Frequently asked questions: Aerial Photography

17 January 2022 – 3 Minute Read

What is aerial photography?

Aerial photography is the technique of photographing something from above, usually from a height. This is often achieved using an aircraft or drone but there are many options for capturing aerial photography. Aerial photography can photograph areas, geographical features, buildings, events and more. With the rise in popularity of drone cameras, aerial photography has become even more popular and commonplace. It is still images captured from above but aerial videography is also very common.

Why is aerial photography important?

Aerial photography is important because it can be used to capture large areas from a unique perspective. It is commonly used in archaeological prospect because it can photograph specific locations, and be used as a tool for monitoring and recording changes over time. Aerial photography captures the image of areas from a different perspective and can help us to see and understand these places much better than we otherwise would be able. It can be used for maps, planning and more.

How much does aerial photography cost?

Aerial photography using a drone can cost upward of £320 for a half day, or £525 for a full day. This price can vary depending on your location and requirements. Aspects, such as the type of camera being used and how many photographs you require, will all impact the final cost. Aerial photography using an airplane or helicopter will be significantly more expensive. Drone photography is the most cost-effective option for aerial photography.

Is aerial photography legal?

Aerial photography is subject to certain laws and requirements which must be followed, due to the method of gaining height in the air, such as a drone or a helicopter. If you are capturing aerial photography for commercial use, it is a legal requirement that you hire a fully insured, CAA approved, PFCO holder for the job. You also need to ensure you have permission from any individuals or properties that will be captured by the photographer to use their images for commercial use. Taking aerial photos as a hobby is legal but, again, you must have permission of any people or owners of the properties in the photos.

What is aerial photography used for?

Aerial photography is used for many different applications, including land use planning, cartography, movie production, commercial advertising, conveyancing, archaeology and more. Many businesses use aerial photography to capture their premises from above and to showcase their properties. Scientists often use aerial photography to monitor and record changing landscapes and geological areas.

What are the laws about aerial photography?

There are many laws about aerial photography which you need to be aware of before deciding to take photos. Firstly, data protection and privacy are crucial. While it is legal to take someone’s picture in a public place, you need their permission to publish or use an aerial photo in any way. As well as privacy laws, there are also laws surrounding the use of drones for aerial photography. You must keep drones at least 50 metres away from people, buildings, vehicles and structures, and follow all drone requirements at all times.

Where to find an aerial photographer?

You can find an aerial photographer on where you can search for aerial photographers local to you, find their business information, contact details and see examples of their work.