Busy Summer

I have been extremely busy this summer and haven’t taken time out to write a blog in quite a while, so I will try and catch up with this blog.

June was an exciting month for me, as I had one of my photographs published on the cover of the June 20, 2014 issue of Executive Controller magazine! This magazine is the “bible” of aircraft brokers who purchase advertisements in this magazine to present to prospective clients. This cover shot was the first one I’ve had and it was a very proud moment for me, to actually see a photograph I took, on the cover!

During the first part of July, I had a client hire me to photograph a private Boeing 757! This was, by far, the largest aircraft I have photographed to date and it was a pleasure to photograph it. This jet originally was ordered directly from the Boeing factory by an extremely wealthy individual, obviously, in fact, he is so wealthy, he purchased two of them! It is hard to imagine someone having the kind of financial resources to buy an aircraft this large, let alone, two Boeing 757’s! I am working with the company that hired me to see if it would be possible to publish some of the photographs on my website and blog, as I need to maintain the new owner’s privacy. If I don’t get to publish any of the photographs, you’ll just have to trust me on how beautiful this aircraft was inside. It was also such a pleasure to work with such a large aircraft interior, as I had plenty of room to move about the three different zones within the cabin, unlike the times I have to scrunch up like a pretzel to get a certain shot in a Lear Jet or Cessna Citation jet. Please don’t get me wrong, I am very happy photographing Lear Jets and Citations, they just present a lot more challenges to photograph the interior versus such a large cabin like the B-757.

After I photographed that jet, I went home and quickly packed and flew out to Midland, TX to photograph two jets for an aircraft dealer in the area. They also plan on chartering these aircraft out, also, when not flying for the owners of these individual jets.

When I finished up that project in Midland, I started to pack my bags for my first international job! I was hired to photograph a Gulfstream G-V, a Falcon 50 and a Hawker 800XP, by a new broker; and all the aircraft were located in Toluca, Mexico! This was an exciting trip and I’ll admit, at first I was somewhat nervous about traveling to Mexico, but soon realized that as long as I stay aware of my surroundings I would be fine. I flew into Mexico City and was greeted by my driver, as soon as I exited Customs and he drove me from Mexico City to Toluca. I did not realize that Toluca is at about 8800 feet elevation and as we drove from Mexico City to Toluca, the landscape began to change and many parts of the drive reminded me of driving in the mountains of New Mexico and Colorado. Toluca is a beautiful city with over 2 million people and I loved seeing all the different scenery. The cooler temperatures were also a welcome bonus, as it was about 98 degrees when I left DFW to fly down to Mexico. I spent three nights in Toluca and photographed the three jets during a span of two days. The people I worked with at the Toluca Airport were so helpful to me in assisting me in order to get the photographs I needed for my client. I wish I had made time to stay one extra day just so I could tour the city, as I was only able to arrange a short visit to two of the beautiful cathedrals in the area. One was extremely big and took over 100 years to build and about one block away from it, was a very small cathedral. Both were so beautiful, yet so different from each other and it was great to see the contrast of both of them.

I’m going to post a few photographs of two of the aircraft I photographed in Toluca and I’ll work better to post a quicker update about what all I did during the month of August, just as soon as I finish up some Photoshop work on some current photographs I need to get out quickly.

Gulfstream G-V

Falcon 50

G-V Interior

Falcon 50 Interior

Nashville Trip

After my recent trip to South Bend, IN to photograph a Lear Jet, I had high hopes that my next out of town trip would go off without a hitch. I was thinking positive thoughts as my wife was driving me to the airport on a very RAINY Monday morning to catch my Southwest Airlines flight to Austin and then from Austin to Nashville. I was scheduled for a 10:10 a.m. departure from Dallas Love Field, to Austin, and then from Austin to Nashville at 12.15 p.m. and I would arrive in Nashville around 2.30 p.m. on Monday afternoon.

That scenario did not happen, at all. My flight from Dallas to Austin was delayed until 11.45 a.m., so needless to say; I would now miss my connecting flight to Nashville. After we landed in Austin, I was greeted by a Southwest Airlines employee who told me and another passenger that we were now booked on a 6.30 p.m. departure out of Austin. Six Thirty PM !! This meant I had a lovely six hour layover in Austin. I could either choose this scenario, or I could fly stand-by to Houston and then fly stand-by to Nashville. I decided to take the confirmed booking, although it meant a six hour layover in the Austin airport. Don’t get me wrong, I love airports and airplanes, but spending six hours in the Austin airport is not something on my bucket list. Not at all !! I decided that since I had a long layover, I was going to make the best of it. I was going to go find a nice restaurant in the airport and have a nice meal, with a nice waiter/waitress taking care of me. Unfortunately, that plan did not happen, either. It seems the Austin airport does not believe in having any “nice restaurants” where there is actual wait staff to take care of you. They have plenty of eating establishments, and a lot of them offer local food from area restaurants such as Maude’s Tex Mex, Schlotzsky’s (yes, it was started in Austin!), The Salt Lick, (famous barbecue) and Thunder Cloud Subs, (another famous, sub sandwich place that was founded in Austin). This airport doesn’t even have a Chili’s, where you would expect waiters/waitresses to take care of you. After walking through the ENTIRE airport and no nice restaurants to sit down at, I ordered some barbecue (a sandwich!) from Ray Benson’s Taco Bar. Ray is the lead singer for a very popular western swing band based in Austin, called; Asleep At The Wheel. The sandwich was good, but not what I had my heart set on, in terms of having to wait on myself, more or less.

After my restaurant quest/search was over, that only killed about an hour and a half, so I had about four and a half more hours to kill before getting on my next jet or so I thought. Around 5.00 p.m., I went to the departure gate for the Austin to Nashville flight to check on its status. The flight now was showing a departure time of 7.30 p.m. !! Are you kidding me? Another hour delay, may day was just not going good.

I’d like to back up for just one minute to also explain why I was going to Nashville earlier than needed, for the Tuesday morning shoot. I started to check the weather beginning on Friday and according to the forecast, there was an 80% chance of rain on Tuesday morning, so I decided to go in a day earlier, so I could at least photograph the exterior of the jet in dry weather, on Monday afternoon, once I landed at my scheduled time of 2.30 p.m. or so. Obviously, those plans were thrown completely out the window, due to me missing my connecting flight from Austin to Nashville, to begin with.

As the clock slowly ticked away, at around 6.00 p.m. all of the passengers were told that our Captain and First Officer were flying in on another flight, then they would transfer from one jet, to our jet and fly us over to Nashville. The Southwest Airlines gate agent informs us at about 6.30 p.m., we were told that our Captain and First Officer were now running late on the plane they were flying into Austin and were running out of flying time. Due to FAA regulations, pilots are only allowed to be on duty a certain amount of time per day, and if our pilots were to fly our plane over to Nashville, they would run out of duty time during the flight, which would be illegal. Therefore, our pilots could NOT fly our jet to Nashville. At this point, I started to offer my help to fly the plane myself, but I thought they probably wouldn’t take me up on my offer, unfortunately. The passengers on our flight were now told that Southwest was going to be bringing in a new set of pilots and we would now be departing from Austin at approximately 8.30 p.m. that night. Joy, joy; just what I wanted to hear; I was getting to spend more time in the Austin airport. At that point, I went to Thunder Cloud Subs and had dinner, yet once again, no one was there to wait on me. Oh well, at least I’m vertical and have so much to be thankful for! I am not stuck in a hospital bed or have a dreaded disease, so I am still very thankful to be able to do what I love; photograph airplanes and work around business jets.

After 7.30 p.m. passed by, our group of weary travelers to Nashville (BNA) were really beginning to wonder if we were really ever going to leave AUS and fly to BNA. Miracles do happen! Southwest Airlines finally found a fresh crew of pilots and we took off around 8.45 p.m. for BNA! Praise The Lord !!

On our flight to Nashville, we flew through some extremely heavy thunderstorms, or they were somewhat east of our flight path, and the lighting show outside my window seat was amazing. I started to video some of the storms with my iPad, and the person next to me in the middle seat asked me what I was doing. I told him I was recording the lighting strikes outside, he wasn’t too thrilled with my answer; and said I was crazy. I wish I could post the videos on my blog, haven’t figured out how to do that, yet. If I can, I will!

Finally made it to BNA around 11.45 p.m., then had to wait for luggage and then go to Hertz to get my rental car. After I got my rental car, I used “Siri” on my iPhone to get me to the hotel. Well let me tell you something; at times, “Siri” is absolutely WORTHLESS !! I was given wrong directions by “Siri” and ended up about 15 miles north of where I needed to be at my hotel, in some residential area north of the Nashville Airport. I was NOT a happy camper at this point and time, I just wanted to take a shower and go to bed. Finally found the hotel, miraculously and checked in to my room. Took a quick shower and jumped in bed. I think I finally fell asleep around 1.45 a.m. I had to be up at 6:00 a.m. the following mooring to go back out to BNA Airport to photograph the Falcon 900EX jet I was hired to shoot. When I woke up that morning, my eyes felt like sandpaper and they were extremely red, due to lack of sleep. Thank goodness for Visine!

Made it to the airport on time and had a wonderful time photographing this beautiful jet! I’m only posting four photos of it, as I have more of the story of this trip, in my next blog. Stay tuned!

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South Bend, IN Lear Jet

I received a call about two weeks ago from a new client who wanted me to travel to South Bend, IN to photograph a Lear Jet 31A for them and I made the necessary steps to book this trip for Tuesday, May 12, 2014 and then I would photograph the jet on the morning of May 13, and then fly back home to the DFW area that afternoon.

Funny how travel plans can change your day with one snap of the finger.

As I was on my United Express E-170 jet from DFW to Chicago O’Hare (ORD) airport, a strange thing happened. It seems there was some smoke in the Chicago Air Traffic Control Center and they had to evacuate the building. Before doing that, all the air traffic had to be re-routed and/or diverted to other airports within the area, since ORD could no longer handle as much traffic as it normally does on a daily basis.

During my flight, I was listening to music on my iPad and didn’t hear any of the announcements about our flight being diverted to another airport. As we were coming in for a landing, I knew things didn’t look right because when you normally land at Chicago O’Hare (ORD), there are a TON of houses, building, population, etc. that you see as you are starting to land at ORD. The air traffic controllers decided that our jet needed to divert to Cedar Rapids, IA (CID) !! Imagine my surprise as we were coming in for a landing at ORD and instead I was greeted by LOTS of flat, green fields, with corn and wheat near the CID airport. When we landed, I asked my seat mate what the heck was going on, as I had not heard ANY of the announcements on the situation, since I had my head phones on, listening to music. What a surprise! When we taxied to the gate, our pilot briefed us on what was going on and she (yes, a female captain !!) told us we could get off the airplane as we were going to be there for a while. We were also told we could go PAST the security check-point as long as we held onto our original boarding passes and they (TSA) let us back thru security to get back on the jet. Still, I wanted to make sure this was true and before I left the secured area, I reconfirmed with the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) officers that this indeed was true, and it was. I then went to grab me some lunch, as it was lunch time whether I was in ORD or CID, I was hungry!

After eating a nice lunch, I happened to notice our captain and her first officer eating lunch at the same place, so I felt quite good about being able to get back thru security and back onto our jet, whenever we were allowed to fly the rest of our journey into ORD.

Wouldn’t you know it, when I went to go back thru security, the officer did not know what to do to let me back thru security screening since my boarding pass showed I was boarding at DFW !! Still, I did not panic as I knew the captain and her co-pilot were still in the restaurant eating lunch and I was going to make sure that I got thru security, before they did (SARCASM!!). The TSA then called for a supervisor and it took about three minutes to get me back thru security and back onto the jet, for our continuing journey to ORD. We then took off about an hour later from CID to ORD. There were about six jets that were diverted to CID that morning, and I don’t think that airport has seen that much traffic in one day, the entire time that airport has been opened! I’m sure the two restaurants I saw in the airport were VERY happy to have all that business.

I’ll finish this blog in an update tomorrow or Monday. Here are some photos I took with my iPad, as we were landing in CID along with the sights of the CID airport during this delay.

photo 1 CID

photo 2 CID

photo 5 CID

photo 4

photo 3 CID

April Showers

April showers are supposed to bring May flowers, yet unfortunately where I live, in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, we had no rain to speak of during the month of April, yet the State Flower of Texas, the bluebonnet still sprouted and looked so beautiful for about a month. I just wish the flower growers could make that flower bloom and/or last longer. They are so pretty to see large fields of them, along the highways that I drive through here in Texas.

I was contacted by a new client this month to photograph a Gulfstream G-200 for them recently and am grateful for their new business. This jet came in from Europe and had been based somewhere in the Middle East for the past two or three years. The owner needed to upgrade to a larger jet, that would give him greater flying distance than the G-200 does.

The broker was extremely happy with the way the photographs turned out and I have another happy and satisfied client, which makes me happy. My main goal is to help my clients SHOWCASE the beauty of the aircraft they currently have listed and sell them FASTER with beautiful photographs. Another goal of mine is to help educate other brokers into understanding how professional photographs will draw their target audience into the specific aircraft they are listing.

If I can ever be of assistance to you and your company, please contact me. Always glad to help!

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March Madness

No, this isn’t going to be a blog about the upcoming NCAA basketball tournaments that are getting ready to heat up, leading to the Final Four being played in Arlington, TX at Cowboys Stadium, aka “Jerry World”.

I am finally now able to write something on my blog as February was just a whirlwind of activity with my corporate aviation photography business and I’m so thankful for all the recent business.

As noted in my previous blog, I photographed five jets in three days for client at the first of February and was able to deliver all the projects to my various clients in a timely manner. I do think I was about to wear out my computer with all the photoshop work that was going on, so that my photographs help to SHOWCASE the beauty of these jets. I am so grateful for the business and know God did answer my prayers about getting some new work in the door at the start of the year.

This Monday, I am driving down to Houston, TX to photograph something very different than what I normally photograph, and that will be a yacht! About 95% of my work is photographing corporate jets and large turbo-prop aircraft that are for sale, lease or charter. I recently had a previous client of mine ask me if I would be interested in shooting his brand new yacht and I told him yes. So this project will be completely new for me and I am very excited about it. After I finish photographing the yacht, I am headed to work for a new client in the Central Texas region. I will be photographing a Lear Jet 35 model for him on Wednesday morning. Once again, I want to thank God for answering my prayers about receiving some new business from new clients.

As soon as I get some photos finished, I’ll be sure to put them up here on the blog.

Here are a few of my most recent photos from the five jets in three days tour.

Hope you enjoy them.

Citation CJ1+

Citation CJ1+ Interior

CJ1+ Cockpit

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