aviation photography

Discussion in 'Aircraft Pictures' started by ollieholmes, Oct 25, 2005.

  1. ollieholmes

    ollieholmes Member

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    I am just doing some probing around and looking into a few ideas here. Is it me or is there a distinct lack of professional aviation photographers specalising in ww11 and earlier aeroplanes? There seems to me to be alot that deal with modern jet liners etc but not the earlier stuff.
    Any comments/thoughts on this observation are more than welcome.
    I am just thinking of taking advantage of this loophole and starting to sell some of the images i have taken over the years and whas wondering if there are already people selling them or not.
     
  2. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Maybe because there are less and less WW2 aircraft around. It is easier to photograph modern aircraft that are plentiful.
     
  3. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    There are quite a few photographers that do it, but it is kind of a niche market. I just started doing it here in California and the calendar sales have not been stellar, but there has been a good interest in the large format framed photos. You won't get rich with it, but it is a fun hobby that if you can make a little extra money doing, it works alright.
     
  4. the lancaster kicks ass

    the lancaster kicks ass Active Member

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    evan have you thought about selling at airshows and suchlike??
     
  5. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Probably could make some money there.
     
  6. the lancaster kicks ass

    the lancaster kicks ass Active Member

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    and you're pretty much garanteed everyone there likes aircraft :lol: it's expensive for a pitch though........
     
  7. trackend

    trackend Active Member

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    I think ground based images of aircraft are fairly numerous and air to air shots are way beyond most amateur's as getting a flight in a shadowing aircraft just for photographic purposes is both very expensive and very hard to organize the one area I feel lacking in aircraft photography is the detailed coverage of the individual aircraft. Having a though portfolio of a planes details from nose to tail interior mechanics etc could present a market opportunity and is well within the realms of possibility for patient amateur's.

    One tip that I used to use for getting into interesting places and it is perfectly legal is.

    1. Buy a really expensive fuck off camera and a big equipment bag.

    2. Make a large plasticized Id tag with your, photo, name, phone number and the words freelance photographer across it.

    You are not lying, anyone who takes photographs and is not employed by somebody for that purpose is freelance.
    It doesn't always work but I have been allowed exhibit side of barriers many times and it makes getting decent shots a hell of a lot easier.
    I also used to post a copy of my pictures to the exhibitors in the way of a thankyou.
    However always wait for an invite do not try to sneak in
     
  8. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    I could sell at air shows, but that involves a lot of travel and time taken away from taking more pictures. I do now have an inside for selling prints at the museum, a perfect place to do so! I plan on putting together some items for review before investing in a big inventory.
     
  9. trackend

    trackend Active Member

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    I'm by no means trying to annoy you Eric but my honest opinion is that your aircraft pictures are excellent and any of the calenders of them will Im sure be popular. I feel that the scenery ones are a bit more limited to a more local market as the images are a little (dare I say ) samey if you get my drift.
    The people who live around that area Im sure will want a copy, still I have never tried to sell any of my pictures so what would I know about market trends.
     
  10. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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  11. ollieholmes

    ollieholmes Member

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    I like that idea, i may just try it next season. I have myself now a pro looking camera rather than my point and shoot. I remember when i was younger i used to go to airshows and get the other side of the barriers with the help of an Uncle. Sadly that is not possible now.
     
  12. Canon Fodder

    Canon Fodder Banned

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    You've obviously done very little probing around if you've come to this conclusion. I'm quite staggered how you can hold this view, but that's not important.

    Perhaps it would help if you posted some examples of the photos that you feel would give you access into the photo sales market?

    CF
     
  13. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    I belong to a photographers group that is worldwide, and has about 50 members here in Southern California. Aviation photography in general is a niche market and almost all of us shoot other things as well. There are very few folks that make a full time living on aviation photography. Taking it down even further to a specific timeframe in aviation is narrowing your target customers.

    Like I said, you won't get rich doing it, but if it is something you enjoy, then do it for the enjoyment. Any money you make with it is the gravy, so to speak. I invested over $1000 this year so far in gear. Will I ever make enough to recuperate that? Maybe, but I do it for the love of aviation. If I was in it for the money only, I would find another thing to do.
     
  14. norbert yeah

    norbert yeah New Member

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    There's always room for another top shelf aviation photographer, in my opinion the more the merrier. However I would say that you should concentrate on the smaller venues and not the big shows, which are already over photographed.

    Do you have a particular angle in mind. A niche market and contacts that you can exploit ?

    Where do you submit your photographs at the moment ?

    I was successful last year and had a few published, unfortunately for one reason or another I won't be travelling to air shows so much this year, so there will be one less competitor.
     
  15. ollieholmes

    ollieholmes Member

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    I mostly only visit the smaller venues, i dont like the big venues. Im not a fan of massive crowds. And i prefer being able to get right up to the planes rather than a big distance away.
    I dont know about angles, but i have coontacts i can exploit. Owners, pilots etc.
    Ive had a few e-mails whanting my photos but they where not prepared to meet my asking price which was very reasonable. In fact one was asking for them for free.
     
  16. Royzee617

    Royzee617 Active Member

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    Try EBay and see how the pix sell there... click on 'watch this item' to monitor sale or not. Possible you could sell prints abroad or a CD of images.
     
  17. Canon Fodder

    Canon Fodder Banned

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    Would you care to share examples of these photos with us Ollie? You see, I've seen examples of your work on other forums and I can't equate this to the statement you've just made unless there's a marked difference between what you've posted online (even very recently) and any chance of photo sales or even free publication.

    Some publications do indeed ask to publish work for free, you usually get a free copy of their publication in return or even a subscription. These contacts aren't to be sniffed at and they can lead to other opportunities. It doesn't hurt to get your name about in the riight places. However, it does look bad when you make spurious claims that prove to be foundless.

    Honesty, as always, is the best policy. People have little patience with Walter Mitty wannabees.
     
  18. norbert yeah

    norbert yeah New Member

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    Anywhere in particular, I had success with photographs from Chailey in 2004 and the launch of a Calendar at Duxford last year, as well as a couple of others.

    Isn't that a bit dangerous if they are moving about, who do you speak to to be able to do that during an airshow.

    I mean by angles, do you offer something the others don't or are you just submitting the run of the mill type shots ? The more unusual your shot are the more likely they are to get noticed. Will these contacts be willing to take you up for stuff like air to air, have you had any experience of this ?

    Maybe you are pitching the price too high, what do you ask on average, magazines only pay a nominal sum for publishing, newspapers pay more depending on the shot and relevance to a news item.
     
  19. Canon Fodder

    Canon Fodder Banned

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    Somehow I doubted there'd be a response to this. Mr Holmes makes this up as he goes along, don't hold your breath for any saleable aircraft images, there aren't any.
     
  20. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    The way I see it is this; if you want to be a published photographer in publications, it is better to get a few in for free than to not get any exposure. PLUS it gives you something on your photography resume. Like any other artistic venture, you have to "pay your dues". I would much rather have people looking at my shots in a magazine that I get a copy comped to me with my shot that I can show others as proof that I have been published. Once you have established a reputation for quality photographs and a guy that can be worked with, the work starts to trickle in. For some of my fellow photographers, it has gone from a trickle to a steady stream.

    You have to shoot a lot of pictures to get good quality shots and keep your eye sharp. Norbert is right about having something unique. There are shots that people say "Hey, great shot" and then there are shots that people say "WOW". Obviously, the wow shot will get you somewhere further. Developing the eye for an unusual shot or angle takes time and practice, and some luck too.
     
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