March 25, 2011
By Alton K. Marsh
Once again the top aerial photographers in the nation have competed at the Professional Aerial Photographer’s Association in Las Vegas, and pilot Kevin Butts is among the top winners. The San Antonio-based photographer won in two of the five categories available.
Butts is president of Red Wing Aerial Photography in Texas. He received the “Judge’s Choice” award for a photo entitled “Mayan Riviera,” depicting the Aventura Spa Palace Hotel near the international resort community of Playa Del Carmen, Mexico.
His entry in the scenic category titled “Wispy Dawn” depicting a low cloud layer moving in over downtown San Antonio with the Tower of the Americas rising above the clouds received a rare award of “Master Print.”
Before founding Red Wing Aerial Photography, Butts spent 15 years in the commercial real estate lending business, working for Frost Bank and Broadway Bank in San Antonio. His passion for aerial photography began in 2004 soon after earning his pilot’s certificate, having provided complimentary aerial images of commercial real estate projects he had financed to a few of his banking clients.
“After spending 15 years studying real estate deals mostly without the benefit of aerial photos, I quickly learned how valuable good aerial photos could be in evaluating and marketing a real estate transaction,” Butts said.
Red Wing Aerial Photography was conceived soon after and displaced his banking career as business quickly grew from a fun, part-time business to a demanding full-time career. The company purchased a Cessna Cardinal to use as its primary aerial photography platform in 2005, but also performs aerial photo and video work from rental helicopters as needed.
Red Wing Aerial Photography serves the Texas area as well as parts of Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and New Mexico.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
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