As aviation photographers, we should be prepared to sit through, and if asked, participate in the post-flight debrief.
|A simple, straightforward, no frills debrief|
During the debrief, when the pilots all look at you and ask "did you get it" you had better have the right answer! Time, fuel and maintenance hours were all devoted to your attempt to capture these aircraft in flight, so I hope for your sake the answer is "Yes!" Photoflights are busy, so at least prior to the debrief you need to have taken a cursory look at the images via your camera LCD. Some photographers will show all of their photos to the pilots during the debrief - but I recommend that you don't do that. Unedited RAW photos are a bit like the ingredients in a gourmet meal - they may be uninspiring or even downright unappetizing by themselves, but when placed in the hands of a skilled chef, they make for an amazing dining experience. This is another reason to become familiar with the in-camera editing features of your camera. If you can take a RAW image and do an in-camera conversion, crop, rotate and color balance - then at least what you show the pilots won't be that far from the final result (all depending on your editing technique).
|Be prepared to discuss what worked and what didn't work!|
These are obviously not the only ways that you can “Get to know” your air-to-air pilots, but they are the most concrete ones that I use daily when working in aviation. You absolutely must get to know your pilots, and likewise they have to get to know you as well. Realize that the evaluation during the brief, flight and debrief will be two-way, and do your best to live up to your pilot’s expectations of professional conduct – and expect nothing less from them in return.
Did you miss Parts 1 and 2?
Part 1 can be read - HERE
Part 2 can be read - HERE