For the first time ever, Images of Light and Lift presents a comprehensive two-and-a-half day school on the art and science of air-to-air photography.

We’ve adopted the proven ideals of the Navy’s TOPGUN and the Air Force’s Red Flag programs; train students and put them through their first combat missions under a stressful but controlled learning environment. At One on One/Air to Air, we provide you with initial training on the safe conduct of air to air photo flights, and put you through your first three flights.

We start by teaching the basics of air-to-air photography. Students will spend approximately four hours in ground school discussing everything from how to get started to managing multiple aircraft in formation. Safety is stressed at every step of learning and while operating. You’ll cover everything from planning to photography techniques, formation flying basics, and flight workflow, and common to advanced mistakes.


Mid-level photography skills and a knowledge of photography basics. No prior air-to-air experience is needed.

What to Bring

Bring your primary and secondary cameras (if you have one), lenses, flash units, computer, card reader, backup devices and memory cards. We strongly recommend buying and/or bringing your own safety harness and clothing appropriate to the season and environment.

Course Content

Day One: Plan on a late morning arrival in Phoenix, Arizona. Your learning begins at 1pm with one-on-one ground school; a true educational experience combining lecture, discussion, and a multimedia presentation with Scott Germain. A veteren of hundreds of photo flights, Scott uses his experience to build your foundation in A2A. From planning to equipment, and from aircraft formation basics to advanced shoots, you’ll learn what it takes to run a safe photo flight.

Day Two: The student will plan, brief, and run a morning photo flight under the watchful eye of the instructors. Our camera plane pilots and subject plane pilots are highly experienced, formation-qualifed aviators with backgrounds in commercial, sport, aerobatic, air racing, and warbird aviation. The flight will conclude with a photographer debrief, then an educational debrief by the instructors. After lunch and a break, the student will plan and brief an evening photo flight. This time the student will be given more responsibility and exposed to some challenges they’ll need to control. Another debrief ends day two.

Day Three: “Graduation Day” finds the student planning a more complicated morning photo flight; this may be a multi-plane formation or a shoot over specific terrain. The student should exercise superior judgement and control in order to keep the operation safe. The instructors will provide teachable moments as some great opportunites for some special photography.


Want to bring your local friend and pilot to train as a team? We can accommodate that. Want to do a ramp night shoot and set up your own lighting and have exclusive access? Done deal. We are willing to work with you to create a wide variety of flexible learning environments and accomplish something special.


While we have a selection of suitable camera aicraft for use, a Cessna 185 with the right door removed is our basic camera platform. This provides students the ability to shoot while harnessed safely inside the airplane. Other camera aircraft (T-6, T-34, Beech Baron, etc.) can be made available for an increased fee, and will be dependent on scheduling.

Subject aircraft include Cessna 150, 172, and Piper Comanche aircraft.

We understand everyone wants to shoot a warbird or something flashy. Our educational goal combines safety and cost-effective aircraft to get the job done. Having said that, if the student is willing to absorb increased fees, we can schedule specialty aircraft. T-6, P-51, FM-2 Wildcat, T-34s, Waco, Pitts S-2A, Pitts Model 12, Lancair Legacy, CJ-6, RVs, and Stearmans are local to us, and might be available for use.


This is what makes One on One / Air to Air so unique... Our instructors bring a rare combination of skills, experience, and personality to the table.

Scott Germain provides a unique mix of aviation and photography experience that will immerse the student in a safe yet demanding learning environment. He blends formation flying, photography, and teaching into a direct-feedback learning environment before, during, and after your photo flights. With over 19,000 hours piloting 105 type of aircraft, and hundreds of published aviation stories and photo flights, few people posses the abilities he does.

Patrick McGarry provides instruction from the pilot’s perspective from the camera plane as well as the subject aircraft. His background in commercial, competitive aerobatics, warbird, air racing, and formation flying place him second to none when it comes to adding experience and guidance to your education.

Guest Pilots – If you’d like, we can tailor your learning experience with specialty aircraft that are more interesting. Vetted and trusted local aircraft owners can be contracted to fly their unique aircraft during your photo flights. As such, they will be invited to participate in the debrief and provide you will valuable feedback. They’ve been carefully selected based on important criteria: the proper safety attitude, experience, and excellent formation skills. We do not place students with any other pilots, nor do we put students in a situation that is not directly controlled by us.


We have a singluar mindset when it comes to air-to-air photography: safety. Please understand; the school focuses on the safe conduct of an air-to-air photo flight. The type of aircraft you photograph – or take pictures from - has little impact on your learning. Therefore, we mainly use general aviation aircraft for cost effectiveness.

Course is Customizable

Maybe you’ve run some photos flights already... Maybe you’re looking to advance your skills to the next level. We are happy to tailor our course to provide whatever training you need to expand your skill set.


We currently have slots available in late September, October, November, and December. Slots are limited to one student per month, so space is extremely limited.

Link to your daily planner in PDF format HERE.


The base price for the course is available upon contacting Scott Germain. He will be happy to work with you on scheduling, hotel and travel advice, and customizing the program to better fit your needs. Once complete information is collected, we can quote the cost of the course. A 50% deposit will confirm your class dates, the remainder due upon arrival.

Scott Germain

Images of Light and Lift

637 E. Goldenrod St. Phoenix, AZ 85048