By Nsim Team
If you want to become an aerial photographer, you first need to determine if this career path is a good fit for your skills, interests and personality traits. If the following description sounds like you, then you’re probably well suited for a career as an aerial photographer:
• You have a passion and eye for photography
• You are comfortable in airplanes and other aircraft
• You have knowledge of the limitations associated with taking photos from an airplane
• You are able to use digital editing software
• You have the patience to gain the necessary experience by working as an established aerial photographer’s assistant
• You have good manual dexterity and good vision
Aerial photographers work in aircraft with specialized photographic equipment, and are responsible for taking precision high and low altitude GPS guided aerial photographs of buildings, geographic features and tracts of land.
They use various types of photographic and sensory equipment to produce black and white, infra-red, colour and three-dimensional aerial photographs and images for a variety of purposes and applications, including:
• Scientific research
• Town planning
• Rural development
• Natural resource monitoring
• Real estate sales and marketing
• Corporate sales and marketing
• Military purposes
• Producing artistic photographs
You don’t typically need formal academic credentials to become an aerial photographer. You do however need a good understanding of basic and advanced photography techniques, an understanding that is crucial for a career in photography, aerial or otherwise.
Pursuing a diploma or degree in photography is a great way to gain this knowledge base and skill set. You may also be able to hone your aerial photography skills by completing short-term training such as seminars and workshops that focus on specific facets of aerial photography.
In order to become a competent aerial photographer, you need to posses a certain set of skills. These skills will allow you to effectively perform your job duties, and they are frequently listed on ‘aerial photographer’ job postings.
• Knowledge of the limitations associated with taking photographs from a moving aircraft
• Good eyesight and colour vision
• The ability to visualize the finished product before its completion
• Manual dexterity
• A good sense of photographic timing
• Able to determine what kinds of cameras and equipment is needed to capture clear photographs from mid-air
• Able to use digital photograph editing software
• Entrepreneurial skills (budgeting, marketing, etc.), needed to become successful as a self-employed photographer
Aerial photographers with experience, a good eye and technical understanding of the job are usually employed on a part-time, full-time and contractual basis by many different types of organizations, including:
• Residential, commercial and industrial real estate brokerages
• Real estate development companies
• Federal, state/provincial and municipal government departments
• Legal firms
• Computer software firms (design, surveying and mapping software)
• Photography studios
• Aerial photography and survey companies
• Oil, gas and mining companies
• Police forces and the military
• Architectural and construction companies
• Television stations, newspapers, magazines
• Self-employed, as a freelancer or artist
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