Drone Photographer Career Overview

• 23 June 2021

Overview of a career as a aerial/drone photographer

With advancements in technology, a new form of professional photography has emerged – aerial or drone photography. The ability to take images with the use of a drone has changed the industry, which previously required expensive, noisy helicopters to capture images from above. At a fraction of the cost, drones allow you to photograph beautiful, unique images of landscapes from above.

As with most genres of photography, it takes a lot more to become successful than simply being able to take great photos. Aerial/drone photography is a more complicated business, with strict requirements regarding who, where and when you can take your photographs. Aerial/drone photography can also involve a lot of travel and requires photo editing skills. Specific photography gear is needed in this field. The right camera equipment can make or break an aerial photograph, so it is essential to consider this before rushing into the career itself.

Breaking into the aerial/drone photography business may seem daunting with the strict rules and regulations in place, but once you are in, it can be the career of a lifetime. To help give your career the boost it needs, there are plenty of resources available, so spend some time doing your research.

Requirements for aerial/drone photographers

Once you understand the basics of what aerial/drone photography involves, it is important to do your research. Investigate your local legal requirements for starting an aerial photography business, including licensing and certification. With aerial photography in particular, there are many places that have strict rules regarding where you can or cannot fly and the types of images that you are permitted to capture. This is particularly important if you are near any private property, federal buildings, schools, or airports. Knowing where you can operate your drone will help you avoid hefty fines.

Growing your career as an aerial/drone photographer

The aerial/drone photography business is a relatively new field. With the massive price drops in drones, you are going to come across a lot of competition. To make yourself stand out from the crowd, it may be beneficial to continue growing your talents and produce work in a range of different styles to showcase your abilities. Another great way to grow as an artist is to join networking communities and associations. Industry-specific communities offer insight into trade secrets, as well as provide opportunities to grow a business. 

Search through the resources below to begin your journey into your dream job.

Resources to help in starting or expanding your aerial/drone photography career: