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We had the opportunity to ask Alex Trattner of atspotter on Instagram a few questions. And if you missed our last blog post, we featured Alex on a list of 15 aerospace industry professionals you should be following on social media. Keep on reading to learn a little more about him and what he does!
- What led you to get into aviation photography? I’ve been interested in aviation since my first flight, I guess. It was a trip with my aunt, my grandmother and my sister to Tunis. It was such an overwhelming experience for me that since then I always wanted to save each moment (plane related) to look back on in the future. Not only to remember them, but also to share those great moments with my family and friends. Years later – because I was only about 5 years old on my first trip with the plane – I started taking pictures with my dad’s camera.The more often I shot, the more often my dad got annoyed that I used his camera so much. So soon I bought my own camera, went to the airport about once a week and started to take photos of the planes now with my own camera.
- What is your favorite airplane or experience that you have gotten to shoot? My overall best experience was last year when I got the chance to join two pilots of Austrian Airlines in the cockpit on their flight to Skiathos in Greece and straight back to Vienna. I guess I can say that that was the best day of my life. I was able to shoot pictures before the flight on the so called “outside check” and during the flight. Another great experience was the flight back from Zurich to Vienna where I was pleased to be a passenger on the brand-new SWISS Boeing 777.Three special planes I caught on camera were the “Iron Maiden” plane, the Antonow, and Air Force Two with John Kerry on board. I honestly can say that I am proud of those photographs and I even got the chance to be a passenger on the Antonow from St. Pölten to Wr. Neustadt.
- What is your favorite aspect of aviation photography? On the one hand it is amazing how many friends you can make and how many people you get to know in this business. There are so many different characters you are able to get in contact with, starting from plane lovers and hobbyists continuing to people who actually make money out of it. On the other hand, I really love to travel the world, love getting new airplanes and airlines in front of my lens, and I absolutely enjoy sharing those beautiful moments on Instagram.
- How did you come to gain over 25,000 followers on Instagram? It is not an easy thing, I can say for sure. I am posting one or two pictures nearly every day. That’s hard work because not only the posting itself but also taking those pics, editing them, and sorting through which one “deserves” to get online. I am also proud to say that I have a good connection to my community. I try to answer every question they have, I try to realize a lot of ideas of my followers and I definitely try to give them as much information as I am able to.I also have to mention that I never, ever used my account to get any financial benefit out of it. I started it because I wanted to share those beautiful moments, feelings, vibes and literally the pictures. And I still try it and am making no money out of it because it is not my intention. And I guess my followers appreciate it, hence why they like my page, I think.
- Has working in the aviation field taught you anything unexpected? It taught me that there are a lot of people who have the same hobby as me. Honestly, I did not expect that at all. Another thing I learned is that not all of the people who tell you they like what you do are honest with you. Sadly, a lot of them are interested in me only because of the number of followers I have.
- Is there anyone in the aviation industry you look up to or who has influenced your work? There is actually one airline that influenced my work a little bit – Fly Niki, later called NIKI. That airline in particular increased my love for planes tremendously. As an Austrian planespotter it is obvious that you get in touch with an Austrian airline every time you are on the hunt for pictures. I had several journeys with NIKI and loved everything about it, such as the livery and the crew. Even my sister got influenced by it and worked as a flight attendant at NIKI.I also have to mention one very special person who influenced me a lot – Simeon. Simeon is a planespotter from Zurich who I started to follow back in 2014 with my private account on Instagram. I liked and still like his pictures and I guess I “felt the spirit of them.” He was the one who got me to post my own plane pics on Instagram on my official site.
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