The Sky’s the Limit: Tips for taking Aerial Photographs from a Helicopter


As a photographer, chances are you are always looking for ways to improve your shots. Photographers always try out several things to enhance their pictures. These include taking photos with different lenses, experimenting with lighting, and taking pictures from different angles. One sure tip to make your pictures pop is the aerial angle. For aerial photography, you can choose to use drones or take pictures from a helicopter. If you are keen on exploring and experimenting with photography, here are some tips to guide you on taking aerial photographs from a helicopter.


Have a Concept in Mind?

First, you need to have an idea of the pictures you want to take in mind. It could be an idea you saw on platforms like Pinterest, and you want to recreate. Make sure that you have a clear picture of the concept before going for the shoot. This tip will help determine the location for your shoot. What you have in mind also defines the camera gears you bring along and the helicopter you board. Having a concept in mind is essential because it helps you achieve your goals and makes the job easier.


Book a Private Flight

The next thing you want to do after developing a concept is to book a private flight. You need to book a flight that suits your needs if you’re going to get the best pictures. Go through a range of airlines that provide aerial photography services in your region and choose the ones suited to your needs. For instance, there are private helicopters Brisbane flights, and tour companies that provide aerial photography services. If you are in Brisbane, then you are in luck. 


Take Multiple Cameras

Better safe than sorry. It is advisable to take multiple cameras aboard the flight. With two or more cameras, you get a variety of options from which you can choose. It is not advisable to keep changing lenses mid-air. This is why you need to take multiple cameras to have a variety of focal lengths. Also, adjust the settings of your camera beforehand for optimal performance. 


Ensure there is Adequate Lighting

There is a reason the word ‘light’ comes first in the famous phrase ‘light, camera, action.’ This is because, in photography, lighting is everything. With aerial photography, you would be stuck with using natural light. More reasons why you need to ensure that the lighting is good. You want to take your pictures in the morning or late afternoon when the lighting is perfect for photography. Also, ensure that your chartered helicopter company provides services at these times. 


Shoot with a High Shutter Speed

Due to the speed of the helicopter, you want your shot to be taken in record time. Hence, it would be best if you shot with a high shutter speed. Along with adjusting your shutter speed, you will need to change your ISO to get good pictures.


Don’t stop Taking Pictures

Once you are up in the air with your camera propped up, you want to take as many shots as possible. Then, you can have a variety of pictures from which you can choose. Also, it helps you maximize the money spent on renting the copter. Due to natural light’s inconsistency, taking several shots enables you to take advantage of the daylight before it goes dim. There goes another reason why you need a fast shutter speed, as mentioned above.


Dress for the Weather 

The higher the altitude, the colder it gets. It is sure to be breezy being up in the air, at the mouth of the helicopter, and with the doors open. This is why you need to dress in warm clothes such as a beanie, a shawl, and a cardigan. You do not want to be hindered by the cold.


Have Backup Equipment/Accessories

Having backup equipment/accessories is essential because you never know what might happen. Go with backup equipment such as cameras. You also need backup accessories such as an extra memory card and a battery. With an increase in shutter speed and picture intake, you will need a spare battery and memory card. An extra battery will come in handy in case your camera dies. An additional memory card will come in handy in case your camera’s memory becomes full.


Take Pictures with the Helicopter Doors Off

To get the best shots from a helicopter, take your pictures with the doors off and not through the windows. Shooting with the doors off gives you a clearer picture, unlike shooting through the windows. The windows may be tinted or have dirt. Keep in mind that not all flight companies would allow you to shoot with the doors off. It would be best if you looked for companies that would enable you to do so when searching for a helicopter to charter.


Take a Good Lens

You want to take a lens most suited to the task along with you. When choosing the lens, you should keep in mind the height from which you would be shooting. It would help if you also kept in mind that the helicopter would be in motion. To avoid blurry pictures, you should take telephoto lenses along with you.



For fun and successful aerial photography, you need to keep several things in mind. You need first to prepare yourself mentally. You do this by identifying your goals for the shoot. It would be best if you also prepared yourself physically by dressing appropriately. Lastly, it would help if you prepared yourself gadget-wise. You do this by ensuring you take the right gadgets along for the shoot.


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Sagar Mandan

Sagar Mandan is HR and Content Editor at Techssocial. He has written and share many good and informative articles on various websites and niche like technology, web design, graphic design, marketing, business, social media, search engine optimization, etc. He loves to share knowledge and experience with his friends and colleagues.