more fun than trying to do a photo shoot in the local Target two days before Christmas while on a last minute supply run?”
What Do Astronauts Do For Fun?
“A shoot I was dreading due to low light and distractions ended up going ridiculously easy thanks to a bucket of day old popcorn.”
Who Says An Astronaut Can’t Also Be A Fireman?
“One of my little astronaut’s favorite shoots by far. Unfortunately cut short because the real heroes had to go out on a call just a few minutes after we began shooting.”
“To me, nothing speaks to the adventure of travel than the open road. This road just happens to be the same stretch of road that my father taught me to drive and gave me my first turn behind the wheel.”