Stephen Brookes, Airview Aerial Photography: 4th June
What is your background?
and bred in New Zealand - spent my childhood in Central
Otago and attended High School and University in Auckland
in the 70s. My career path has been eclectic to say
the least and rather than write a novel I will lay
it out in year bullet points:
- Left University and teachers training college to
become a ski instructor
1980 - Took up playing music to supplement income
1981 - Started competing in pro-am ski events with
1981-1983 - Traveled and lived in a variety of ski
resorts in the US.
1984-1989 - Worked as a professional skier in film
(both still and movie), Ski guiding and freestyle
competitions all whilst pursuing a developing music
1989 - Arrived in Australia with my band and started
touring and recording with the aid of a PolyGram Publishing
1994 - Studied sales and marketing and held various
positions in media and publishing. Companies worked
for include, Peter Issacson Publications, APN News
and Media and Reed Business Publishing. Became involved
with the marketing and sales of the fledgling Airview
2002 - Purchased Airview Aerial Photography from its
previous owner and moved offices to our present position
in Manly NSW.
How has the company developed over time?
has changed a lot since its inception. The concept
of the original owner was to offer the public a range
of framed or unframed prints of their property and
set up display and ordering areas in local shopping
malls. The idea met with limited success but did indicate
a modest opportunity. Later we had door-to-door salespeople
offering pre-shot examples and again found a reasonable
market. Not until we studied the real estate industry
did we discover a large sustainable opportunity. Once
we had established ourselves amongst the top Sydney
real estate agencies our credibility rose sharply
and the company grew to its current turnover levels.
What are Airview Aerial Photography's services?
main services are:
i) Low level oblique (1000-1500ft) aerial photographic
contract work. This work is done using both helicopter
and fixed wing platforms and we operate nationally.
What makes us a compelling choice in this service
area is the speed at what we can deliver work and
the extremely competitive pricing of our contract
packages. Both these benefits are a direct consequence
of being an "aerial" photography only operation.
The supply and sale of images via our huge fully searchable
online stock library. We currently have over 1300
high quality images posted and upload new stock most
days. The reason we feel we have had the success with
the stock library is the simplicity of our site and
search engine, the competitive pricing we have brought
to the market, and the simple purchase options offering
one-off use, royalty free and exclusive use licenses.
What are the main advantages of "stock"
two main advantages are 1, the ability to view and
choose the shot you require without having to wait
for an aerial contract to be completed and delivered;
and 2, the speed at which the stock image can be delivered.
In normal circumstances a designer can choose a shot
from our online library and be working on the high
resolution image 5 minutes later. Technology has helped
Airview make this an incredibly fast and painless
Other than real estate, what other verticals are you
have been really focusing on Developers of late and
Architects, Project Managers and Construction companies
are the areas of the market in which we are currently
enjoying growth. We have some significant goals in
these areas but we are making sure we do our homework.
This allows us to provide relevant and cost effective
photographic solutions for these industry groups,
which is, after all, what Airview Aerial Photography
is all about.
How does the internet assist your business?
internet really provides us an excellent way of showcasing
our photographic stock, abilities, strengths and attitudes
to not only the local market, but indeed the entire
is enjoying a growing public and commercial awareness
and we are working hard to add to, and improve our
What are your main interests outside of Airview Aerial
funny but flying has been an obsession since my earliest
memory. My first and only career decision was to become
a commercial jet pilot but an eye test at fourteen
revealed a colour deficiency in some reds and greens.
This, at the time, effectively ruled out any chance
of a commercial pilot's license. After trying drafting
and teaching on for size I decided at nineteen to
become a ski bum and this innocuous decision led on
to a myriad of fun choices that have to date, made
up what could be loosely referred to as, my career
days my interests outside of the business tend to
rotate around my beautiful and growing family. I love
to Windsurf in the summer and radio control flying
has become a hot topic around our house. My daughter
is somewhat ambivalent but my boys love to get out
and fly our planes and combat wings on a Sunday afternoon.
underlying passion over the years has been my interest
in cars. It started when in my teenage years I helped
build a 1937 Ford pickup hotrod and restored a 1934
five window Ford coupe. I later purchased and rodded
a 1949 Ford pickup and traveled the length and breadth
of New Zealand in it. Lately I have been the proud
owner of an 89 Corvette convertible. The Corvette
was a total joy to own, work on and show but I reluctantly
sold her lately to make way for a new build project.
My eldest son, Joshua, is now fourteen and shares
my keen interest in exotic vehicles so we are about
to start work on a 66 Shelby Cobra kit. We are both
keen to race it once complete so the deal is, if he
helps build it, he gets to help race it! Fair deal
has also become a major family pastime, which also
serves to keep us broke. In fact if there was ever
a compelling reason for building a successful business
it has to be the huge cost of raising a family these
note: A look inside the world of aerial photography,
and one of the true innovators in the industry. We
look forward to a great deal more collaboration with
Stephen and his team.
Bridge stunt lands pilot in deep water - 5th May 2004
- Channel 9
Sydney Morning Herald - Travel