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Back to Blogs Photo of a drone hovering before an aerial photography job

Three Things To Consider When Choosing Aerial Photography


There is a lot to consider when deciding how you want to capture aerial footage. Flying a manned or unmanned aircraft can be complex and even more so with the added task of photography. Ask Aerial is here to help simplify the decision and process for you. Here are three things to consider when you’re choosing between a drone or a manned aircraft to have our photos taken. 

1. Check Your Location

Location matters a lot when choosing your aerial medium for photos. The main concern with location are “No Fly Zones“. These are areas where altitude and air traffic is restricted. Typically found near hospitals, airports, military bases and other unique circumstances, it’s always best practice to check your location and potential restrictions on the FAA website

Manned aircraft have an easier time flying in these areas but may still require permission. To fly a drone in these areas, you will need a waiver and will still have to abide by a set altitude restriction, usually 400 feet and lower. 

2. Adjust Your Altitude

What type of final product are you looking for? Low altitude, close up views or high altitude market views? Know what your vision is and how to define it so you can choose the right altitude. Low altitude items are best shot with a drone to capture more detail and an intimate experience. 

A fixed wing airplane or helicopter can get much higher to capture broad, wide shots. These shots are great for showing surrounding areas and marketability of your project. If you need an in between option, helicopters can achieve surprisingly low altitudes to make overhead shots and low market views available. The helicopter approach avoids flight restrictions you may encounter when using a drone. 

To learn more, check out our blog about the benefits of aerial photography.

3. Define Your Deliverable

What are you trying to accomplish with these images or videos? Do you need monthly progress of a project, marketing images for a presentation or award submission, or a portrait to hang on your wall? Know what your deliverable is to best select the medium to capture your footage. 

For monthly photos or broad marketing photos, it is more cost effective to hire a photographer from a manned aircraft. If you’re looking for video, low balcony views or twilight shots, your best bet is a drone. 

Here at Aerial Innovations, we offer every combination to get you the deliverable you desire. When it’s time to decide on documentation of your next project, Ask Aerial, we’re here to help!