Dallas Photographer's Flight of a Lifetime, Part I
One of the things that I can say about the work that I do as a Commercial photographer in Dallas is that I really do have the best clients. I strive to develop a relationship with those that I work with, so that they don't just get a photo shoot, but an experience. I'm fortunate to have built many great relationships over the years, and am very excited about one of my clients that I began working with earlier this year. They do flight training for pilots, and have an incredible facility with literally dozens of massive simulators. Not only are they fantastic to shoot for, but also I was given the opportunity of a lifetime. At our last shoot my client mentioned that I should come out and take a test flight on a simulator if I ever have time. Let me tell you, there are few things in this life that would keep me from taking part in such an unbelievable experience. Short of a bear attack, I would be there (Thankfully, there are relatively few bears in the Dallas/Fort Worth area). So, this Dallas commercial photographer scheduled a time and got geared up to fly. Well, at least feel like I was flying.
Except for the Jurassic Park adventure at Main Event, I really haven't been in a simulator, so I was stoked but honestly this commercial photographer in Dallas didn't have a clue as to what all I would be in for. First I have to describe the walk up. We went past so many different simulators as we walked down the halls of their buildings. They have windows so you can look in and see the crafts in action. When we arrived at ours, it looked like a spaceship that was prepared for takeoff. I crossed the metal catwalk as smoke and gases hissed out in sci-fi fashion, and waved goodbye to my family in Mission Control. Well, at least I did walk across a metal catwalk; some of those other details may have been added for effect... Once your Dallas corporate photographer was loaded into the cockpit with his crew and flight supervisor, it was game time. I had the privilege of flying in a Gulfstream G450, which is probably one of the nicest planes I've never actually flown in. Now of course there are rows of buttons, switches, levers and just about everything else, but I do have to brag that I figured out how to pull the lever to adjust the seat forward pretty quickly. Ace. I let my crew, i.e. the other people in the simulator who actually knew what they were doing get everything geared up, and in a matter of minutes it was time to fly.
Basically, once they had everything set, there was a brief introduction of the controls I would need, brake, steering, etc., and then I was informed to begin takeoff. What was perhaps the most thrilling part was how real the simulator actually felt. There was ambient engine noise, and the screen was basically a 180-degree panorama of whichever airport we chose done in painstaking detail. As you might have guessed, the fact that I am a corporate photographer in Dallas means that I am very aware of visuals and details, so I was soaking in the various environments I got to experience. The plane would jolt around as you moved, and the brakes felt incredibly realistic whenever I pumped them on the runway. Within a matter of minutes, my body seemed to forget that I was inside of a simulator, inside of a building. Things got real.