Selena Sheppard, photographer
Selena Sheppard, photographer Jann Houley

CQ air hostess shares her stories of flying internationally

AFTER jetting around the world as an international air hostess, Selena Sheppard has returned home to roots in Gracemere and started up her own photography business.

Busy mum of three, Selena, 30, grew up in Blackwater as her dad worked in the mines.

With a dream to be an air hostess since she was young, Selena moved to Brisbane where she underwent a six-week intensive course at the aviation college.

Ada and Chloe Kitzelman.
Ada and Chloe Kitzelman. Foreverstill Photography

"I just loved travel and wanted to do it all the time,” she said.

After three years working for Jetstar domestically, Selena moved on to Qantas for an international role.

Week in, week out she was travelling all over the world, from Los Angeles in America, to Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore.

It was an interesting and exciting job.

"You would go and stay in places for 24 hours, you would have free time so you could go and do whatever you want... go to Disneyland in LA or we would hire a car and just drive around San Diego and Hollywood,” she said.

Lutha Hudson, Selena's eldest son.
Lutha Hudson, Selena's eldest son. Foreverstill Photography

The America trips were the worst for jetlag, whereas Asian countries were in the same time zone.

"The night shift, you'd have to fly all night ... I would get home from America in the morning and then just stay awake all day and go to sleep at night... just push through the day,” Selena said.

Being an air hostess wasn't the horror story that it's cracked up to be.

"People think it's just a waitress in the sky but it is so much more than that,” she said.

"It makes me want to go back the more I talk about it.

Sharna Norris with her baby girl Haven.
Sharna Norris with her baby girl Haven. Foreverstill Photography

"I have never had any bad people that are worth talking about.”

Fast forward to today, Selena moved back home to give birth to her son, Lutha.

While on maternity leave she also went on to have another son, Raffa.

As any mum does, Selena was taking photos of her sons and sharing them on social media.

She started to get more creative and use props, styled backgrounds and set ups and her photos started to get better.

All of her friends and family were encouraging to go into photography but Selena didn't think she was good enough.

"I just started my Facebook page and just thought I would see how it goes and then it went off.... everyone loved it and I thought okay that's awesome,” Selena said.

Selena Sheppard as an air hostess.
Selena Sheppard as an air hostess. Contributed

Selena said a key point to her business, Foreverstill Photography, is keeping her prices very low and affordable for families.

"I think the cheaper the photos the better,” she said.

"It's not really a job for me it's a hobby,” she said.

"I just love doing it so much I don't care about the money.

"It's not hard for me, I just love going and taking photos and editing them and sending them to people.”

While her favourite place in the world she has been to is New York, Selena also says the cactus garden at the Rockhampton Botanic Gardens stacks up pretty well.

She also enjoys doing shoots near Gracemere where there are mountains and long grass.

Grandparents Rod and Robyn Sheppard with Raffa Hudson, Hallie Sheppard and Lutha Hudson.
Grandparents Rod and Robyn Sheppard with Raffa Hudson, Hallie Sheppard and Lutha Hudson. Foreverstill Photography

Her photo style is earthy, warm and neutral colours.

"I am still finding more spots and I want to go and explore Byfield and around,” Selena said.

While Selena still has maternity leave until January, she is looking forward to going back to work.

She plans to commute from Rockhampton to Brisbane to do the international flights.

"I think it will be nice to have a little bit of some time away... have a whole bed to myself and sleep all night,” Selena said.

"Interact with people because I love that as much as I love being a mum.”

Kai Bulman
Kai Bulman Foreverstill Photography

FOREVER STILL PHOTOGRAPHY

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