How to Start a Drone Photography Business: The Easy 13-Step Guide

You’ve always been fascinated by drones, and now you’re a drone pilot who loves taking awesome aerial pictures. You are amazed at your ability to view the entire world from a different perspective.

You have a passion for drones and want to build a drone business so you can finally quit your boring job. If you could turn your passion for drones into a successful business, that would be the greatest achievement of your life.

Is a drone photography business profitable?

Starting a drone photography business is a great idea. Here’s why:

  • There are a lot of different people and businesses that could profit from the aerial photography services that you provide. Ergo, there is a possibility of earning money.

  • Many people wish to earn money from their passion. If you are interested in drones, this is your opportunity.

  • You can get started with relatively little investment.

  • Although it’s helpful, you don’t need any special skills to get started. You only need to know how to operate a drone.

Of course, without some preparation and hard work, you won’t build a successful business. You need to learn about the laws, acquire the right equipment, and know how to take really high-quality photographs.

But don’t worry, I’ll help you launch a profitable drone photography business by walking you through these 13 simple steps.

13 easy steps to get started:

1. Drone laws and license

Do you want to risk losing all of the money you make from your drone photography business by having to pay big fines? It is absolutely vital that you are familiar with the regulations that govern the operation of drones in your country. The majority of countries have formed strict regulations for the operation of drones.

There are some excellent online resources that can help you with this.

In addition, if you want to fly a drone for commercial purposes, you will need to obtain a license in the majority of countries.

More about the commercial FAA drone license here.

2. Practice drone photography

If you have never piloted a drone before and are a complete beginner, it’s best to start with a more affordable model.

Nobody pays for crappy photos and a drone pilot who is not even capable of flying in a straight line. Investing some time in perfecting your flying skills is a necessary step to take before advertising yourself as a professional drone pilot.

You should learn how to operate a drone safely in any environment and situation, because you don’t want to crash the drone into your client’s new car.

There are plenty of affordable drones available on the market today that offer the same features and are operated in the same way as larger and more expensive models.

Find out how to take the most beautiful pictures and practice your flying skills.

Some great beginner models:

  1. DJI Mavic Mini
  2. Ryze Tello
  3. Potensic T25
  4. HolyStone HS110D

3. Learn to professionally edit photos

Photoshop can help you turn your images into real masterpieces.

The vast majority of high-quality stock photos that can be found on the internet have typically been modified using a photo editing program prior to being uploaded. You can improve the image by eliminating elements that detract from its focus, making it brighter, giving it more color, and applying cool filters.

With a few photo editing skills, you can achieve better results for your clients, and they will most likely recommend your services to others.

4. Find a niche (Optional)

You are not required to do so, but it is highly recommended that you give some thought to selecting a niche for your drone photography business. You could, for instance, specialize in wedding photography or real estate photography.

Why should I choose a niche for my drone business?

  • It is easier to advertise your services when your target audience is more narrowly defined. Your marketing messages can be more specifically targeted to the needs of your potential customers if you are clear on who your ideal client is.

  • You can better differentiate your drone photography business and make it more appealing to potential customers.

  • It’s significantly easier to find customers when you know exactly where to find them.

  • Sure, if you just want to sell your services to everyone, you have significantly more potential customers. But you also have much more competition and it takes more effort to get your business off the ground.

It is definitely more effective to focus on a specific niche. Once you are successful and have found your first clients, you can always expand and market your services to more people.

5. Get some good equipment to start

Now that you know who your ideal customer is, it’s time to get the right equipment. There are many different drones on the market these days, for every purpose. Therefore, it will be easy for you to find a suitable model.

What is the best drone for a drone photography business?

If you are looking for a drone of extremely high quality, the DJI Mavic 3 is one that I would strongly recommend.

The Mavic 3 has a 5120×2700px 4/3 CMOS Hasselblad camera, allowing you to take high-quality photos and videos at 50fps.

It also has an exceptionally long flight time of up to 46 minutes.

Although the drone is not inexpensive, it comes with everything you need to capture images of the highest caliber and satisfy your customers.

However, if the Mavic 3 is out of your price range, you don’t need to worry because there are many other options available that are much more affordable and will serve the purpose of getting your drone business off the ground.

Some less expensive drones:

  • DJI Air 2S
  • Autel Robotics EVO
  • Parrot Anafi

When it comes to equipment, you’ll need a few basics:

  • Even the most modern and expensive drones have a finite amount of flight time. It is imperative that you always carry a sufficient supply of extra batteries with you. Imagine for a moment that the battery suddenly dies in the middle of the photography session.

  • You need a gimbal for your drone if you want to take clean and clear photos.

  • One of the most important features your drone should have is obstacle avoidance. With this, you can make sure that your drone doesn’t crash into anything. You can also contribute to ensuring the security of your clients and staff as well as protecting your company from legal responsibility by selecting a drone with collision avoidance.

  • Be prepared for any situation. You should have some extra propellers on hand.

  • Extra storage cards. Some formats consume a lot of space. In order to take enough photos, it is important to have enough SD cards.

How much does it cost to start a drone photography business?

You will need a drone that is capable of taking photographs of an impressive quality. These types of drones can range in price from a few hundred to even thousands of euros, and the price fluctuates based on the features and quality of the drone. Then you will require additional equipment such as batteries, propellers, and sufficient SD cards. Your initial investment could range anywhere from one thousand dollars to ten thousand dollars, depending on the type of drone and equipment that you purchase.

6. Get your first clients

You got your drone license, checked the laws and bought the proper equipment? Then you can start looking for your first clients.

Here are some easy ways to find your first clients:

  • When you have a clear picture of who your ideal client is, it’s not hard to find customers. You are able to contact individuals, businesses, and organizations that could benefit from your services. Using this method, you can find your first customers without having to make a significant financial investment or exert a lot of effort.

  • In order to bring in more customers, you can try coming up with a really cool advertisement and investing some money in paid online advertising.

  • There are also online communities and discussion groups to which you can contribute and where you can advertise your services.

  • One excellent way to get started is to ask friends and family for recommendations. They can recommend your services if they know someone who is looking for a drone photographer.

7. Start showcasing your images online

You should start taking really neat pictures and uploading them to social media. You can build up a following and show what you are capable of as a drone photographer.

This way, there is a chance that your images will attract the attention of potential customers.

8. Build a professional Website

Every company that wants to compete and be successful needs a professional website. You don’t have to pay a lot of money and you can easily build a website with WordPress. It takes a few hours.

9. Build a portfolio

You can think of a portfolio as a collection of your best and most eye-catching photographs. It demonstrates to potential customers what you are capable of as a drone photographer and gives them an idea of what they can expect from working with you.

Create a collection of your most impressive photos. If you do that, more people will hire you and your aerial photography business will become a huge success.

You can display this portfolio on your website, upload it to social media, or showcase it in advertisements.

10. Keep an eye on the competition

There is no question that you face some level of competition in your area. You need to pay attention to the strategies employed by your rivals and search for areas in which you can be better.

11. Upgrade your equipment

If you want your aerial photography business to be successful, investing in high-quality equipment is absolutely necessary.
When you first start out, it’s likely that you won’t have enough money to buy the very best drone and equipment.

You should make some investments in better equipment now that you have some customers and are making money, so that you can stay ahead of the competition and earn even more.

12. Hire

You are going to need assistance if you intend to increase the number of clients you serve. Look around for drone pilots who are interested in turning their hobby into a source of revenue.

13. Regularly check the laws

Since drones are still a relatively new technology, the legal framework in many countries is still in development. There are always new regulations and updates. Keep an eye on these laws to ensure that your drone photography company is operating within the bounds of the law.

Start!

Starting a drone photography business is a bit of work, but it can be worth it. All you need is a drone and equipment + the necessary license.
With a little effort you can start within 2 weeks.

By the way, there are plenty of other ways to earn money with your drone.