Business Above The Clouds: How To Make Aerial Photography Profitable For You

Photographers tend to be a passionate bunch. If there is a way to take your hobby and turn it into a business, it is guaranteed to be one job that will be loved each day rather than a chore. Many photographers choose to do family portraits or weddings as their business model, but why not take your skills one step further and head into the clouds? Here are a few pointers you should know if you are considering aerial photography as your business passion.

Transport Into The Air

You have two main options when it comes to getting your camera into the air, and these are an airplane or helicopter. Consider the following points when you are trying to make a decision between the two:

  • According to Civil Aviation Regulations 1988, a plane cannot go lower than 1,000 feet over a city, town or populated area. For any other part of Australia, they cannot go lower than 500 feet. These heights may prove to be too high to capture the details you want in your photos.
  • Taking a photo from within a plane can be restrictive as you will need to make sure the wing or its strut do not become part of the photo being taken.
  • Helicopters are also restricted to a height of 500 feet; however, they can apply to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority for a permit to fly lower for aerial work. This would allow you to get much more detailed shots once this permit is in place.
  • Helicopter photography is less restrictive as the flying blades are above your head, so these will not obstruct the scenery below that you are trying to capture.

Once have decided how to get into the sky, you need to think about when to go.

Best Time Of Day

The closer to midday that you take the photo, the more flat the earth will look below. As the sun gets completely overhead at noon, shadows disappear. Because of this, it is best to choose earlier or later in the day. By doing so, the sun will provide shadows against the objects that are on the ground. This gives them a depth, and the viewer gains an understanding of how the objects are shaped compared to the land.

The golden hours of sunrise and sunset will provide the perfect light for your photos, and they are the preferred time of day when many photographers swear that they get their best shots. If you can organise your transportation for these time periods, the spectacular lighting results will show through in your pictures.

How To Shoot Great Photos In An Unstable Environment

Now that you have the how and the when for aerial photography, you need to learn how to shoot non-blurry photos when up in the air. Whether you choose a plane or a helicopter, you are going to encounter a lot of movement while you are trying to shoot, so you need to understand the best way to take pictures in this type of environment.

  1. Put the biggest memory card into your camera that you have and do not stop shooting until you land. Checking the photos while in the air is a waste of flying time.
  2. Choose a fast shutter speed. If using a camera lens up to 100 mm, choose a shutter speed of between 1/500th and 1/750th. This will help to reduce the chances of a blur occurring.
  3. Remind the pilot that the slower they can safely fly, the better your photos will be.
  4. Turn on the anti-vibration mode of your camera. Many modern cameras have an image stabilisation mode. If you do not know how to activate yours, check the owner's manual.

From farm photography to real estate commissioned shoots, unique wedding perspectives to city portraits, aerial photography can be a lucrative business venture once you know how to take great photos at a height. Start practising these skills so you have another marketable skill in your portfolio. It may turn into the most profitable extension of your art skills yet. For more information, contact an established company in the industry like 3D Mapping Solutions.