How to Hire an Aerial Photographer

Aerial photography is a valuable tool because it combines excellent resolution with the ability to view objects and landscape from 1000 to 2000 feet above the ground. Once you have determined that this is the best way to capture the images you want, how do you go about choosing and hiring an aerial photographer?

Think about what type of aerial photography you will need. The most common type is accomplished by small aircraft that will fly from 1000 to 2000 feet above the ground. Another type uses helicopters and is used to photograph moving objects or hard to reach areas otherwise inaccessible by airplanes. This is the most expensive type of aerial photography. There are other types of photography that use balloons, kites and remotely controlled flying platforms like radio controlled model helicopters. These other types of photography suffer from the disadvantage of the photographer being somewhere other than behind the camera to capture the image.

Look for an aerial photography company in your area. This may seem obvious, but consider the nature of aerial photography when contacting local aerial photographers. Visit : There are two main costs involved in aerial photography: the cost of having the airplane and crew in the air and the cost of printing the images. Generally speaking, you want to find a company whose base of operations is within about twenty-five miles of what you want to photograph. This will allow for the total time of the shoot to take no more than one hour of flight time. Remember, the plane and crew have to find the target, circle it several times and fly back to their base of operations. If you choose a company based further away they can certainly fly just about anywhere but it will add to the cost of the shoot and add to the cost of your final product.

Decide what level of professionalism you want for your project. There are three types of companies that tend to offer aerial photography services. One of the most common is a commercial photography studio that also advertises they can do aerial photography. In other words, it’s not their main business but they have photographers and they can rent an aircraft for your project. The second type of “company” is a pilot with a small aircraft who is willing to go up and hang his camera out the window. The third type of company is the type that specializes in aerial photography. There are fewer of these specialty companies because it is a niche market, however this third type is the most likely to produce the best images at the best total cost.

One advantage of aerial photography is the creative aspect of composition. Aerial photos are generally taken from an oblique angle as opposed to from directly overhead. This allows the photographer to work from all sides and at different heights, introducing the best composition. The effect of light plays a big role in the composition of the photograph.

A professional aerial photographer will choose light that best suits the composition of the target images. The amount of sunlight, the angle of the light, the shadows the light produce and the time of day all contribute to a photograph that is both useful in conveying information and aesthetically pleasing. There are also piloting skills that will contribute to the outcome of the end product. A good pilot knows how to control the aircraft to achieve the best angles and altitudes. Choosing a company that is within twenty miles of your target site and choosing a company that specializes in aerial photography gives you the best chance at a quality outcome at the optimal total cost.

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