How we do our chopper photography
We wish there was a zipline over Nashville so we could get super clean shots, but since that’s not an option — we use a helicopter. We love when we get to fly around with no doors. It’s such a thrill, and enables us to get shots in very dense areas like Nashville much easier than in a fixed wing plane.
Just the other day we flew around Nashville in an R44 Helicopter, snapping shots of some in-progress construction sites, the cityscape and a few creative pics. In the helicopter, we fly with the door off and shoot out the side. We do not “hang out” as many people think, but have a very secure safety harness.
We use helicopters mostly in dense urban areas and/or around airports as they are much easier to maneuver in busy airspaces. We like them because they can get low and we get our turns done much quicker so the entire flight is done very efficiently. Flying low is a “must” for us in order to get detailed shots of the construction process. If you read the blog post from last week then you know how passionate we are about accurately telling the story of our clients’ progress — that passion extends to the in-air shoots as well.
For the most part, we exclusively fly in Robinson helicopters because of their comparatively simple maintenance and reliability. We normally take the R22 which is a two seater and always fly with a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI); however, we had company — so we took the R44 (a four seater.) For anyone who is interested, the R-44 has a two blade rotor system and a T-bar cyclic and can cruise (at maximum gross weight) up to 109 kts (202 km/h).
Typically, we just go up to shoot for some of our clients; however, on a clear day, we are able to get some amazing pictures of the Nashville skyline. If you’re a local, you’ll totally understand the need for consistent photos of Nashville because this place is growing like a weed!