Everything you need to know about putting together a brief and commissioning me to take aerial photographs.

  • Locations

    For aerial photography in London I generally fly from two aerodromes: Stapleford RM4 1SJ or Elstree WD6 3AR. In other parts of the UK (and the rest of the world) I will find the most economical way to fly over the location you require photographed.

    Air traffic control can easily accommodate helicopters over London but, as it is the most demanding airspace in the world, meticulous planning is essential for a successful outcome. I will discuss your requirements with the pilot well in advance of lift off.

    My job is to make the process as straightforward and efficient as possible and using very experienced pilots contributes towards this.

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  • Aircraft & Equipment

    The most frequent helicopter I work from is the AS355 twin-engine Squirrel which can be flown over densely populated urban areas. The helicopter doors are removed to provide easy access to any angle of view, including views straight down.

    I use specialist camera-stabilising equipment – especially for dawn, dusk, low-light and night aerial photography.

    As well as helicopters, I can shoot from land-based hydraulic platforms up to 60m high – producing a ‘low-flying’ aerial effect.

    I choose the most suitable digital equipment for each situation taking into account the end-use of each image. I can supply photographs taken with the very latest, high-sensitivity digital backs from Phase One (The IQ250 – producing images at 50 megapixels with a 14 f-stop dynamic range).

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  • Weather

    Good visibility is as important as good weather for aerial photography. I consult professional weather forecasters and experienced pilots to make sure my clients have the best chance of receiving the sharpest, most vibrant, aerial photography possible.

    I work only with helicopter services who appreciate the need to be flexible in countries which have rapidly changing weather conditions. If conditions deteriorate just before take off – I do not fly – I wait for another opportunity, even if that means returning to the aerodrome another day.

    I have a particular interest in photographing in dramatic light conditions, low-light and at night.

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  • Your Brief

    I will take your project from initial email or phone call through to delivery of the finished photographs in an efficient, friendly and professional manner. I appreciate that an aerial shoot might not be something that you have organised previously.

    Your brief can be as exacting as you wish: specifying the position, height, angle of view and time of day. Or you can leave these considerations to my experience and best judgement. For an efficient shoot, important creative decisions have to be made before we lift off; when everything is in place I can produce a sequence of shots that will give you as many options as possible.

    The most important information required for an accurate costing is:

    (1) Exact details of the location/s.
    (2) How many shots are required.
    (3) The specific time/s of day for photography.

    Giving a good brief to a photographer saves you money: I can help with this. Being in the air with every detail I need means spending less time trying to get the shots you require.

    Clients are welcome to accompany me on the flight, and can watch the progress of the shoot on a laptop.

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  • Booking

    When you book an aerial shoot I will endeavour to be in the air as soon as the conditions are suitable – even if that means flying on a weekend.

    I appreciate the financial strictures of modern production. The costs I provide you will be capped and not exceeded without your permission.

    It is possible to combine small shoots with jobs for other clients. This can reduce costs but may delay completion.

    Images can usually be delivered next day via Dropbox or your preferred means of transfer.

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