So, you’ve got yourself a camera and a dream, you want to soar like a bird while taking photographs. But to be able to advance you need to be well informed on the basics, that’s where this, our handy little guide comes in. So read on for the low-down on how to get started as an aerial photographer!

What is an aerial photographer?

An Aerial photographer is, yep, you guessed it – Someone who gets up someplace high and takes photographs! In a more technical sense, they generally take landscape or cityscape photos from an elevated, birds-eye position, capturing a wide perspective from an angle that is uncommon for most people.

The subject in a shot will commonly be lower than the camera, and generally aerial photography is defined as ‘in flight’ as opposed to just climbing to the top of a vantage point that is connected to the ground. So, with that being said, this would generally be a good time for you to reconsider things if you have a fear of heights!

What sort of salary can I expect as an aerial photographer?

If you are just starting out as a photographer in general then you probably shouldn’t expect much in the way of a meaningful salary at this point. Generally, you’ll need to be able to fund your own way of getting up into the sky via aircraft, unless you luckily have connections. But this still won’t mean you’ll have any money coming in from your photographs. Most likely, you will have to offer your services to companies for free in order to build up a portfolio.

The demand for aerial photographers is not overwhelming, but sometimes they are required, whether it be for a real estate firm, travel company or otherwise, so eventually you may get lucky! The key, like with any passion you may follow, is practice and perseverance. The common ground for all photographers is books and prints, as well as teaching, and all of this can help supplement your income.

How do I become an aerial photographer?

It can be a complicated process, you may need to take one or several courses, and accompany your camera knowledge with some awareness about the limitations of aviation and photography. Unless you have the personal connections readily accessible you may need to offer your services to an already established aerial photographer for free, acting as their assistant.

If you manage to find someone willing to bring you on board, it looks great on your CV, and you’ll attain first-hand knowledge, which is always the best way!

What qualifications do I need?

Typically, you don’t ‘need’ a qualification to become an aerial photographer. However, a bachelor’s or Master’s degree in the field would greatly raise your estimation in the eyes of potential employers. One way to avoid all the aforementioned complicated routes would be to purchase a drone. Drones have allowed aerial photography to become easily accessible to the masses, and countless bloggers have used them to their advantage.

Since drones are still a relatively new gadget you should be sure to check the laws governing their use in public spaces. Collisions with airplanes or other aircraft could spell trouble, and you’ll want to be sure you’re not invading anyone’s privacy while using your new gadget.

Who are the best known aerial photographers?

Arguably one of the best (if not the best) aerial photographers of our time is Yann Arthus-Bertrand. His work has surely inspired others to follow the same path and his photographs make for truly breathtaking pieces of art. Other well known aerial photographers include Alex MacLean, Vincent Laforet and Marilyn Bridges, all of whom boast a fantastic range of birds-eye view images to mesmerise and impress. If successful, you’ll build up a life’s work that you can be proud of and share with generations to come, much like these amazing people.

Feeling inspired to become an aerial photographer now? Let us know how it goes!