Are you making the most of your aerial photos and footage?

If you’re regularly taking photos with your drone, uploading them for sale on sites such as Drone Safe Register Stock, is a quick and easy way to generate some cash. Don’t leave those stunning aerial shots on your hard drive when they could be making you money while you sleep!

If you’re not familiar with stock photography, it's a long-established way for magazines, website owners and other businesses to get quality images without the expense of commissioning a photographer. For example, say a magazine wants a photograph of Buckingham Palace to illustrate an article. Stock sites will have thousands of these images the magazine will be able to download and use for a small fee. 

Aerial stock photography has been a massive growth area for a few years now and many drone owners are making a side income from it. In the past, aerial shots would’ve involved the expense of hiring a helicopter or light aircraft, but drone technology has made it far more accessible. Modern drones are an easy and cheap way of getting high-quality pictures. The entry-level DJI Mini 2 has a 1/2.3 inch sensor which can take 12mp photos and 4k video and costs £420.

Can you earn money from drone photography?

Yes, you can potentially earn money from aerial photography by uploading images and video clips to stock image websites. It’s never guaranteed that your images will sell on these websites as it is ultimately down to the customer and what they are after. If you’re a Drone Safe member you can use our own aerial stock photography library and upload your content for sale. 

We always advise our members to take pictures throughout the year so that if they have down months they will have a bit of income coming in on the side. Once you upload the photos, the process is passive. 

To earn money and sell Aerial Stock Images you need to have insurance as it’s classed as getting paid for pictures.

Here are CAA’s rules:

If you fly a drone or model aircraft that weighs less than 20kg for fun, recreation, sport, or as a hobby, you can choose whether or not to have insurance.

If you fly for any other reason, you must have third-party liability insurance. For example, you must have insurance if you:

  • get paid to take pictures or record video or carry out surveys

  • use your drone for work, such as on a farm, park or estate

What photos will most likely earn you money?

Here are a few tips for creating aerial shots that sell -

  1. Aim for quality images and don’t list anything you can’t picture on the cover of a magazine! All shots should be in focus, correctly exposed and well-composed.

  2. Make the most of the aerial perspective. Look for unique and unusual angles that really benefit from the use of a drone

  3. Consider the time of day you shoot and wait for the best light. The golden hour, sunrise and sunset times are perfect for most subjects

  4. Think about keywords you can use to describe images when you upload them and use as many as possible so potential customers find them

  5. Aerial shots of popular landmarks, historic buildings, sweeping landscapes, coastlines, lakes and rivers are always in demand  

  6. Shoot in the best quality your drone is capable of - 4K aerial stock footage is always in demand

Creativity and consistency are key to making money from stock photography. Think about suitable subjects in your local area or when you travel and keep shooting!


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About the Author: DSR Journalist

Harrison Green

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