Do you photograph from an airplane or a helicopter for aerial photography?

In controlled airspace (like near an airport) a helicopter is almost a necessity for the type of aerial images that I create.. We can also photograph at lower altitudes, which means we are shooting through less haze and atmosphere.  We can hover very slowly over a project and wait for the right moment to photograph.  Airplanes are in constant motion and it seems that I am not where I want to be about 90% of the time.


Do you ever use a drone for aerial photography?

Yes, I am a licensed and insured FAA Part 107 uUAS (drone) pilot.  It really depends on your project and where it is located.  For some projects a drone works best. For others, a helicopter might work better.  Let us know more about your project and we can help you decide what works best for your assignment.

What are the advantages of using a drone for aerial photography?

I can photograph from low altitudes and also be able to take advantage of unique weather and light conditions. A lower altitude allows for composing with a variety of new and interesting camera angles and I am shooting through less haze and humidity. With pre-scheduled helicopters and airplanes, it can be difficult to take advantage of really nice light on a short notice. By having a drone with me “ready to fly” I can create images that would not have been possible otherwise. Cost can be another advantage. It can run $450.00 to $,1800.00 an hour just to charter a helicopter , depending on the project location and the type of helicopter available. 

When would you recommend using a helicopter for aerial photography?

If your project is an airport (or located really close to an airport or restricted air space) it may be difficult to get a waiver from the FAA to operate a drone in that location.  And it can take weeks for a waiver to be approved by the FAA.  A chartered helicopter flight can operate in most controlled air space without the FAA waiver process.  Also, there are also more camera and lens options to choose from when I am photographing from a helicopter or airplane.

When would you photograph from an airplane?

When we need to photograph from a higher altitude for a “larger subject”.  I like to photograph buildings from a helicopter.. And neighborhoods from an airplane. Or when a project is in a remote location with no nearby helicopters available.


Does it cost more to charter a helicopter than an airplane?

No question, a helicopter is more expensive.   A small plane can usually be chartered for $100.00 to $250.00 an hour.  A helicopter ranges from $450.00 to $1800.00 per hour. (These prices vary due to the type of aircraft and the location) 


How about aerial videos?

Yes, we create aerial video clips using our drone. With a drone we can fly from 3 feet to 400 feet above the ground.  This lower altitude flying produces some really nice videos when flying at “tree top” heights.  We can also create videos that have interesting composition angles and cinematic effects.


What happens after an assignment?  How and when do we see the images?

After an assignment has been photographed, we will send an email to you with a web link to a selection of images from the assignment. (This normally happens within two business days).  You can then review the images and forward the web link to anyone else in your company that might like to see the images. (We keep this link active on our sever for one year as a client service).   The final high resolution digital files of the images you select are sent to you online using our DropBox account. Or we can  send the selected images to you on a DVD.


Our camera produces twenty four megapixel images, isn't that large enough?

Not all "megapixels" are alike. The term "megapixel" refers to the total number of picture elements (or pixels) that make up a digital image. Professional level cameras have larger digital sensors than less expensive cameras. So even though two cameras may each produce a twenty four megapixel image (an image made up of approximately twenty four million pixels) ... each individual pixel is larger on a camera that has a larger sensor size.  Larger pixels are more efficient at recording light and color than smaller pixels. Similar to how a large window lets in more light than a small window.

How much do you charge?

It really depends on the individual project and how you are planning on using the images. Each photography project is unique.  Let us know about your particular photography project and we will be happy to provide a free estimate or quote.

When do I need to pay for an assignment?

We require fifty percent upon acceptance of the estimate (before we schedule the project) and the balance is due at the time final images are delivered. (we prefer credit cards)