Aerial Photography

Almerick07

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Anyone have any hints or tips of the trade, I am trying to get started doing some part time aerial photgraphy and was looking for a little direction. Any help or experiences would be great.
 

2000flyer

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Almerick07 said:
Anyone have any hints or tips of the trade, I am trying to get started doing some part time aerial photgraphy and was looking for a little direction. Any help or experiences would be great.
I flew for an aerial photo company many moons ago. Demanding business. This company specialized in farms and real estate. They had two pilots on staff and we'd fly across the midwest with property maps, camera, rolls upon rolls of film and several colored markers. We'd fly one circle around each farm and move on to the next. At the end of the week we'd come home and turn in/pick up film. They'd develope it and send it out with the sales team who would do door to door.

That company had been in business for years when I got there and as far as I know are still in business (15 years later). They were demanding to work for. If the light was right, you were in the air. They didn't buy VFR minimums. At the time the other pilot had been there for several years. Then, he'd run out of gas at least five times if memory serves. There were no minimums over "populated" areas for this guy. As a result, he did get some great pictures. One I remember is you could read the temp to the degree on a round thermometer mounted on the side of a garage. My favorite was the farmers daughter and her friends sunbathing nude in the back yard. However, thats a story for another thread :D.

I also spent a summer photographing farms from 7500' for the department of agriculture. This time I had another guy riding with me taking the photos out of the belly of a 172. Just following grid lines from one end of the county to the next (pre-GPS days). Great time builder but very boring duty just flying back and forth for 8 hours a day. However, that was a contract assigned job which meant a guaranteed income to the owner, unlike the door to door sales of the first I mentioned.

2000Flyer
 

Sticky

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Almerick07 said:
Anyone have any hints or tips of the trade, I am trying to get started doing some part time aerial photgraphy and was looking for a little direction. Any help or experiences would be great.
Are you looking into running a photo business, or part time flying for a company?
 

Gutenberg

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I fly a photog around Chicago all the time. He makes great money taking architectural pics. His favorite hobby is "bird hunting" - trying to get close-ups of jumbos with a giant zoom lens. Really helps your rudder skills taking those tight-in ground shots.

I suggest drawing up a brochure of MS publisher or something and sending them out to architects. People will pay top dollar for these types of photographs.

Make sure you have a second class medical.
 

Almerick07

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Part time running my own gig...basically I just want to find ways to utilize my commercial ticket. I made some flyers and have been posting them around FBO's advertising aerial photo and ferrying. Business cards are in the mail and am coming up with a website. As soon as the yellow pages roll around I'll be in them as well. I think the photo idea is great, I am really motivated and want to do this. I would defintely consider flying for someone else as well, thanks everyone for your input.
 

JimNtexas

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In the process of doing due diligence on some land I bought I took aerial pictures of it, and showed them to the realtor.

She has since called me a number of times asking me to take pictures for her for pay. I have to turn her down (not worth problems with my insurance), but I suspect there is a market among real estate sales people for aerial photography.
 

Almerick07

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Yea I was planning on dropping off flyers and business cards at the local real estate offices. Does anyone have any actual tips on taking the pictures?
 

navigator72

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Aerial gigs

I fly aerial photo gigs and have made some serious money. I am currently waiting for the weather to clear for a job that entails shooting over 15 locations. I use a high end digital SLR. It is good to have lenses that are interchangeable for different types of shots.
 

Almerick07

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Is a 7.1 megapixel digital camera sufficient for aerial photos? This thing can zoom like a banshee, very high end in digital cameras. On another note; while I was hanging a flyer at the local FBO a man who flies a BE-200 asked me if I would be interested in sitting right seat for about 25 hours a month flying some construction hot shots around. I'm starting to get pretty excited about actually using my commercial certificate, cant wait for the photo deals to come in!!!

What is considered normal operations in aerial photos? I was considering taking about 25 pics or so of a piece of land, burning them onto a cd and letting the consumer deal with the processing, or is there a bunch of money in getting prints developed as well? Any ideas as to how I should do business would be great.
 
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