What Is Aerial Photography?

Aerial photography is a service provided by professional photographers that involves taking high-quality photographs from an aircraft, drone or other flying device. There are many types of platforms for aerial photography, which include fixed-wing aircrafts, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles (drones), blimps, parachutes, vehicle-mounted poles and more.

Photography can be taken manually or triggered remotely, depending on the platform. Photographs can be oblique (taken at an angle), vertical (taken straight down), or a combination of the two. Vertical photos can be valuable for showing streets or open spaces surrounding a particular area. Oblique photos can be used to show more of the details of a building or landmark, as it’s taken from above, but not from directly above, which offers a more three-dimensional view than vertical photos.

Aerial photography is commonly used to capture magazine-quality photos of properties, events, locations or other large-coverage areas to showcase them from a more holistic view. Businesses that offer a premium location, a large venue, multiple outdoor amenities or other similar features as major selling points often utilize aerial photography to help prospective customers visualize the full value of their services or offerings.

Aerial Photography View of Apartment Building During Sunset

Best Uses for Aerial Photography

When it comes to aerial photography, there are many businesses across multiple industries that can benefit from this service. Ideally, if your business has a large property, multiple locations, an outdoor venue or just great background scenery, aerial photography can be a great way to showcase it all for your prospective customers from a bird’s-eye view.

Whether your business has new construction in progress or your university has a newly updated campus, you want to capture your space in high resolution from above for the world to see. Here are some of the most common ways businesses use aerial photography to do this:

Aerial Photography View of Apartment Building During Sunset

What to Look For in a Photography Company

Depending on the photography company, aerial photography can include various deliverables, but many will work with businesses to understand their objectives and capture images that meet and exceed their goals.

At CS3, we believe there are a few key items to look for when choosing a professional photography company for your upcoming aerial photography shoot. From their level of experience to the amount of included flight time, there are several things you’ll want to keep in mind before making a final selection. Here are our recommendations for what to look for:

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Organization

One of the first things to look for in an aerial photography company is internal organization. Your selected photography team should provide you with everything needed to prepare for the upcoming photoshoot, and that’s exactly what CS3 Photography does.

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Nationwide Coverage

Another thing to consider when hiring a nationwide photography agency is their coverage and whether or not your location(s) work within their boundaries. Some companies require flying a photographer out to your property because they are central to one location. With CS3, customers can get coverage across all 50 states and Canada, because we use local photographers in every city and state and never charge extra for travel.

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Experience

Your aerial photography company of choice should have the experience needed for great results. At CS3, our vast network of professional photographers and long-standing partnership with Google have helped us become one of the largest and most experienced nationwide photography companies in North America.

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High-Resolution Images

Whether it’s on a website, in a brochure or any other platform, your business should be on display in high resolution. That means your hired photography company should be able to produce high-quality imagery that highlights your location at its best from high above. Browse through the company’s portfolio of work or recent case studies to see how their results compare to what you’re looking for.

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FAA-Certified Pilots

Certification is important when it comes to aerial photography. When browsing options, you want to ensure the team you select is all certified. At CS3, all our professional photographers are certified drone pilots with the FAA, understanding all operating requirements and safety procedures.

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Significant Flight Time

Another thing to consider is how much flight time is included for your aerial photographers to get the perfect shots. Our aerial photography (or videography) services include up to an hour of on-site flight time. We’ll work to schedule your flight as soon as possible so you can begin marketing your property from a totally new perspective.

Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions about aerial photography services? 

When it comes to investing in a company or service for your professional photography needs, having the answers to your important questions is essential to making the most informed decision possible. Browse these Q&As to learn more.

  • Q: Who are the photographers?

    Every photography business’s team is structured differently and can have different levels of certification and experience. At CS3 Photography, we have a vast network of professional aerial photographers located across the nation, as well as an in-house editing team of experts who are all well-versed in creating quality images that match your brand standards. All of our pilots are certified to fly and adhere to the latest FAA safety protocols.

  • Q: What kind of camera equipment is used?

    All of our drones are equipped with high-quality cameras that shoot in 4K.

  • Q: How long is the aerial photography process?

    Every photography company structures their services in various ways, so the length of time may be dependent on how their business is set up. CS3 Photography’s aerial photography (or videography) services include up to an hour of on-site flight time in order to capture the best angles and viewpoints of your business.

  • Q: How should I prepare my property for aerial photography services?

    Depending on your specific aerial photography needs, you may need to think about the appearance of your entire property from top to bottom. For those wanting photography captured at the highest altitudes, it’s important to clean and repair everything necessary on your roofs (damage or discoloration), walls (chipping paint, graffiti or cracked windows), pavement (cracks or potholes), gardens/landscaping (unkempt grass or messy flowerbeds), etc. Day-of preparations may include removing unwanted signage, parked vehicles, maintenance equipment or any other items that could be a distraction from your property in your photography.

    If your property has any imperfections you’re unable to fix prior to the photo shoot, many companies offer services to edit them out, depending on certain factors. Contact CS3 to learn more about our editing services.

  • Q: How much do aerial photography services cost?

    Some photography companies charge based on distance, flight time or based on other variables. At CS3, it doesn’t matter where your locations are — we offer flat-rate pricing on all photography packages so there’s no negotiating based on area. Learn more about specific pricing based on your needs by requesting a quote today.

  • Q: What type of weather is best for this kind of outdoor photoshoot?

    Weather is always an important factor in the overall quality of the photos. Although it’s not always possible to schedule photoshoots on days with ideal weather conditions, it’s important to know that many photographers prefer partly cloudy weather over highly sunny weather because there isn’t an abundance of sunlight that overexposes the images. If it’s at all possible, try to schedule your photoshoot on a day that could be slightly cloudy. Or, if you’re looking for images with a nice warm glow, try to schedule your photoshoot during “the golden hour” (the first hour before sunset or the first hour after sunrise).

  • Q: What is the turnaround time for aerial photography?

    Many photographers understand businesses may have tight deadlines that require fast turnarounds. At CS3, our team is committed to providing your photos quickly, typically within a week from the shoot. There may be some instances that require additional services, which could extend the delivery slightly.

Aerial Photography View of Hotel on the Beach

How to Get Started

Getting started with your aerial photography project can be easy with CS3. It’s helpful if you have a few shots or angles in mind beforehand, but no worries if you don’t – our pilots will do a great job at capturing the best angles. 

CS3 offers a nationwide network of aerial photographers who are ready to help showcase your business and its surrounding area. Request a quote to get started with our professional aerial photography services today.

Get Started
Aerial Photography View of Hotel on the Beach

Request a Quote Today

Ready to get started with your aerial photography project? Submit this form to tell our team at CS3 more about your goals and we’ll be in touch with you shortly to flesh out the details.
Ready to get started with your aerial photography project? Submit this form to tell our team at CS3 more about your goals and we’ll be in touch with you shortly to flesh out the details.
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