How to Create Stunning Aerial Real Estate Photography

Image credit: Marc Weisberg / Aerial photography is a valuable tool in any photographer's arsenal. It allows you to effectively showcase properties and capture stunning images from unique perspectives. In this article, expert architectural...

Aerial photography of a region in Southern California with a view of residential and commercial areas. Rolling hills can be seen in the background.

Image credit: Marc Weisberg /

Aerial photography is a valuable tool in any photographer's arsenal. It allows you to effectively showcase properties and capture stunning images from unique perspectives. In this article, expert architectural and luxury real estate photographer Marc Weisberg shares his insights on how to master the art of aerial real estate photography. Whether you're using a helicopter or a drone, these tips will help you create captivating images that will leave a lasting impression on your clients.

Shooting Real Estate Aerial Photography from a Helicopter

One of the most exciting aspects of aerial photography is capturing images from a helicopter. While it may seem intimidating at first, the results are truly rewarding. Weisberg explains that shooting from a helicopter is essential when you need to showcase not only the property but also the surrounding neighborhood and infrastructure. Unlike drones, helicopters allow you to cover a larger area and fly at higher altitudes for a bird's-eye view.

To capture breathtaking images from a helicopter, Weisberg advises using high shutter speeds to compensate for vibrations and wind shear. Using Sony cameras and a range of lenses, he recommends shooting in manual mode and adjusting ISO and shutter speed accordingly. Pre-planning the flight path and identifying key landmarks through Google Maps and on-site visits are essential for a successful shoot.

Best Practices for Aerial Real Estate Photography

When planning aerial photography, there are several factors to consider. Weisberg suggests determining the client's desired views and the extent of the surrounding area they want to showcase. Additionally, identifying nearby points of interest, such as malls, universities, or industrial areas, can add value to the property and should be documented. Monitoring the weather conditions and understanding unique weather patterns in the area are also crucial for a successful shoot.

Collaborating with the helicopter pilot is essential. Their knowledge and experience can help you map out your photography coordinates and ensure you capture the desired shots. Throughout the flight, maintaining clear communication with the pilot is key.

Shooting Real Estate Photography with a Drone

While helicopters offer unique advantages, drones are a cost-effective alternative for aerial real estate photography. Weisberg seeks advice from fellow photographer and drone specialist Chris Miller to provide insights on drone photography. Miller emphasizes the importance of shooting at appropriate heights to capture the best angles of the structure. By avoiding excessive elevation, you can highlight the property's structure without the need for additional equipment or permissions.

When it comes to equipment, Miller recommends the DJI Mavic Pro3 or the Autel Evo II Pro for their image quality and compact size. It's crucial to be aware of airspace restrictions and obtain necessary authorizations before flying a drone.

Enhancing Aerial Photos in Post-Production

Once you've captured your aerial images, Weisberg emphasizes the importance of safeguarding your gear and digital media cards. Backing up your images immediately and using multiple storage options can prevent any loss or damage. Weisberg follows a meticulous workflow that involves organizing, renaming, and editing images in Lightroom and Photoshop. He highlights the capabilities of Lightroom, which allows for precise adjustments, correction of colors and densities, and outputting high-quality images for different platforms.

Creating a "Wow" Factor with Real Estate Aerial Photography

Weisberg concludes by encouraging photographers to embrace every project as a challenge. The goal is to create beautiful images that evoke a "wow" factor and leave a lasting impression on clients. He recommends seeking mentorship as a way to accelerate your career and improve your craft.

By following these expert tips and utilizing the right equipment and techniques, you can master the art of aerial real estate photography and create stunning images that will amaze your clients. So, get ready to take to the skies and capture the beauty of properties from unique perspectives!