Aerials and Overheads: Why I Love Them For Travel and Tourism Photography

I’ve been shooting from the sky for as long as I’ve been a photographer.  Since blimps, helicopters, airplanes and drones lift you up above the ordinary, aerials add another dimension to pictures.

If you’re designing or marketing for your destination, do yourself a favor: hire a travel photographer for aerial pictures of your locations.  

Why? For a view that you haven’t seen before.  For instantly Instagram-able images.  For clean, graphic pictures that are easily used in layouts, with headlines and text.  And because, unlike the days of helicopter photo shoots, it shouldn’t cost anything extra if you’ve hired a travel/tourism photographer to shoot your location.

Vertical aerial photography — the straight-down approach — can lend an abstract quality to your landscape, city, event or architecture.  It’s an unexpected viewpoint, something I personally (if not subconsciously) look for when I’m shopping for a travel destination.

And straight-down often gives you a “clean” look that’s especially friendly to graphic designers!  I think of pictures as being “clean” when there are as few color variations as possible.  Or, when there are large sections (or blocks) of one color.  Because these blocks are large and continuous, a designer can drop in headlines and text when laying out a flyer or web page.

Also, for your iconic locations, aerial photography can show not just the location. It shows setting in the larger context of your town or region.   A bike path, a bridge with a shared-use path, a golf course look great from the air.  Aerials show you the contours of the land (as in a links-style golf course — where contour is everything —  in the setting sun).  They offer an unexpected perspective, something unseen from a land-based viewpoint.

Aerial Photography Has Come Back to Earth.

In the past, aerial photography was an expensive component to add to your project.  We used helicopters to get these pictures, at steep per-hour costs.

Drones have changed all this, and now aerial photography adds nothing extra to your photo costs.  Drones are just another part of my camera toolbag.

In addition, they’re so super-lightweight that a drone can come along on every expedition.  It’s in my backpack when I’m trekking, and with me on every flight.

Suzy Allman is a professional tourism and travel photographer with an extensive background in editorial and commercial photography, specializing in aerials.  Contact me and we’ll work together on your next project.