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HomeAircraftHelicopterAerial Photography and Video › Where's the money?
10-20-2004 09:34 PM  13 years agoPost 1


New England

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In reading a bit and visiting a number of
aerial photo websites, I'd like to find out from
you guys 'where's the money (ie. profit)' ?

I mean, I just dont see it.

Lets assume it costs you around $5000
to get into the game for the gasser, mount,
downlink, camera and all the other goodies.

Seems like the avg rate is around $200 per
job where you are on site for 1 hour. I'm
assuming that in reality, between driving to/from,
setup, teardown, post-shoot processing
(Photoshop, printing, CDROM burning) and
closing the sale initially, you spend a total of
maybe 3 hours wall-time for that $200. Subtract the
cost of man #2 (camera operator), $40-50?
insurance, amortization of the hardware,
the crash fund and anything else, it
would seem like you'd be lucky to clear $25/hour
and realistically, how many jobs a week
are you going to do, counting for weather and

Is that about right? I realize this is not the
path to fame and fortune.

10-20-2004 09:51 PM  13 years agoPost 2



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i recently did my first payed job for a cruiser and the cost for the client was 2.500 euros 2690 usd. it is a good profit if u find the clients that are able to pay u...
but most of the people that do this kind of job first they are doing it as a hobby that u can eassilly be addicted and 2ndly for getting payed


10-22-2004 05:30 PM  13 years agoPost 3

rrKey Veteran

St. Petersburg, Florida

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well, you have some valid points....
persoanlly i never pay anyone to be a wife (who love photography) gladly volenteers for the job when i need her....

also, if you do work out the pay per hour it may only be 25 bucks an hour if you include all the time spent driving and working with the photos amd deduct expensise. but 25 bucks an hour is not that bad even for "professional" work. im a degreed mechanical engineer and if i broke it down by the hour id be making about that much.

but most importantly id rather make 15-20 bucks/hour doing remote aerial photography and working for myself than make 30 bucks/ hour sitting in this office all day everyday hopefully ill be at that point soon!


10-22-2004 08:31 PM  13 years agoPost 4


North Carolina

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Aerial photography as it is now is like IPIX in its early days. Just about every agent uses IPIX 360 degree camera views on their high end houses. If one schedules shoots so that you have 3-5 houses on the same day and the route to each house is planned then time is saved. The cutting of the CD and touch ups takes place after 5:00 in non productive hours. Commercial real estate is double ($400.00) and up.
As with most businesses some capital is needed to start. This business has a low initial capital outlay and has barriers to entry (you need to know how to fly a heli) plus there is almost no competition at present. Most businesses are fighting off the competition from day one. One has to also look at other areas where height is mandatory, like Industrial Chimney stack inspections and roofing inspections where companies pay big bucks for mandatory inspections.
Done right the business can be very lucritive.

"Flying on the Edge of a New Frontier"

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