(Rock Star models Andrew and Alyssa)

I spent this past Saturday afternoon doing a stock photo shoot in a private jet. Through a friend, I made contact with a pilot last month and he was able to get me access to one of the corporate jets he flies. I must say, it was pretty cool.

I got word on the Thursday prior that we would have use of the jet on Saturday, so I had to scramble to assemble the models and props for the shoot. Normally I like to schedule shoots a few weeks in advance, but due to the irregular schedule of the plane’s use this was not possible.

When planning the shoot, the three scenes I sought to capture were corporate executives, young rock stars and wealthy jet-setters. Doing the multiple scenes required several different models. Ultimately, six were available (on the short notice) for the shoot.

Private Jet Photo Shoot
(The lighting setup on the outside of the Cessna Citation)

The lighting for the scene was pretty straightforward. I wanted to create a look that made it appear that the plane was flying. To do so, very bright windows were the key. I placed large softboxes on both sides of the plane to light the windows, then used a small softbox above and behind my camera position for fill light. All of the lights were synced with Pocketwizard radios.

The final result of this lighting setup worked well. The images portray a natural looking directional light similar to what you would see in an airplane at altitude.

(Corporate executive model Ron)

The biggest hurdle in doing the shoot was the cold weather and wind. The hangar that we used as a staging area was un-heated. Thankfully, Kevin from the airport provided a space heater to keep the models warm between shots. The plane itself was also not heated (it was powered down) and the door had to stay open for the light’s power cables.

Private Jet Photo Shoot
(Yours truly on the job)

All in all, it was a successful and fun shoot which will yield a few dozen images for my stock portfolio. Big time thanks go out to all of the models (Michelle, Dale, Ron, Andrew, Jenna & Alyssa) and especially to my new pilot friend Matt. Thank you all! Without people like you I could not do what I do.