Air to Air Photography

Air-to-Air Photography

Air-to-air photography is the art of photographing aircraft in the air while using another aircraft as a photo platform.  Air-to-air photography requires special skills and experience, as the photo platform and target aircraft often fly at low levels, while the helicopter flies at a relative slow speed.



Helicopters are considered slow flying aircraft, so they are perfect to film and photograph slow aircraft, balloon, helicopter, ultra-light, R.C. or air shows. Looking through his camera, the photographer usually sits looking sideways while the aircraft maneuvers through the sky, often resulting in airsickness and making air-to-air photography even more challenging. This is why our pilots are specially trained to make every transition, position and reposition in a smooth, controlled, precise manner. The helicopter in effect becomes a big tripod that you, the photographer, can direct in three dimensions as you wish.


The subject aircraft is photographed while both aircraft are in flight. This allows the photographer to position the subject in specific locations and angles to get the most desirable shot. Some things that must be considered to achieve best results are lighting and background. Proper lighting is achieved through correct placement of the helicopter relative to the sun, and this is accomplished by flying only at certain times of the day and/or by flying by technique to line the sun up on the subject aircraft properly.


The background can highlight or distract from the subject and must be carefully considered when taking shots. Air-to-air photography can be used for a variety of purposes, including commercial use and advertising.

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