How to Become a Drone Photographer?

Reading Time - 11 minutes
drone photography

Piloting a drone for photography offers unique insight and a breathtaking opportunity to capture HD images and videos from unattainable heights. Although the startup costs of acquiring this technology can be expensive, there is consistent demand for services offered by drone pilots.

Investing in the knowledge needed to use and maintain these machines properly provides greater job satisfaction and creative opportunities, but working with drones can be exhilarating, especially when one has the chance to see in real-time the aerial footage that has been shot from their control stick.

This shift from traditional photography in current times creates an exciting, engaging experience that brings delight to the professional pilot and client alike.

What is Drone Photography?

Drone photography is a revolutionary technology, allowing photographers and videographers to capture stunning images from perspectives that would often not be possible for humans.

With the ability to fly, their small sizes, and the ability to withstand uninhabitable environments, drone photography can open up genuinely innovative takes on the same scenes and subjects. With first-person views enabled by drones, viewers get an up close and personal look at otherwise distant aerial views – making for a truly captivating experience.

The Benefits of Drone Photography

One of the primary benefits of drone photography is that it enables you to capture images from angles and perspectives that would typically be inaccessible or difficult for human photographers and videographers. Drones can fly high and further, making them ideal for capturing aerial shots.

Furthermore, drones are small enough to fit into tight spaces such as narrow alleys or caves yet powerful enough to carry high-quality cameras with various lenses. In addition, drones can travel in extreme environments such as rainstorms or snowstorms without fear. 

Another benefit of drone photography is that it often allows you to capture first-person views (FPV), which would generally be impossible for human photographers and videographers. FPV means you can see your drone’s sights while in flight, allowing you to take stunning photos and videos from unique perspectives.

Furthermore, many drones now come equipped with advanced features such as obstacle avoidance systems, ensuring that your drone does not crash into objects in flight or get stuck in tight places. This makes flying much safer and helps ensure that your footage comes out crisp and clear every time. 

Finally, drones offer a more cost-effective option than traditional aerial photography platforms such as helicopters or airplanes. Drones require less setup time than these other platforms, meaning you can save money on crew costs, fuel costs, insurance costs, etc., making them a more affordable solution for capturing aerial footage on a budget.

How Much Do Drone Photographers Earn?

drone photographer

Drone photographers are a valuable segment of the photography industry, earning an average of $43,930 annually. For those who have honed their craft and can showcase high-quality work samples, their earnings potential can reach beyond $81,500 annually.

Those who are highly motivated and bring a personal portfolio that is exemplary in quality can even aim to cross the coveted six figures mark in annual earnings.

If you are passionate about aerial photography and eager to invest your time and resources into it, a career as a drone photographer could be pretty rewarding financially and creatively.

How Do Drone Photographers Price Their Service?

Drone photography is an increasingly popular option for clients looking to capture beautiful aerial imagery with minimal effort.

The average rate for a single drone photography shoot typically starts at $250 and can go up to $350, depending on the project’s complexity. This fee covers roughly one hour of shooting on location and post-production work, such as editing images or digital video.

Of course, some client projects may require additional services like soundtracks or narrations, which can be arranged accordingly. If you’re thinking of capturing stunning aerial imagery with a drone camera but want to avoid investing in equipment, drone photography could be your perfect solution.

Several key factors can affect how much drone photographers make on any job or project. Let’s look at some of these factors and how they impact earnings. 

Quality of Work Samples

One major factor employers consider when hiring a professional drone photographer is the quality of their work samples. Those with impressive portfolios will naturally be able to command higher rates than those without. Drone photographers need to showcase their best work so potential clients can get an idea of what kind of results they can expect. 


Another critical factor that affects how much drone photographers make is motivation. Experienced photographers willing to put in extra time and effort will find themselves with more opportunities than their unmotivated counterparts.

Motivated individuals are more successful since they are driven and committed to doing a good job whenever they accept an assignment or project. 

Years of Experience

Finally, years of experience matters when it comes to earning potential. Those with extensive experience in the field will have the edge over newbies regarding earning potential and job opportunities.

Employers usually prefer experienced personnel over newbies because they have already developed specific skillsets and know-how needed for any given task or project.

What Are the Best Industries for Drone Photography?

Drones are revolutionizing companies’ operations from real estate to agriculture to infrastructure. Let’s look at how drones are used across different industries. 

Architecture & Real Estate Industries

With real estate drone photography, drones can take photos and videos of properties from all angles, allowing potential buyers or renters to understand better what they’re looking at before making a decision. This makes it easier for a real estate agent or an architect to show off a property professionally without physically visiting each location. 

Construction & Infrastructure Industries

In addition to taking photos and videos, drones can also be used by utility companies to inspect power lines and other infrastructure. This allows them to quickly and efficiently identify potential issues before they become major problems.

It also helps reduce costs associated with manual inspections while increasing safety, as workers don’t have to put themselves in potentially dangerous situations when inspecting large structures. 

Agricultural Industry

The agricultural industry is also beginning to use aerial drone photography, primarily surveying crops, identifying pests and diseases, applying pesticides/herbicides, monitoring livestock health, etc.

Drones offer farmers an efficient way of keeping track of their land and animals without physically visiting every part of their property. This allows farmers to increase the efficiency of their operations while reducing labor costs associated with manual inspections.

Mapping Applications

Mapping with drones offers many advantages over traditional mapping methods because they can cover large areas quickly and efficiently while collecting accurate data that can be used for various applications such as urban planning or environmental monitoring.

This reduces the time spent manually gathering data from sites that may be difficult or even impossible for people to access safely while providing more accurate results than would otherwise be possible with traditional mapping methods alone.

Environmental Monitoring & More

Environmental monitoring is another important application for drones as they can track wildlife and map vegetation growth, among other things, without putting people into potentially dangerous situations to collect data manually.

Additionally, drones are increasingly being used in search-and-rescue operations due to their ability to cover large areas quickly while providing detailed images that can help locate missing persons faster than ever before.

As you can see, there are multiple ways that drones are revolutionizing different industries worldwide – proving that technology truly is transforming our world!

What Are the Best Drones for Photography?


Drones are a fantastic tool for photographers, giving a unique perspective that’s impossible to capture on the ground. But with so many models on the market, what is the best drone for photography? Let’s take a look at some of the best drones for photography:

DJI Mini 3 Pro

The DJI Mini 3 Pro is the ultimate compact drone, offering exceptional image quality and intelligent features. Its small size (weighing only 249 grams) makes it an excellent option for those who are just getting into drone photography or refrain from registering larger drones with authorities.

It has amazing battery life compared to its competitors and high-end camera systems that can capture stunning images and footage. With the Mini 3 Pro, you won’t compromise on any feature despite its petite shape – proving that good things come in small packages!

DJI Air 2S

The DJI Air 2S has taken the Mavic Air series to another level. This drone offers a powerful combination of the best features from the Mavic Pro and Spark, including a state-of-the-art camera with a 1″ sensor for beautiful 20-megapixel photos and 5.4K video. It also has smart safety features such as collision avoidance sensors on the front and back.

When considering the Air 2S or Mini 3 Pro, it can be difficult to decide which one is right for you since they both have advantages depending on your priorities. Either way, you’ll surely get a high-quality drone that fits your needs.

BetaFPV Cetus Pro Kit

BetaFPV is an excellent way for beginners to experience first-person drone flight without breaking the bank. It is equipped with everything necessary for FPV, such as goggles, batteries, and a controller.

The drone itself is impressively light yet tough enough to handle most crashes. Even if you flip it upside down, the innovative Turtle Mode will right it remotely so you can keep flying.

It offers three-speed settings and three flight modes, with Normal being the easiest to fly. While battery life lasts only 4-5 minutes per charge, backup cells come in handy when exploring new territory.

How to Become a Drone Photographer?

When it comes to aerial photography, drones are the tools of the trade. But did you know that you need a drone license from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to become a commercial drone pilot?

Aspiring drone pilots should understand that while licensing is required, it is simple and easier to obtain than one might think. Let’s take a closer look at what’s involved with ensuring your drone pilot career starts on the right foot by obtaining an FAA license.

The Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for an FAA license, applicants must meet specific criteria. These include being at least 16 years old, being able to read, speak, write, and understand English at a proficient level, and passing the initial aeronautical knowledge exam. Those who do not meet these requirements will not be considered for licensure by the FAA. 

The Licensing Process

Once all eligibility requirements have been met, becoming licensed can begin.

First, prospective pilots must complete either an online or in-person course the FAA offers to prepare for their written test.

After completing this course and passing their test with flying colors, they can submit their application along with all pertinent paperwork, such as proof of identity and citizenship/residency status.

Once approved by the FAA, they will receive their official license, which allows them to fly drones commercially within U.S. airspace legally! 

Though simple, this process does require patience, as applications can take some time to review and approve. The requirements and regulations can be checked on the FAA’s website if further information is needed before applying for a license. 

Drones Are Not Toys

Lastly—and most importantly—aspiring drone pilots or aerial photographers need to realize that drones are not toys but sophisticated machinery that require proper training to master piloting safely!

Most people crash their drones at least once while learning to control them—so expect (and budget for) some damage along the way! Just remember that practice makes perfect when it comes to mastering any skill set! 

Becoming an FAA-licensed drone pilot requires meeting several criteria and submitting paperwork such as proof of identity and residency status for applications to be approved by the FAA. Though it may seem daunting initially, due diligence is vital when preparing your application materials in advance so you can catch everything necessary along the way!

Lastly, remember that while drones are fun tools, they are still sophisticated machines requiring ample training before being operated safely—so budget accordingly just in case things don’t go according to plan during your learning period. Good luck!

About Norman Anthony Balberan

I am a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy graduate turned full-time web developer and designer. Although my professional background is in pharmacy and tech, I have a passion for writing and am excited to share my insights and thoughts through my blog. I write about various topics that I am knowledgeable and passionate about, and I hope to engage and connect with my readers through my writing.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.