Thursday, September 20, 2012

Aerial Photography in BC Summer Wrap Up

The summer came and went so fast. I only did one shoot for the farmers this year. Usually I shoot over 10 for them. Instead I was working with Tim Thompson at Shuswap on Canvas in the cute little summer resort town of Blind Bay on Lake Shuswap. Shuswap lake is famous for houseboating, boating, wakeboarding, wakesurfing, sailing and cottaging. There is over 1000km of coast on Shuswap Lake because it is shaped like an H. Almost everyone from BC has a story of spending a summer or two at this lake.

It was another sssslllooooowwwww start to the season (3rd year in a row). I was still wearing boots and jackets into early July. And to top it off there was a big flood that set the season back even further. So the first shoots I did were of the flood. Tim has lived in the Shuswap for 8 years, so he felt it was important to get these images, even though they were shot through plexi. It was an interesting marketing experiment for me, because I don't normally shoot this kind of thing. My work is for display, marketing and advertising. In any case, we did 3 shoots and took over 4 thousand images. I posted them on my site. Tim let Shuswap Lake Watch know about it, and I saw the stats hit the roof.


It was a giddy time to see my site get over 10,000 hits in one day. A lot of different sources sent hits my way, one was CHNL radio station in Kamloops. However, even though the images were fully ecommerce enabled, I only had one sale of $50.00 that came through the website. We made about $1000.00 in total between the 2 of us. Sad. One developer of The Legacy condos in Sicamous, called me about using an image but after I posted updates for him from the next shoot, he never called me back. I guess seeing them on line was good enough. You are welcome Mr. Ras! I digress. Indeed there have been enough of these kind of people throughout the years to do a separate post on and I hope to do that one day.  While I am here, I should add that all the newspapers and tv stations wanted to use the images for free.

In July, I did a 3 hour flight in the north Okanogan for my farm clients. Once again, I can only thank the good people of the land for being there when I need them. Sure farmers are picky and hornery and demanding, but they are honest good people who understand value. This kept me going for a while and financed my long awaited updated aerial shoot of Vancouver on August 12, 2012. I am just starting to market these shots now.

I only stitched this aerial panorama of the GVRD together a few nights ago. I was totally impressed. It has everything in it. Stave Lake, Pitt Lake, Capilano watershed, North Van, West Van, Vancouver, Burnaby, Delta, Surrey, Richmond, Port Moody and the coast mountains. It is sharp as a tack.

August turned into this splendid hot sunny month and I did many shoots with Tim in his Quicksilver on floats on the lake. It was super fun shooting. I got tonnes of images of the scenic beauty of the lake. I am submitting these shots to my agent, Firstlight and will also be marketing them to the tourist agencies around here. We will see if there is any success there. Generally, I find that kind of sale, laborious and underpaid. I have never had much success in the editorial market. Getting published in a magazine is totally overrated. Even when times were good, it was always the bottom end of the pay scale.

The most fun was shooting people on the water. People waving from their boats, wakeboarders, wakesurfers, the crazy houseboat party crowd, kids towing around, all made for a joyous experience. We did have some assignments but for the most part I have no idea what to do with these images as I have no way to contact these people and can't get model releases either.

I shot most of the waterfront homes on Shuswap Lake for Tim to market. He has a little gallery in the Blind Bay Mall and does his own printing with the Epson 9900. Contact him if you have a home on the water: socanvas@telus.net or 250 517-0354

So I have a little of this to do and a little of that to do before I head to Mexico again for the winter. The major task is marketing. But it is really hard to force yourself to sit down and do it. Especially when the weather is beautiful. I always feel like I should be out there taking advantage of it. But not to worry. If I do need to do a few more shoots, I am sure the window of opportunity will present itself.

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