Drone View Shots: The things to consider when booking a drone

With the real estate market in Australia hitting its straps and the push to go up rather than out, we’ve seen a huge push for building apartments and apartment towers in the inner cities. Competition is rife and each developer is looking for that marketing ‘edge’. Enter digital marketing. And in particular a bag full of new experiences offered to potential buyers to assist them in making that all important decision.

These days marketers are using 3D renders, fly overs, videos and even virtual reality to stroke the imagination of potential customers and get them to sign up before a shovel even hits the ground. In this blog post we take a look at how aerial photography and aerial videography is being weaved into this mix and what you should be aware of when engaging a licensed uav provider OR drone operator.


Below i’ve outlined six key things to check off before engaging a company to capture your drone view shots.

Airspace: proximity to an aerodrome / CBD / major roads

First things first. If your location is inside 3NM (5.5 klms) to an airport then you are going to need to choose an operator that is capable of lodging an “Area Approval”. This can add upwards of $480 and 4 weeks to the process. This is Australia wide and can’t be gotten around.

Next you need to consider the heights OR levels to which you want aerial imagery. If you want aerial view shots above 400 feet OR 120 meters OR level 38 then you will also need an AA (discussed above). You may at this stage need to consider the use of a blimp photography provider.

Finally, if the imagery is in the CBD or in close proximity to major infrastructure I.E. roads / hwy’s then you need to consult with an experienced drone operator to establish the best way to capture the shots and remain legal and more importantly safe.

Licensed Vs Non licensed UAV operators

As the UAV industry is so new it has drawn a bunch of cowboys that don’t want to follow the rules and regulations. It is extremely important that you check to see that the UAV operator is licensed. You can do that by clicking HERE and checking on the CASA website. If you would like to learn more about licensing you can also read one of our previous blogs by Ryan Hamlet HERE.

Blimp Vs Drone

Blimp photography has been the preferred method for getting view shots done up until about 2 years ago. That being said Balloon Photography still plays a key role in an aerial photographers tool kit. Some things to consider are here.

Advantages to Blimp:

  1. Can lift multiple lenses
  2. Can go higher than the 400 feet with some conditions
  3. Are more likely to be able to get Dusk & Dawn aerial photography done.
  4. Are relatively safe given they are tethered to an operator on the ground.

Disadvantages with Blimp:

  1. Needs perfect conditions I.E. Winds under 10klm’s per hour
  2. No good for video
  3. Can cost more depending on heights which determine the size of the balloon.
  4. Limited monouvrability.
  5. Inability to get into tight spaces.

Dusk / Dawn Shots

Shooting true Dusk & Dawn shots on a UAV is not without its challenges. If you’re expecting the same results as your professional real estate photography company then your in for a shock. Due to the requirement to leave the exposure open longer in low light you open yourself up to blur. This can be overcome using a balloon to an extent.



If your job requires an Area Approval (AA) as mentioned above you must allow 3-4 weeks for CASA to process your application. Coming to a Drone operator and asking for view shots above 400 feet in the same week is a waste of time. It won’t be approved in time. Drone view shots generally can be done quicker than shoots with balloons as they can be done in winds higher than 8k’s / hr. However, both forms of aerial photography are best done in ideal weather situations. I.E. light winds and sunny conditions.


Drone photography for real estate marketing can be charged out in many different ways. Some businesses will do it by the finished number of photos and others will do it by the hours onsite. Its important to consider many of the issues outlined above and overall to make sure the contractor is licensed through CASA.

If you’d like to learn more or even get a quote, feel free to make contact with us through our Contact Us.

Swarm UAV

We are Australian specialists in drone aerial photography and aerial cinematography. CASA Certified Pilots. We are a business with our heads in the clouds, and our feet firmly on the ground.

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