Taking off – Aerial and drone/UAV photography in the UK

Aerial view of top of The Mall near Buckingham Palace, London, of cyclists participating in London

Commissioned shot for Getty Images for Sky


Picturing people, events and venues from above gives a fresh perspective, a view of details not normally visible from our everyday grounded position and images created from interesting geometry, composition and colour.

The sense of scale and place an aerial view provides, whether dramatic in its dominance or intriguing in its ‘smallness’, is an attractive and exciting way of visually communicating with each other – news broadcaster to public, high-class estate or travel agency to client, wedding photographer to happy couple, PR firms and brands to the world, and with the surge in availability of ‘drones’, thousands of enthusiasts to millions on Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, YouTube and Instagram.

However, drones (or Unmaned Aerial Vehicles) are not to be taken lightly, even the small ones, when flying near to people, animals and property.  Their rotor blades are just that, blades, and are not to be messed with, as Enrique Inglesias unfortunately discovered this summer (Enrique Inglesias in The Guardian) I’m not sure his doting fans appreciated having the offending drone hurled into their midst either (queue confetti canons….)

To protect people and property from a very real risk of injury and damage, there are now stringent restrictions surrounding the flying of drones near and above people and property and to gain footage and photographs for commercial usage.  Yesterday, a hobbyist was prosecuted for illegal drone operation (BBC report) over crowded football stadiums.

Whilst we currently provide an aerial photography service from light aircraft, launching soon is Seren Aerial Pictures Ltd to provide a fully authorised and insured UAV video and stills photography service.  Permissions and planning need to be in place before the aerial filming of any event so make sure you book your aerial team well in advance or feel free to contact us for a chat and advice if in the early planning stages of your private, commercial or PR event.

an aerial photograph of tents, stages and grounds for Reading Festival 2015

Reading Festival 2015 aerial view

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