Adam Senatori is a former commercial airline pilot turned aerial photographer extraordinaire. Livestock sat down with Adam to ask him about his career change, what he aims to capture when shooting from above, and what tips he has for aspiring photographers.
I took a furlough from the airlines and decided to establish myself as a commercial photographer. At the time, many airlines were struggling with layoffs and bankruptcies, so I thought it would be an opportune time to use another skillset. I grew up in an artistic household, my dad is an art director, and mom an art historian. Creativity was encouraged and fostered. I painted, built, drew, and made photos. Leaving a career as a professional pilot and following the path to professional photographer was difficult, and still is, but the basis was laid when I was a youngster.
Making aerial photos is akin to shooting sports. Things move fast, you need the ability to anticipate what’s next, the camera settings need to be dialed in beforehand. Like live events, sports or editorial, there are few opportunities for second takes.
I like to emphasize the scale of our world. It’s huge. Cities, mountains, the plains. We are specks. As a result, I shoot fairly wide to demonstrate this. I think it’s cool to study an aerial photo as a whole then let my eye “zoom in” and notice the cars, people, trees etc that make up that whole.
The honest answer is no. My Instagram account has encouraged me to continue to shoot aerial images. However, since I attracted so many followers because of my aerials, I often feel like that’s the only thing I should post on that account. Of course that’s not realistic, so I regularly share images from my travels.
Don’t let gear get in the way of simply making shots. I’ve been shooting professionally for 10 years and it took 7 of those years to realize this. Use the camera that’s nearest and make the shot. If it’s your mobile so be it. It’s the shot and content that counts, not the exact precision.
To learn more about Adam and see more of his work, click through to his website.