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Airfield Photography At LAX  
User currently offlineTaylorb From United States of America, joined Dec 2011, 2 posts, RR: 0
Posted (11 months 3 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 6683 times:

Here's the thing, I have shot at Imperial hill, Proud bird, In-N-Out and in the air (aerial photography), but have yet to shoot while on the airfield at LAX. I have seen many people gain access, including Sam Chui and get photos like Photo ID: 2256495. So I guess I am wondering how people get such access to begin with? Obviously Sam Chui may gain access becasue of his fame in the hobby, yet I have seen photos online from many other people who are not famous at all!

I would apprecaite any recommendations anyone may have for me and thanks in advance!

Taylor Brennan

20 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinesovietjet From Bulgaria, joined Mar 2003, 2519 posts, RR: 17
Reply 1, posted (11 months 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 6670 times:
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I hate to be the bearer of bad news but I'm pretty sure the people who managed to get inside are not about to go and post on a public forum how they managed to do it and what connections they have...

User currently offlineRotate From Switzerland, joined Feb 2003, 1488 posts, RR: 16
Reply 2, posted (11 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 6299 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting sovietjet (Reply 1):
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but I'm pretty sure the people who managed to get inside are not about to go and post on a public forum how they managed to do it and what connections they have...

  

Quoting Taylorb (Thread starter):
Obviously Sam Chui may gain access becasue of his fame in the hobby, yet I have seen photos online from many other people who are not famous at all!

Didnt know that you have to be famous to get airside. Oh well , here goes my Chance ever to get airside ....
What nonsense that is ....



ABC
User currently offlineBraniff747SP From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 2915 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (11 months 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 6205 times:

Quoting Taylorb (Thread starter):

Here's the thing, I have shot at Imperial hill, Proud bird, In-N-Out and in the air (aerial photography), but have yet to shoot while on the airfield at LAX.

Closest you'll get without going on a tour (which isn't impossible, by the way) is going to the Flight Path and going out to the DC-3. Sometimes they'll walk you out onto the ramp a bit and you can get some good shots.



The 747 will always be the TRUE queen of the skies!
User currently offlinegocaps16 From Japan, joined Jan 2000, 4334 posts, RR: 21
Reply 4, posted (11 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 5966 times:

Quoting sovietjet (Reply 1):
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but I'm pretty sure the people who managed to get inside are not about to go and post on a public forum how they managed to do it and what connections they have...

Yup. It's all about the connections with Airport Operations. (Hence reason why photographers only include Month and Year on their photos) I guess you already know that you won't get any information on this due to the non-popularity of this thread. Even though, there are few, LAX, ATL, JFK, BOS, CLT, etc. I doubt you'll get any good info.

My advice, study in Airport Operations/Management and you might be lucky and get a job working airside driving a cool yellow SUV and you'll be amazed.


User currently offline727LOVER From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 5955 posts, RR: 17
Reply 5, posted (11 months 1 week 4 days ago) and read 5920 times:

Quoting gocaps16 (Reply 4):
My advice, study in Airport Operations/Management and you might be lucky and get a job working airside driving a cool yellow SUV and you'll be amazed.

Hard to imagine someone would go to all that trouble just so they could get runway close-up pics.



Listen Betty, don't start up with your 'White Zone' s*** again.
User currently offlineDLX737200 From United States of America, joined May 2001, 1891 posts, RR: 20
Reply 6, posted (11 months 1 week 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 5797 times:

Quoting 727LOVER (Reply 5):

Hard to imagine someone would go to all that trouble just so they could get runway close-up pics.

Wasn't so hard for you to imagine in the last couple of years...



The public: They always know better, even though they often know nothing
User currently offlinemegatop412 From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 308 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (11 months 1 week 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 5738 times:

Forget it, bro. If you're like me and most others here, you're just Joe Six Pack and you ain't gettin anywhere near those planes. If you knew anybody who was anybody, this thread wouldn't have been started.

If you're young enough, consider a career that allows this access. Maybe become a journalist and get media creds and get assigned aviation events, or a cop that patrols the ramps. Either way, that doesn't happen overnight. Otherwise, you're stuck with suicide shots at fence spots the cops make you move from, playing musical parking lots around the airport, shooting through the terminal and plane windows while you're on vacation, things like that. There are a few circumstances that you can get ramp shots with(like if you have to use airstairs), but that's the exception rather than the rule.

Sorry to be such a buzzkill, but better to know reality than to get your hopes up. The others are right, no way are people going to talk about their connections. I myself considered switching careers at one point so that I could get the all-important 'access' until I realized there was no way I could pay my bills on the pittance they paid ramp/security(at least @PHL). So, I have decided that the shots I do get are good enough.


User currently offlinegocaps16 From Japan, joined Jan 2000, 4334 posts, RR: 21
Reply 8, posted (11 months 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 5699 times:

Quoting 727LOVER (Reply 5):
Hard to imagine someone would go to all that trouble just so they could get runway close-up pics.

Hi Ozell,

Just think how many photographers on this site are working for Airport Ops. I can name a few.   Besides, the majority on this site wants to work in the aviation field, well, there's an option that hasn't been touched on much. I think it sounds like a great field and the benefit; ramp access!

Quoting Taylorb (Thread starter):
I would apprecaite any recommendations anyone may have for me and thanks in advance!

Worth of try though.


User currently offline727LOVER From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 5955 posts, RR: 17
Reply 9, posted (11 months 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 5648 times:

Quoting megatop412 (Reply 8):
If you knew anybody who was anybody,

I know one........and it does me no good.....notta




What bugs me is that Paris Hilton's people can call airport ops @ LAX and tell them she wants runway access........and she would get it.

Quoting gocaps16 (Reply 9):
Hi Ozell,

What up dude, long time no see. Get back to the states!   

yeah, there's some stories I want to tell, but can't   



Listen Betty, don't start up with your 'White Zone' s*** again.
User currently offlineaaron747 From Japan, joined Aug 2003, 7951 posts, RR: 26
Reply 10, posted (11 months 1 week 20 hours ago) and read 5617 times:

Quoting megatop412 (Reply 8):
I myself considered switching careers at one point so that I could get the all-important 'access' until I realized there was no way I could pay my bills on the pittance they paid ramp/security(at least @PHL)

The compensation really depends where you work, honestly. I have connections at SFO and know for a fact some of the AOA guys clear $100K and then some just 3-4 years in. They of course usually have the requisite background to even get the job though.



If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
User currently offlinemegatop412 From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 308 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (11 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 5544 times:

Quoting aaron747 (Reply 11):
The compensation really depends where you work, honestly. I have connections at SFO and know for a fact some of the AOA guys clear $100K and then some just 3-4 years in. They of course usually have the requisite background to even get the job though.

I'm very skeptical that folks with only 3-4 years tenure are making that kind of money, in the field of aviation operations, a field which oscillates between broke and even more broke, in the US. That's more along the lines of high-level management execs making that kind of money. I was talking about entry-level rampers and security, what one typically must endure when switching careers.


User currently offlinechuck9941 From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 194 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (11 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 5540 times:

Quoting megatop412 (Reply 12):
I'm very skeptical that folks with only 3-4 years tenure are making that kind of money, in the field of aviation operations, a field which oscillates between broke and even more broke, in the US. That's more along the lines of high-level management execs making that kind of money.

If they are working for the airport then yes they are making good money and in some cases close to six figures at least in CA. These are usually public service and/or government positions. Since they are, you can actually find the salary schedules on-line. It may take a little searching but its there usually under the career sections.

If they are working for the airlines, fbo's and so forth then yes you're correct, the wages are much less.



Oh, it's a big pretty white plane with red stripes, curtains in the windows and wheels and it looks like a big Tylenol.
User currently offline727LOVER From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 5955 posts, RR: 17
Reply 13, posted (11 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 5437 times:

If Powerball goes my way tonight, then I'll be starting a thread titled

HOW DO I GET RUNWAY ACCE$$ ?!! 



Listen Betty, don't start up with your 'White Zone' s*** again.
User currently offlinegocaps16 From Japan, joined Jan 2000, 4334 posts, RR: 21
Reply 14, posted (11 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 5435 times:

Quoting 727LOVER (Reply 9):
What up dude, long time no see. Get back to the states!

Not planning on it.   Aviation photography is waaaay easier and less hassle here then in the US of A.
I'll be visiting the US in a few months as I have to renew my FAA medical, so we'll hit up the Renny at ATL and grab some fine "Whaddya Have" burgers at the Varsity.


User currently offlineaaron747 From Japan, joined Aug 2003, 7951 posts, RR: 26
Reply 15, posted (11 months 5 days ago) and read 5390 times:

Quoting megatop412 (Reply 11):
I'm very skeptical that folks with only 3-4 years tenure are making that kind of money, in the field of aviation operations, a field which oscillates between broke and even more broke, in the US. That's more along the lines of high-level management execs making that kind of money.

Not in California, and the Bay Area in particular, where a lot of public sector salaries are highly inflated. For example the Philadelphia Police Commissioner's salary in 2012 was $255,000, whereas in San Francisco it was $321,577.

I just looked up the Airport Operations staff in the SF public employees' database and most of the salaries are in the $100K - $125K range.

Quoting megatop412 (Reply 11):
I was talking about entry-level rampers and security

Airfield operations / security is handled by the City and County of San Francisco. At least that's what I was referring to in reference to my access and connections.



If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
User currently offlinemegatop412 From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 308 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (11 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 5343 times:

Quoting aaron747 (Reply 15):
Not in California, and the Bay Area in particular, where a lot of public sector salaries are highly inflated. For example the Philadelphia Police Commissioner's salary in 2012 was $255,000, whereas in San Francisco it was $321,577.

I just looked up the Airport Operations staff in the SF public employees' database and most of the salaries are in the $100K - $125K range.

As I said, high-level airport executives.


User currently offlineaaron747 From Japan, joined Aug 2003, 7951 posts, RR: 26
Reply 17, posted (11 months 4 days ago) and read 5322 times:

Quoting megatop412 (Reply 16):
As I said, high-level airport executives.

These are NOT executives. They are "Airport Operations Supervisors" - in other words, the people who drive the little yellow trucks around the field and ramp areas.

According to the database, the manager class people in that department make between $150 - $185K. John L. Martin, the SFO Airport Director, makes $291K. That's an executive salary.



If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
User currently offline727LOVER From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 5955 posts, RR: 17
Reply 18, posted (10 months 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 5046 times:

Quoting gocaps16 (Reply 4):
Yup. It's all about the connections with Airport Operations

For S O M E people   ........not others   



Listen Betty, don't start up with your 'White Zone' s*** again.
User currently offlineNASCARAirforce From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3150 posts, RR: 5
Reply 19, posted (10 months 3 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 4855 times:

Quoting Taylorb (Thread starter):
Obviously Sam Chui may gain access becasue of his fame in the hobby, yet I have seen photos online from many other people who are not famous at all!

Famous? Is he on IMDB? Is he on the Hollywood walk of fame?

you don't get access for being a " pseudo celebrity" photographer. That would not fly at most airports, it wouldn't at mine. just because you are known for Air to ground shots doesn't get you automatic access.

Quoting gocaps16 (Reply 8):
Just think how many photographers on this site are working for Airport Ops. I can name a few. Besides, the majority on this site wants to work in the aviation field, well, there's an option that hasn't been touched on much. I think it sounds like a great field and the benefit; ramp access!

Yes and us airport ops people have to keep on the down low about it because our bosses tend to frown on it. Unless you have permission from your boss, I wouldn't post under your real name on a highly visited site like this. There is a lot of issues about taking pictures on private ramps, FBO ramps etc and posting them online.

Quoting 727LOVER (Reply 9):
What bugs me is that Paris Hilton's people can call airport ops @ LAX and tell them she wants runway access........and she would get it.

For the record, I don't find Paris Hilton that hot... but she does look a lot better than most spotters.


User currently offlineNASCARAirforce From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3150 posts, RR: 5
Reply 20, posted (10 months 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 4778 times:

Quoting gocaps16 (Reply 4):
My advice, study in Airport Operations/Management and you might be lucky and get a job working airside driving a cool yellow SUV and you'll be amazed.

My advice is - if the only reason you want to work in Airport Operations/Management is to take pictures don't waste your money. You go to a school like Embry Riddle and spend $60K or more and get hired at most airports for about $14.50 an hour and a life time of paying loans. For what? A couple aircraft pictures that you may sell for $1000 total over your life time? Get a few posted on here so you can become a "pseudo celebrity"? Is it worth it?

This is the reality...

It depends which airport you work at... but don't expect to go skipping around with a camera on you all day just taking pictures of planes. If you work at a busy airport you most likely aren't going to have time to sit next to a runway snapping photos of every plane that rotates - you have other duties - FOD checks, bird dispersals, responding to emergencies, Sending NOTAMs, other airfield inspections, escorting vehicles and other management around just to name a few. You have a better chance of being able to get pictures if you work at a small Part 139 airport or a GA airport - because you are more likely to be on your own. At a large commercial airport, you probably have a couple other workers and a supervisor or manager always on duty - if they frown on cameras either you better leave them home or find a creative way of sneaking one into your ops vehicle. It is a lot easier at one of these smaller airports where you may be the only person on duty from your airport.

Next FBOs, a lot of cargo companies do not like you going around on the ramp taking pictures - they are on a lease hold - which means they run the ramp. It may be your airport, but you are a guest on their ramp. Their concern is getting pictures of someone famous's plane and sending it to a blog or twitter etc - but they are protecting their customers.

If you absolutely have to get a picture of that plane on the FBO ramp talking private/ biz jets (not saying I do it) - I would suggest driving an Ops vehicle with tinted windows, having your driver's side window that you lower for the shot to be facing opposite direction of the FBO building and no workers nearby on the ramp - get a quick on the fly shot and leave. When you edit the picture make sure that the FBO building does not show or any other evidence like fuel trucks with the logo etc and try to keep other noticeable landmarks of the airport out of it. I would also advise not using your real name when you post it, witholding the airport and/or the date it was taken. It seems like overkill yeah - but if someone googles their plane and sees you took its picture and posted it - there is a chance they may complain to the FBO thinking it was one of their ramp guys - when they see your name they know its not one of theirs and they may complain to your boss. You most likely won't get fired but you may get written up or a stern warning if your boss does not want you doing that. Best thing would be to ask the pilot of the plane, most likely he will say yes - I have a very good record with that - I think I may have been rejected once out of 100 times or so.


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