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15-year-old photographer brings his love for the military to the Miramar Air Show

braden piscopo
Posted at 6:48 PM, Sep 21, 2023

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — America's largest military air show returns to Miramar on Friday, Sept. 22.

The Miramar Air Show runs through the weekend as tens of thousands of people are expected to attend; however, one 15-year-old is perhaps the biggest fan of all.

As F-35s twirled through the air, Braden Piscopo's camera was in focus.

"I've got a Lego F-35," he said. "It's like different colors.. To the left, we got the hornets inbound!"

The Instagram photographer is in clear view. He managed to secure a media pass to the event and attended a rehearsal of the air show on Thursday.

As service members walked by, he stuck out his hand.

"Thank you, gentlemen, for your service," Piscopo said.

Piscopo is an aviation fanatic. He loves the military and he's into photography.

But, he's not like the other photographers. He's only 15, and his dad dropped him off here.

"I need to learn how to drive," he said while laughing.

This year's Miramar Air Show brings everything he loves together.

Aircraft like the F-35, ospreys and, of course, the Blue Angels too.

"The real thrill for us is usually after the demo, when we get to meet people and see what they thought of it," Commander Alex Armatas of the Blue Angels says.

But it doesn't take a genius to know what Piscopo will think.

"I've been into aviation since 2009," he said.

Piscopo was only 1 then.

"My first air show I ever came to," he said.

Media credentials aren't the easiest pass to score. Generally, they're reserved for local outlets, niche publications or big networks. But for Piscopo though, his passion for photography, aviation, and the military came through in an email request.

"And voilà, they accepted it!" he exclaimed.

Piscopo can't join the service yet, but he aspires to someday.

For now, he is enjoying his special access, up close with the jets and the service members he admires.

"You've got to be thanking these guys. They put their lives on the line for us," he said.

So, if you see Piscopo this weekend at the air show, he probably won't see you. His eyes will be pointed toward the sky, watching America's Air Show through his camera lens.

If you'd like to check out Piscopo's photos, head to his Instagram page.