Add True Aerial Photography To Your Revenue Stream

May 30th, 2007

Vince at reports that he’s added a new revenue stream to his real estate photography business- true aerial photography – the kind where you get in a real airplane. Vince says:

“I have started offering aerial photos from an aircraft. Basically I hire a plane for $250AU per hour and I can shoot about 7-8 properties in an hour, I charge the developers and agents $200AU per site. To get the jobs I just ring around all the agents weekly and tell them that I have a photographer going up next week and we have some slots available, do they have any work they want done?  I also tell them that our normal rate is $380AU per shoot for a standalone shoot or if they go onto this standby list I will do it for $250AU, The word is starting to spread now, last Friday I did 20 jobs and was in the air for 3 hours, I spent about 3 hours on processing and uploading, We grossed just over $4500 for that days work”

Not a bad days work! Vince says he does this mainly for large developers that have a shopping center or large development. However, this kind of aerial photography works for upper-end residential homes too. In the last year or two we have sold several homes where the seller had a nice aerial shot of there home. What some one in our area has done is photograph a whole neighborhood of homes on a speculative basis. Then they come around door-to-door with proofs to show home owners, taking orders for various size prints. The shot above is  a photo one of our clients had purchased.

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6 Responses to “Add True Aerial Photography To Your Revenue Stream”

  • I love this idea.

  • Speaking as a pilot, taking pictures from a small airplane is probably the number one cause of motion sickness. If you decide to start this work be sure to have an airsickness bag on hand until you learn your tolerance.

    The cause is due to the fact the photographer (you) have your head turned to the right to take the photos our the passenger side window. Typically the pilot is orbiting the property with the starboard wing lowered … the passenger’s side. When the pilot rotates the plan to wings level with the passenger’s head still turned (or worse, the passenger turns to face forward at the same time) this can move the fluid in the inner against the nerve endings in a way that can generate severe motion sickness. You’re rotating the inner ear in two, possibly three directions.

    I would ask the pilot to do a few straight flybys with the wing lowered so you can get some shots that way. This will minimize the effect on the inner ear in case it’s a problem for you.

    Take it from a pilot who had a passenger throw up in my plane from doing exactly what you’re suggesting. It’s great fun to take pictures from the air…just be safe.


  • Eric,
    Thanks for the “heads up”.

  • Its funny that you should say that! my bussiness partner got very sick when up in the air the other day, Im used to it so dosnt really worry me. Heck, id jump out of the plane (with a parachute!)

  • Interesting post, reminded me of an experience I once had.
    About 20 years ago I was taking flying lessons. My instructor was also an aerial photographer. I went along with him on a shoot. He used a large format camera that he designed and built! When he took the photos, he lowered the right wing, leaned out the window, stuck the camera out and flew the plane with his feet and knees!!
    He was so good at both photography and flying that he could get the shot at the right angle with only a couple passes. He was particular about the angle of the sun and camera position.
    The large format allowed him to blow the pix up to poster size without grain.
    Did I get sick? You bet. But I was never nervous about flying with him in the next seat:-)

  • I think I’ll stick with PAP (Pole Aerial Photogrpahy). I’ve never got sick using it.

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