Agricultural & Outback Drone (U.A.V.) Photography
Aerial photography can be spectacular, whether taken with a drone camera or from a helicopter.
But quality isn't cheap to create - so to avoid wasting time and money, it's vital to ensure you engage a professional photographer with the experience to reliably and efficiently deliver what you need.
Choose someone who is a photographer first and foremost and technician second, not the other way round. There are an increasing number of drone photography services run by people who are just out to make a quick buck (here today, gone tomorrow). Many have excellent technical skills - but little photography or agricultural experience. Yet charging the same rate as experienced photographers.
How do you choose a good professional photographer?
- Scrutinise a range of previous work & think about the professionalism of their website.
- Check their track record - how experienced & knowledgeable are they? Do they know much about rural marketing? Do they really care about their specific field of expertise, or is it only about short-term$?
- Explain what you're after and listen carefully to the response. A good professional agricultural photographer will listen to exactly what you want and offer advice and options tailored specifically to suit you. A good photographer will also tell you if an idea is unlikely to get the results you need. This may not be what you'd like to hear but it saves you time and money otherwise wasted.
- If the photographer has professional indemnity & liability insurance.
- Why are they are a photographer (if it's not obvious from their website)?
I launched into aerial photography nearly 30 years ago, so have long-term experience:
The best aerial mustering pilots all obtained solid on-ground experience before getting airborne.
The same applies to aerial photography - excellence can only be achieved by obtaining thorough experience on the ground first.
I have many years of experience:
- Capturing cattle station action and other rural work from the air. A thorough understanding of the people, work and livestock behaviour is essential, to anticipate the best photos and videos. Plus good rapport with others involved in agriculture. And if a photographer can't discern between good plants and weeds, well bred livestock from culls, and safe from risky working practices, they can't be relied upon to capture best-practice photos. Results might look pretty, but be sending a deleterious message.
- Obtaining the best aerial photography results despite the particularly strong light and bare landscapes typical of outback Australia. It's very, very easy to stuff up aerial photography. Experience plus a scrupulous eye for detail is essential, as from the air, every flaw is on show.
I can also provide objective advice on whether photos from a helicopter or a drone will deliver the results you need. In order to obtain fantastic results for you, we have a confidential discussion regarding exactly what you want the photographs to do for you. Every project is different and it's essential to acquire independent advice on whether helicopters or drones will deliver the best aerial photography for you. Most helicopter pilots will tell you choppers are still the best option for aerial photography and unsurprisingly, drone operators will tell you drones are now the best. Too often self-interest can get in the way of the client's interests. The truth is that both options have pros and cons - and I can explain them so you are able to make an informed decision.
Visit the rural Advertising and Editorial Images page for general information on obtaining rural marketing photos via commission, or my archive.
Several examples of my aerial photographs are included in the website header above and many of the 800+ photos included in my books were taken from planes and helicopters. More examples of drone (U.A.V./RPA) photos and videos are available for prospective customers.
(Please note - most other photographs included in the website text were taken on mobile phones, for illustrative purposes only. Images taken with professional camera equipment are used in books and available for marketing & editorial purposes. Few are put online, because they are so often illegally used.)
Contact me if you have a project you would like to discuss and books can be purchased below:
Member of the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP)