Friday, February 26th, 2021

Shopper Client Stories

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Outstanding photographer and videographer expands repertoire to include aerial images

by Angela Slevin

It's been a very, very interesting year," Terry Young, owner and CEO of Air Aspects says. When he launched this drone videography and photography business about a year ago, he expected to work with home sellers and resorts, or monitor the progress of construction projects. But there was more - commercial real estate management and business development opportunities.

Suffolk Economic Development called about filming a vast commerce park to show potential investors. CBRE, the largest commercial real estate services and investment firm in the world, hired him for complex flights to engage potential investors in the area's continued transformation.

"The CBRE project was challenging, but a lot of fun. They wanted me to overlay markers on the ground and put graphics on buildings to identify existing and potential structures," Terry remarks.

"Terry did a great job capturing the feel of the property -
we could not have gotten it through traditional photography.
Very impressed!"

- Alyson Strickland, Realtor®

Terry can't hide his enthusiasm for his craft. Get him talking and he shares a wealth of facts about drone technology - they come in a variety of sizes and capabilities to suit almost any need. While showing off the two drone models with him that day, he demonstrated his primary, very sturdy, HD camera drone, and also a smaller, more portable model which he uses to create speculative videos and photos for potential clients when traveling. Such  unstudied creations have generated several clients, including foreign companies.

While simply owning the technology is sufficient for some people to offer aerial services, Terry's biggest advantage is that he has been a photographer and videographer for decades.  "I've been a photographer since the "olden days,' when you had just 24 exposures on a roll of film. I had my own darkroom, and had to develop the rolls, mix chemicals, and print the photos. That took a while," Terry recalls. "One had to be more mindful about taking each photo then.  Now, you can take dozens of digital photos or videos and simply delete what you don't like," he explains.

The entrepreneur continues, "I learned about composition, lighting, lining shots up, dividing up the frame to create an aesthetically pleasing photo - bad photos at that time could become costly mistakes. Even today, on both my still and drone cameras I shoot on the manual setting. I can adjust the aperture and shutter speed to get better results the first time. That type of knowledge isn't very common anymore with so many automatic settings available."

Nicole Howell is just one client who appreciates the beauty Terry's knowledge and experience can elicit. "The quality of the aerial photo is beautiful!" Nicole enthuses. "Terry went over and beyond any expectations I had, and was very prompt and helpful with any question I had. I can't say enough great things about this company!"

Realtor® Alyson Strickland was struck by the way Terry revealed the character of a listing. "Terry did a great job capturing the feel of the property - we could not have gotten it through traditional photography," Alyson says. "Very impressed!"

Growing up, Terry always had a camera with him. He was born on the southern coast of the United Kingdom in Portsmouth. His family moved to northern Britain for several years, but he returned to the beautiful coastal city to attend Portsmouth University, where he studied Art and Design in photography and video.

After college, Terry freelanced for a few years with various companies including NBC. Later, in 1997, he started his own company, Internet Marketing and Design. The Shopper publisher Jean Loxley-Barnard brought him over from England when she needed a new web designer. For almost four years he traveled back and forth between Hampton Roads and England.  In late 2001, Terry relocated permanently to Chesapeake, when he married his wife, Nikki.

"It's definitely been a fun ride," Terry smiles.

Fun is subjective, and Terry often finds it in his work. Getting photos or video while soaring over the treetops can be exhilarating, and it's critical that one works with a professional who is not only certified, but knows how to carry out this work the right way. Drones are not toys. A professional drone can cost thousands of dollars, and even though the ones Terry uses have many safety features, flying them is not as simple as one might think. "I still see YouTube videos and Facebook posts of people crashing their drones only minutes into their first flights," Terry laments.

Big-picture view of an undeveloped commerce park

Big-picture view of an undeveloped commerce park

The Federal Aviation Administration has created guidelines that govern drone flying for financial gain. If the images are used to promote a business in any way, or even monetized on YouTube, they are classed as commercial. If the drone operator doesn't have a commercial license, they and the business can be fined as much as $27,000. If something happened that was classed as criminal, such as flying near a military base or prison, the fine goes up to $200,000.

In addition to having earned his Part 107 commercial drone pilot certifications, Terry makes sure he is prepared for the unexpected. In case of battery issues or GPS failure, he is able to manually land the drone safely, away from people or cars. In the event that his drone does cause any damage, Terry is insured.  Before flying, he checks for no-fly zones, such as schools, hospitals and airports, and studies the pilot weather reports, keeping himself as up to date as possible.

Reading the sky is important, not just for sudden gusts of wind or rain showers, but also for predatory birds. On several occasions, Terry has had to quickly maneuver his drone to avoid the attack of ospreys or hawks who have taken offense at the noisy intruder.

Besides Terry's professional flying and filming skill, he's also talented in post-production. His ability to create captivating videos, or to match photos of interiors with aerial photos to make the transitions seamless, make a montage that is much more enjoyable to the viewer or potential buyer. He can also create 360º virtual tours for properties; the viewer can, through their phone or browser, look fully around rooms as if they were there. Readers may go to to check out some current samples.

If a client can dream of a great new reason to utilize his services, Terry would love to hear it. He is eager to work on a challenge. "Whatever people can imagine is the only limit," he emphasizes.

Air Aspects

133 Kempsville Road
Chesapeake, VA 23320