The Freedom of Flight
I’ve always been thrilled by airplanes. Growing up in Vancouver, I remember asking my dad, on numerous occasions, to take me out to Vancouver International Airport, so I could watch the planes taking off and landing. My 4 brothers and sisters never quite understood my fascination and were probably hoping that my parents would put me on the next flight outta town. There’s something magical about ‘flying’; a sense of freedom and escape. The closet thing I ever got to flying was to jump out of a perfectly good plane with a parachute, only to land no more than 20 feet from an angry bull, in a farmer’s field. I ended up running at full speed, dragging my parachute behind me. It’s a good thing it wasn’t red!
So, I was thrilled when earlier this summer, my Commercial Photography business, Olsen Imaging, was contacted by the Ashley Scott at the Kamloops Airport. Talk about flying high! They were looking for a photographer to visually document the arrival of the inaugural non-stop Toronto-Kamloops flight aboard Air Canada Rouge. I jumped at the opportunity and hauled 100 pounds of gear out to the airport in the latter part of June.
Landing at YKA
I was met by Airport Manager Heather McCarley and Kate Donegani from Vantage Airport Group, which operates and manages the Kamloops Airport. It turns out that they were going to get their money’s worth out of this paparazzo. Heather, Kate and Ashley were fantastic to work with, with Kate taking charge, to make sure all these tightly-timed elements of this Commercial Photo Shoot went off without incident.
As it turns out, this photo-shoot was a multi-tiered event. It not only involved capturing images of the aircraft landing, but the preceding media event, ribbon-cutting, ceremonial cake and passengers disembarking from the aircraft under a man-made arch, comprised of fishing rods and golf clubs. Very creative, I must say; however, some passengers did “duck” a little, with a quizzical look on their face….but back to the landing.
Tracy, an airport firefighter drove me out to the apron, so I could be in the perfect position to capture the Air Canada Landing. There I was perched, with my massive telephoto lens and just like clockwork, the aircraft was on final approach and touched down beautifully at Fulton Field in Kamloops.
Everything went according to plan and I was looking forward to the subsequent ceremonial water salute, where one of the airports firefighting water-cannons fires an arc of water over the taxiing airplane. I’d seen videos of this impressive salute, but to witness it ‘live’ is quite another matter. Hopefully, the Captain told the passengers of the water salute in advance, otherwise some passengers may have headed to the washroom, sooner than later?
Cleared for take-off
Truly, I felt like a kid in a candy-shop, instead of a commercial photographer on the job. Frankly, even though the different elements of the photo-shoot were discussed in detail in advance, much of the credit for such a successful and rewarding day has to go to the team of professionals at the Kamloops Airport and at Vantage Airport Group. They were a pleasure to work with. A damn hectic day, but a job well-done. What’s even better is the news that Air Canada Rouge’s non-stop flight, between Kamloops and Toronto, is planning to return again, three times weekly, starting in June of next year. If you’re looking for a professional photographer to cover your special event, please contact Olsen Imaging. I’m fast, friendly and affordable.