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“I grew up in Hong Kong and frequently visited Kai Tak airport when I was young. You could easily see planes over the city and in the skyline everyday. I went to watch the planes after school on a regular basis.”
He tells us he flew on a Boeing 747 with United Airlines when he was 12 years old on his first trip to USA. Since then he loves civil aviation.
The interest in aviation photography and obvious talent for it has given him opportunities to do assignments and have his photos published. But Sam does not think of his photography as work.
“This is a hobby for me, as always, and I don’t do any assignments deliberately. I have to be interested and I don’t make money out of this.”
Still, he is a frequently hired photographer and by practicing his photography he has built an impressive contact network over time.
“This is made possible through approval from the Air Traffic Control, arrangements with a good helicopter pilot, understanding the aerospace and with clear and precise communication”, he explains.
But Los Angeles is only one of all the destinations he has visited. He has covered most of USA and paid a lot of visits to the Asian-Pacific countries and Australia. He is a big fan of traveling, even outside his aviation photography interest, and enjoys trying out different airlines and meeting people and friends from other cultures.
“Every country is unique. The most interesting countries are the ones we don’t know so much about”, Sam says.
His years of travel and taking photos have not only led to his many photos on the Internet. A couple of years ago he published his first book with some of his photos from all around the world. His newest book, titled Air2, is doing very well. This means he will get even more attention worldwide and the possibility to develop his hobby as an aviation photographer further. He believes that being consistent, motivated and keeping up to date is the key to progress.
“Aviation and photography keep evolving, I have to do the same to keep pace with the development.”
“But nothing is as satisfying as getting the plane you want and photograph it in the best condition possible smooth like charms”, he says.
Thanks to Sam Chui for participating in this interview!
All photos © Sam Chui.