Pole aerial photography is a service real estate photographers can have in their arsenal that can set themselves apart from the competition. But more importantly, it allows the camera to get up high in the sky. This results in views that can be unobtainable from ground level.

Benefits of Pole Aerial Photography

Not all properties have a perfect view from the street. Various things can be in the way that block the view of the home. Things like landscaping and fencing can make it difficult for buyers to see the front of the property. Pole aerial photography allows us to put our camera higher up in the sky to be more eye level with the property. Additionally it enables us to avoid obstructions that might be right in front of the camera.

Let’s take a look at some examples of where pole aerial photography improves the end result. This first example shows some landscaping bushes surrounding the walkway to the front door of the property. Putting our camera higher into the sky, we can shoot over the bushes closest to the camera. Buyers can then see more of the front of the property itself.

(Click on the navigation buttons to switch between the before/after photos.)

As you can see from the example, pole aerial photography may not result in a drastic change. However the higher vantage point allows us to deliver a more pleasing image to our clients due to our attention to detail and superior level of service.

Here is an example of a home on a farm that had a white metal fence directly in front. Using a pole allowed the camera to get above the fence, removing it completely from the image. Sure we could have photoshopped the fence out, but ethically the more honest photo is created by shooting over the fence so it is not in the picture at all.

Here is an “after” example where you can really see the benefit of pole aerial photography. Had I shot this home at ground level, the entire front of property would be hidden by the front fencing.

Pole Aerial Photography Example

Although you will probably only use pole aerial photography for front exterior shots, don’t hesitate to use a pole for other shots that might benefit from a higher vantage point. The seller of a recent property wanted me to take a photo from the driveway into the back yard. He wanted the entire pool area to be visible because he thinks a selling point is how big the space is. He said it would work great because of the wrought iron fence – being able to shoot through the fencing. However I noticed at ground level I was unable to catch much of the water. It didn’t really showcase the space like he anticipated.

I went and grabbed my pole and ended up with the following result.

Pole Aerial Photography Equipment

I use a Canon 60D for the still photos of properties and it has a swivel LCD. I tilt the LCD to the down position and push the camera up into the air on a painter’s pole. I trigger the shutter with an Aperture Pro Coworker Remote. The painter’s pole is a standard 12′ pole from a local big box home improvement store. The camera mounts to the pole with the Pole Pixie adapter mount.

I’ve heard good things about the CamRanger Remote that works for both Nikon and Canon dSLRs. I haven’t used it personally so I can’t say for certain, but it would be worth a shot if you don’t have a swivel LCD and need to view what your camera is looking at for framing.