A recap of the first year with my FAA license
A year ago, after a few months of studying, I passed my FAA test to become a commercial aerial photographer. My first year included several interesting projects, has opened more doors than I expected, and also posed a few challenges.
When I first started out I really hadn't thought much beyond residential real estate shoots. While these have been predominant, I have also been lucky to shoot video and photos for TV, engagement photos, wedding photos, commercial real estate, tourism, and local economic development.
One very interesting project in 2017 was for CBRE Norfolk. It involved aerial video flying over an undeveloped industrial park property in Suffolk. The goal was to create a video of the available land that could be shown to prospective businesses rather than having to fly them over it in a helicopter.
Logistically, this was the most complicated of my flights to date. Because the land covers millions of square feet, and because my flight altitude is limited to 400 feet, I had to very carefully plan take-off points so that I could obtain the necessary shot angles, while still keeping the drone in visual range.
Once the flights had been completed, I spent several days editing the videos: overlaying pop-up markers and titles to show nearby reference points, infrastructure, transportation and approach roads.
The goal was to create a video that could be shown to prospective businesses
rather than flying them over the land in a helicopter.
I also added 3D boundary lines and descriptions to show where final buildings could be, their square footage, and how much land they would take up.
The final result was very rewarding.
Birthday gift from a wife to her husband
Another fun and interesting project was to make a video promotion for an under-construction Chesapeake waterfront development on the Elizabeth River in Great Bridge.
The development was ongoing but the video would not have an expiration date, so with around 50 percent built at the time, getting angles that did not include construction equipment was a bit of a challenge. I also went back twice to redo some shots that I wasn't happy with in post production.
The video was placed online and shown to potential buyers. Since that project, many of the properties have been sold.
A smaller, but fun, project was for a birthday gift.
A Virginia Beach couple had spent years creating their dream home, and the wife wanted to present her husband with a framed aerial shot of the final property. There was a little cosmetic editing to replace some newly planted grass, but the end result was beautiful.
When you want to make an impression using aerial photography and video, imagination is the only limitation. Call me today to discuss how to bring a new perspective to potential buyers through your listings.
Terry Young is an FAA licensed drone pilot and professional photographer and videographer. His 30 plus years of experience in pre- and post-production of both still photography and video, coupled with the latest equipment, enable him to capture amazing, high quality images.
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