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Jobsites on camera

image Kevin Butts, president, Red Wing Aerials

AUSTIN - Black Friday is retailers’ biggest day of the year and the biggest annual business day for aerial photographer, Kevin Butts.






    However, Butts isn’t reconnoitering for best buys on Christmas presents. He’s just taking marketing pictures of parking lots filled with the cars of shoppers who are.    Butts is president of Red Wing Aerials, which provides aerial photography services to the commercial construction and real estate industries for pre-development, construction progress, marketing, and mapping needs.
    “We’ll do photos on the front-end for a developer. And then the general contractor will call for monthly construction progress photography. Once the project is complete, we’ll have a commercial real estate broker call. If it’s retail, they want photos with a lot of cars in the parking lot. Black Friday is our biggest day of the year,” he says.
    Tools of his team of pilots and photographers include three fixed-wing aircraft, three drones and access to four helicopters.
    The airplane is the most efficient of the three platforms when measured in time and travel, Butts notes.
    Construction clients who most often call him are general contractors and roofers. Sometimes, too, it’s an owner geographically removed from the location. “Photos help everybody get on the same page,” he says.
    Pictures also offer planning and financial accountability. “GCs have saved millions of dollars by being able to demonstrate (through Red Wing photographs) that performance targets were met,” he says.
    Occasionally, clients will also use them in a legal defense.
    Butts, a former commercial banker, founded Red Wing in 2005 in pursuit of his passion for aviation.
    He is also a certified aerial photographer and, in 2015, received Master Aerial Photographer designation.
    Red Wing Aerials offers custom aerial photography statewide. –ke

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Kim Estes austineditor@constructionnews.net