Mike McGowan is one of the most accomplished photographers in skydiving history. His work has appeared in skydiving publications for more than three decades, as well as numerous films and commercials. He owns and operates FunAir productions located on site at Skydive Arizona in Eloy. Mike lives a simple life with his canine companions "Katie & Sam" and will continue to work his magic as long as his health allows.
His goals are to complete one last skydiving movie and become a competent freeflyer. Mike says that although skydiving is a part of his life, that there's more to life than skydiving.
He mounted his first camera at around 1,000 jumps. Currently, he has somewhere around 10,000 jumps and most have been with a camera or 2 attached to his helmet. He views his work as an art form and treats it as such, noting that he is his worst critic.
His recommendation to a new camera flyer is to make sure that they get advice from an experienced camera flyer, from choosing and mounting new equipment to making the first jump. A lot of costly mistakes can be prevented in this way. He advocates safety first and stresses that emergency procedures need to be practiced with vigilance. A reserve ride is a lot different when cameras are attached to a helmet, there is simply more for lines to get caught up on.
It is important to have and use good common sense and acknowledge present limitations. Choose equipment with care and a canopy that is suited for the mission. Don't pick equipment because it is current or cool but one that works best for the project at hand. And finally Mike says to remember to place value where it belongs: People are far more important than things or accomplishments.