Aerial pictures from a drone are fantastic for properties, hotels, golf clubs and many other subjects. The view from above gives a unique perspective and can look spectacular. But how much does drone photography cost?

There are really two answers to this question, and it depends on whether you want to use a safe, legal, professional or take a chance with a cowboy operator. A hobbyist who decides to make some cash on the side with his drone may be willing to take some drone shots for as little as £50-£100, but you should think very carefully before hiring one. To take on commercial, paid for drone work a pilot has to be approved by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). A CAA approved pilot is likely to charge a professional rate of £150- £500 depending on your exact requirements.

So what’s the difference, and why does a CAA approved drone photographer have to charge these rates?

All a hobbyist needs is a drone with a camera. This could cost as little as £500, or even less if bought second hand. With such little outlay, a cowboy drone operator is making good money working for £50-£100 an hour. As the saying goes, you usually get what you pay for, and the photographs taken by an amateur are likely to be poor quality. If you want to hire a drone photographer to show off a property, hotel or tourist attraction, the cheap option can be very disappointing. You may end up paying to have the work done again by someone else.

A professional drone photographer has to invest a lot of money to be able to offer a legal, safe, high quality service. The basic costs to set up include –

Professional training and costs of CAA approval                                £750-£1,000

Quality drone, to deliver professional results                                      £1,000-£2,000

External camera and lenses (optional)                                                  £1,000-£2,000

Insurance                                                                                                      £600-£12,000

Safety and additional equipment                                                             £500

Computer and software for image editing software                             £1,000-£1,500

This is without the costs you would expect any business to incur, such as having a website, marketing costs, maintaining and upgrading equipment and actually making a profit!

Once you understand what’s involved for a professional to operate, the question of how much does drone photography cost becomes easier to understand. At Drone Safe Register we have a national network of 370 CAA approved professionals. To obtain a quote Click here http://www.dronesaferegister.org.uk