A Decade of Memories: You Had Me at Helicopter

February 14, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

This is the second of ten posts highlighting my favorite assignments from the past ten years. Each post includes lessons learned and a special offer to celebrate Mud Productions' 10th anniversary. Thanks for dropping in!

aerial-5903-Editaerial-5903-EditPhoto by Stephen Elliot in association with MudProductions.com

Every so often I get an email that says something like, "Would you be willing to take photos from a helicopter?" and I'll usually respond in a very professional manner: "Are you kidding me?! I'd LOVE to!! I think I just wet my pants a little...." And when I say this happens every so often I mean it's happened to me once. ...so far. ;)

 

I had worked with Gaylord National a few times already, but I was still an amateur photographer at best. When they offered me the opportunity to shoot aerial photos of their property I was honored and ecstatic to say the least, not to mention very nervous.

 

aerial-5903aerial-5903Photo by Stephen Elliot in association with MudProductions.com aerial-6118aerial-6118Photo by Stephen Elliot in association with MudProductions.com AerialDC-6145AerialDC-6145Photo by Stephen Elliot in association with MudProductions.com  

After we circled the property three or four times the pilot said to me, "Did you get what you need?" I smiled and said, "I'm good," while flashing a thumbs up in his direction. I thought we would head straight back to the helipad, but what happened next was much more awesome. "Roger that," said the pilot, "We're gonna take the scenic route back." Apparently they were doing a sightseeing favor for the other passenger on board, and I had the best seat in the house.

 

We flew up the Potamac River, straight over the Lincoln Memorial, swung around the National Cathedral, and then hovered over RFK Stadium on our way back to the helipad in Anacostia. It was an incredible, once in a lifetime experience! To this day it's one of the most fun shoots I have ever done.

 

aerial-6135aerial-6135Photo by Stephen Elliot in association with MudProductions.com aerial-6102aerial-6102Photo by Stephen Elliot in association with MudProductions.com aerial-9662aerial-9662Photo by Stephen Elliot in association with MudProductions.com

 

Lessons Learned:

 

I wrote a whole blog post back then about the things I learned from this shoot. Most of it is fairly technical, so if you're into that you can find it here.

 

Honestly, the pictures I got were not amazing, but the experience was unforgettable. That's my favorite thing about being a photographer: experiencing life with other people and occasionally getting paid for it. It's a pretty sweet gig.

 

AerialDC-6060AerialDC-6060Photo by Stephen Elliot in association with MudProductions.com AerialDC-6087AerialDC-6087Photo by Stephen Elliot in association with MudProductions.com AerialDC-6101AerialDC-6101Photo by Stephen Elliot in association with MudProductions.com AerialDC-9728AerialDC-9728Photo by Stephen Elliot in association with MudProductions.com

 

Special Offer:

 

On a different note, today's deal is aimed at aspiring photographers. By that I mean anyone who:

  • gets frustrated when their pictures turn out dark and blurry.
  • got a DSLR recently.
  • is thinking about photography as a side job.
  • wants to hang out with me for a few hours.
  • has been asked to shoot pictures for someone but has no idea what to charge.
  • just had a baby.
  • is afraid to use their camera on Manual mode.
  • doesn't have room on their hard drive because they have too many pictures.
  • has a friend, spouse, or co-worker that fits one of the descriptions above.

 

For the rest of the month I'm offering private photography lessons for $50 a pop.* You can sign up for yourself or give it to someone else as a gift. Voucher can be purchased from the Square Market. Use the promo code: HIGHFIVE during checkout.

 

*Lessons can take place any time in 2014, but they must be purchased by midnight on Feb 28th. Travel expenses apply for lessons outside the NYC metro area.


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