Members donate flying time, photography and framing skills
On a windless summer morning one might see an ultralight gliding above the trees of the Drayton community.
If the aircraft seems to be circling periodically in different areas it is likely two members of Community Christian School (CCS), a pilot and photographer, out for a round of aerial picture taking.
The CCS members are key players in a unique fundraiser for the school, taking aerial photos of the properties in North Wellington and selling them to the property-owners.
Thanks to the donated time and efforts of these two, as well as other school members and Christian education supporters, the fundraiser is proving to be quite successful, according to school member Cathy Burton.
“The profits per unit have been not too bad,” says Burton, who has been managing the framing of the pictures.
Two companies printing and framing the pictures, The Essential Image and CDC Frames respectively, are providing discounted services, which has increased the funds that go directly to the school. Both companies are very supportive of the project, says Burton.
Other school members have been donating their time to visit property-owners to sell the photos.
Burton notes that the school has been able to sell the picture packages at a price similar to that of aerial photography companies, but consumers have more choices. They can select the photo they prefer, the size of print and type of frame and mat.
She notes that most companies make all of these choices beforehand and the property-owners simply decide whether or not to buy.
The Drayton school photographer takes about 45 photos per property. Purchasers receive a CD that includes all the photos along with their framed picture.
“It is encouraging that 63 per cent of the purchasers are not from our traditional supporter base,” Burton adds.
Last summer the CCS pilot and photographer made about 18 flights, snapping about 8,000 photos in total.
Flights have been fewer this summer, due to the weather, but the hope is that more can be made before the end of the summer.
The ultralight is a lightweight, slow-flying aircraft; Burton humourously describes it as a cross between a large kite and a tricycle with a lawn mower engine attached.
Weather conditions have to be just right for the pilot and photographer, including minimal wind for the lightweight aircraft and proper lighting for the pictures.
The fundraiser is for a new steel roof for the school, which was installed this summer.