1971 Mr. Leslie M. Vant of Reading, MA, had recently retired as an engineer
for Raytheon Corporation and decided to pursue his dream of starting a small,
part time business in aerial photography. Les, being extremely dedicated to
any undertaking he pursued, purchased the bestphotographic cameras available
and started making contacts with folks he had known throughout his career. Many of these contacts became his client base and he was determined to provide quality images and unheard of service while keeping the costs to his clients
and friends down. Using this practical approach to his startup business new
clients soon found their way to him and his small business quickly flourished.
In 1976, at the age of 66, Les had achieved another long held dream and earned
his Private Pilot License at the old Tew-Mac
Airport in Tewksbury, MA. While flying all the photography missions on
his own he would always employ a commercial pilot for the use of circling
the aircraft while on station over the site.
John P. Ford, current owner of Les Vants Aerial Photos has been a Commercial
Pilot and FAA Certified Flight Instructor for over 29 years. As Les' constant
flying companion and on site pilot John and Les developed a great working
relationship and became close friends. John became interested in photography
at an early age and in the late 70s as a commercial pilot and accomplished
amateur photographer he became well known in the New England aviation community
for his air to air photographic work earning him national recognition. His
photos began appearing in several popular Aviation
magazines and journals. His air to air work helped launch International
aerobatic careers and secure sponsorship for their endeavors. It was a
natural progression, with Les at his side, to transition to air to ground
photography in the early 80s. When Les decided to retire, in 1987, John took
over full control of the business. His never ending dedication to the business
continues to reward him with a great sense of achievement. His recognition
continues in such works as his 1996 PAPA International "Best
Of Show" award at the Professional
Aerial Photographers Association's East Coast convention for his image
of Nubble Light, York Beach, Maine.
In February, 2006 John received 4 awards at the annual PAPA Convention in Orlando, Florida for all four of his aerial entries;
Click here to see our 2007 San Antonio Awards Page for winning images.
Click here to see our 2006 Orlando Awards Page for winning images.
(Please see our "News & Info" page for more stories)
As time and technology rapidly change
John is excited about the future and is constantly keeping up with the new
technology and information immersing himself in as many photo and digital
technology courses and certifications as possible.
Les Vants Aerials