Capturing images of fancy high end homes has always been something that I enjoy. So much work and effort goes into the design of many of these homes. From the beautifully designed exteriors to the well appointed and sumptuously decorated interiors a well designed and built home offers a lot for a photographer to work with.
A realtor friend of mine recently asked me to take some photos of a home which he is planning to list in the next couple of weeks. He warned me that there would be some very challenging aspects to this particular shoot. Of course I jumped all over it at the first mention of a challenge. Taking your standard interior and exterior pictures can sometimes get to be a bit monotonous.
One thing in particular that he mentioned was that we needed to get several aerial shots of the property because of the unique grounds and layout that surround the house. In addition, many of the details that he wanted photographed would be inside the house, but in rooms that were up to 40 feet tall.
This gave me pause as both of these would require the use of expensive equipment, and possibly even renting an aircraft for the day.
But when I started doing research into aerial photography in the area, I found a very interesting option that I had never before seen. There was a local contractor in the area around the house that performed aerial photography using a drone instead of an airplane or helicopter. His rates were less than a third of what it would cost to hire a pilot and aircraft for the day. And his online portfolio looked pretty impressive.
I decided to reach out to him to see about helping me photograph this property for my realtor friend. He said he had done dozens of jobs like that before and would be happy to work with me.
A couple weeks later I was on a plane. I was pretty excited as I made my way to this house that is tucked away in the mountains near Aspen, Colorado. The property was absolutely breathtaking. And I could see right away why the realtor was asking for aerial shots. Trying to show this property any other way would be a complete disservice to it’s design and the setting.
The pilot of the drone or quadcopter as he called it, gave me a quick run down of the capabilities it had in getting both still and HD video footage. Given the quality of the shots we needed, we opted to remove his HD camera and mount my Nikon using a universal bracket that he had with him. The video feed from the on-board first person view camera still enabled him to see firsthand what the camera would be shooting.
Once everything was set up, we sent it up into the air to get some test shots. Once we got the lighting and contrast calibrated, we were able to get some pretty amazing shots of the entire property. I was impressed with how stable this drone was while hovering almost 500 feet above the property.
We were able to get some incredible exterior shots. We then moved indoors. This was going to be extremely challenging. There were several details on the ceiling and trim that the realtor wanted up close shots of. Amazingly we were able to maneuver quickly into place, and get the shot we needed.
Overall I was truly impressed with the ease with which we were able to capture all of the necessary shots. This particular pilot was very impressive with his control and manipulation of the quadcopter. I will most definitely be looking into these further for upcoming shoots. If you want to read up on these gadgets yourself, check out the Drone Depot. They’ve got tons of information on different models and accessories.