Aerial photography vs other types of photography

Choosing the right aerial photographer is similar to selecting the right commercial, product, or headshot photographer.  Having said that, and as I mentioned in an earlier post, aerial photography is a completely different beast than traditional photography.  Here’s why – Consider how good (or poor) a photographer’s skills are, then ask that person to change lenses, adjust the focal length, hold the camera steady, focus, add or remove filters and take photos all while they simultaneously going for a brisk morning jog.  That is a pretty close analogy to aerial photography.  Knowing that photographs were shot through a window while flying at 180 mph in turbulent conditions, and encountering numerous and changing lighting complexities; razor-sharp aerial photos suddenly gain a different level of appreciation.

The boat analogy

Picture a boat in the ocean… obviously the effects of six foot swells are much more apparent (and nauseating) when one is seated in a small rowboat than on a luxury liner.  Well, the same dynamics apply to aerial photography.  On a luxury liner (or a Boeing 747), one can leave their seat and is more or less free to roam about the cabin.  In the rowboat (or a single-engine aircraft / helicopter), pray that your seat is comfortable as you will be spending a lot of time confined to it and jostled back and forth by the smallest of waves.  Also pray that your aerial photographer has a history shooting from small aircraft.

6 tips for choosing the right aerial photographer

OK, so now we can imagine the forces that an aerial photographer is subjected to (especially when flying in a Cessna).  How can we distill their ability to consistently create good photos so that we know we are getting our money’s worth?  Well, consider the following list of suggestions on how to choose the right aerial photographer.

1. Review their portfolio.  Do they have a background as an architectural photographer?

2. Review testimonials on their website (assuming they have a website and testimonials).

3. Browse their social media (LinkedIn, Google +, Facebook, etc) to see what others are saying about their aerial photography.

4. Ask them a bit about the type of aircraft they have flown in, relationship with pilots, special gear and experience taking aerial photos.

5. Contact former clients to aid in your vetting process.

6. Review their portfolio again.

Each of the above is an accurate indicator of product quality and work ethic, however anyone can have a few friends post favorable testimonials to their website or on a service listing or a review site.  In a similar (and somewhat devious) vein, an unscrupulous photographer can borrow images from another photographer (with or without their permission).  However as soon as one begins to combine four or five of the above criteria, it becomes a heck of an undertaking to pretend to be a professional aerial photographer (unless you are George Costanza).

Contact Forrest now for an immediate and free consult:  828-756-0888

Greenville Aerial Photographer Forrest Briggs

Contact Forrest now for an immediate and free consult:  828-756-0888