We were fortunate to meet Endeavor Air Flight Attendant Kristin Edmundson because the light was right. For months, she had lain in wait to photograph the Concourse C tram across from Starbucks and Rock Bottom Brewery. “I observed the shot for months, but the light was always off,” she says. “Then, one day, it was perfect—beautiful, early morning, winter light. I put my coffee on the floor, pulled out my iPhone and shot seven frames. I love the shadows and the patterns made by the sunlight. They are a perfect complement to the architecture and design of the space.”
When Edmundson posted the shot on Instagram under her handle, @christmaselk, we reached out to learn more about the flight attendant turned photographer.
You have more than 28,000 followers on Instagram. How did you get so popular?
It’s an unusual story. In summer 2013, two New Jersey photographers, Joseph D’Amelio III (@sittingingodspalm) and Kevin Lu (@sweatengine), announced on Instagram that they were taking a road trip around the U.S. and wanted to meet other Instagramers along the way. Minneapolis was one of the stops, so I reached out to them. When they arrived, I showed them around and took them to all of my favorite local spots. Instagram corporate ultimately recruited them to take another road trip through the U.S. for a commercial, and they invited me along. Instagram then put me on its suggested user list. After that, my following skyrocketed.
What are your favorite Minneapolis photography spots?
I love the Amber Room in the Guthrie Theater. It extends out from the building so you feel as though you’re walking on air. You can see so much of Minneapolis from this one room—downtown, the new Vikings Stadium, the Mississippi River, Gold Medal Park, and the Stone Arch Bridge. The Minneapolis Chain of Lakes is also a favorite. They photograph well year round. And I love the view of Minneapolis from historic St. Anthony Main. It’s situated across the river from downtown on a cobblestone street full of charming cafes.
What kind of camera do you use?
Often times it’s just my iPhone, because that’s what I have on me. There are some wonderful editing apps (VSCO Cam and Snapseed are my favorites) that provide gorgeous filters. When I’m home or traveling for leisure, I take my big camera. I have the Sony (Alpha) a7 full-frame, mirror-less camera. The lenses are interchangeable, and it’s extremely lightweight so I don’t hesitate to bring it with me everywhere.
How and why did you become a flight attendant?
When I graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1999 I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I spent the winter road-tripping through the South, settling in New Orleans for a few months. When summer came, I headed back to Minnesota. I worked in restaurants, offices, and a photo lab until I saw an ad in the paper for flight attendants. I love to travel and to interact with people, so I thought I’d do it for a little while. That was 12 years ago.
How has Instagram changed your life?
It’s broadened my social circle immensely. I’ve met people from all over the world through Instagram. Last spring a group of us met in Istanbul where some local Instagramers showed us around. Some of my closest friends in Minneapolis are people I met on Instagram. We have an extremely active and supportive Instagram community here. I go out shooting with Instagramers nearly every weekend. I used to spend the long Minnesota winters binging on Netflix. Not anymore. I’m always out adventuring, looking for the next shot.