Contributor Feature Friday: @davidlacombenyc

We recently sat down with David LaCombe, one of our FlyNYON photo contributors,
(@davidlacombenyc on Instagram) to talk with him about his passion for photography and what it’s been like for him to be a FlyNYON contributor.

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Q: How long have you been taking photos/ what got you into photography?

A: I first took a real interest in photography when I was a paramedic in the 90’s.  That work is stressful at times and I was looking for a creative outlet to relax and appreciate the things around me.  I started using a film SLR camera and was hooked, even though the feedback wasn’t as immediate as it is today.

Q: What do you do for a living?

A: I’m the Director of Marketing for a global healthcare training company and a professional photographer.  Making time for the photography I want to create is a priority for me even though I travel very frequently.  I’m focusing on headshots for executives and actors – capturing people’s expression is so different than aerial photography and it’s very gratifying as well.

Q: How many times have you been up in a helicopter?

A: I’ve flown on helicopters to take pictures more than a dozen times.  Most of that has been in NY with FlyNYON and I’ve also flown over Las Vegas.


Q: If you could fly and take photos over any city, which would you choose and why?

A: I try to always remember that flying over NYC is dream for most people.  I never view it as routine – frankly I crave flying when I haven’t gone up for a while.  So, there’s still plenty I want to capture over NYC.  That said, the Golden Gate Bridge is calling my name.  Seeing lava flow in Hawaii is also on my bucket list – that’s not entirely up to me though.  There, I’m at the mercy of Mother Nature, if you know what I mean.


Q: What programs do you use to edit your photos?

A: I primarily use Lightroom and Instagram to edit my photos.  Shooting through rapidly changing light can be challenging.  I’ve learned a few principles to capture vibration-free images by shooting faster than you would intuitively think in low-light conditions.  The underexposure can be corrected to some degree in Lightroom.

Q: What do you shoot with when you go up?

A: Until recently, I’ve shot with a full frame Nikon body and Nikon glass.  That may change as I’m considering adding a mirrorless Sony camera to my kit.  I’m drawn to the Sony for its sensor with incredible image resolution and light sensitivity.

 Q: What’s your favorite building to see from the air?

A: That’s a fair question but so hard to answer.  When I first started flying I was obsessed with the Chrysler Building – she’s still one of my favorites.  Now, I like searching for lessor known buildings and landmarks.  Our city is just so full of interesting structures – choosing just one is impossible for me.

Cockpit view-2

Q: Who are some of your favorite Instagrammers / photographers?

A: I’ve met so many interesting ad talented people because of the Instagram scene – some of my favorites are beholdingeye, Javan, dalton922,, and barreradm1975.  Of course, I have to mention my earliest IG inspiration, Misshattan – Call me, Natalie – let’s shoot together!


Q: What was your most memorable FlyNYON Flight?

A: The air-to-air shoot was pretty special.  We were shadowing another helicopter around the Statue of Liberty and Lower Manhattan.  I wouldn’t mind trying that again…wink…wink.

 Chrysler Building-2

Thanks for sitting down with us David! 

Interested in taking your own epic shots from the skies above and showing them off to your friends, check out FlyNYON.