I got an email from a reader the other day who asked a question I hear often...just what do I DO? I get that question quite a bit, from people who can't figure out what Av8rdan does to pay the dog food bill.
Some people – such as friends, fellow pilots, plenty of readers, even my CFI-I – all know I own an aviation ad agency. But their understand of my means of employment ends there:
Am I a graphic designer? A web developer? A copy writer? Am I the agency's staff photographer and photo editor? Maybe I'm a creative team leader, or a project manager. Am I in charge of the agency's search engine optimization efforts for our clients, or am I responsible for finding new aviation clients that need help with their marketing materials?The answer to all those questions is...yes!
See, I change hats many times each hour, and have been known to wear several of them all at once. And while it sure feels funny trying to multi-task, I somehow pull of the creative ballet that is performed while designing a web site, sending a four-color print job off to the printer, answering phones and juggling six flaming chain saws, all at the same time. Yes, it gets really crazy around here, but it's a good crazy.
But when forced to choose one vocation, I have to choose photography. I have had a camera in my hand for about 42 years, and I'm just 52 now. That whole "lensman" thing started at age 10 when I became the "official" photographer for my Boy Scout troop. And from my early teens, I've been making some or all of my income from taking pictures of all sorts of things, race cars, people, flowers, horses, the sky, dirt. But the one thing that I have always enjoyed to shoot above all, is birds:
No, not THOSE kinds of birds. The birds I like to shoot are composite rocket ships and gleaming aluminum creations. What gets me off as a photographer is to get "all up in it" on a perfectly-restored Wright Whirlwind, so tight, the lens is begging for mercy. Set me down next to any DC-3 and chances are better then 20-to-1 I will make my Canon glow until all memory cards are stuffed full of Gooney Bird.So while I do all sorts of things, if I'm forced to check off some sort of box, I'd have to claim "photographer" as my occupation. To get a real nice look at the kinds of airplanes and aviation-related goodies that have filled my viewfinder over the years, go HERE and spend a few minutes in my aviation photo gallery.