View Full Version : AP business ideas?

09-30-2006, 06:04 PM
Just a few quick questions for folks who are doing Professional AP.

Are any of you doing it full time or is it a part time side business?
How long once you started marketing your business did it take to start getting a regular income?
Did you start slow or really hit the market hard from the start?
What mistake did you make along the way that you would do differently if you could do it all over again?
Any other suggestions (apart from "keep the hell out of my backyard" :) )

Very grateful to all who reply.


09-30-2006, 07:49 PM
Have a look here Dave http://www.cascadeap.com/
Its as full time as you can make it where it rains 6 months of the year here. Its feast or famine, Theres a 6 week time frame in the spring when everything is in bloom and they all want pics at the same time.
Look out the window today, See all that gray sky? Get use to it ... lol
Your in King county that has 4 times the laws, rules and regs than where I'm at so you better do a little checking beforehand. Your also in Seattle that has a extra half a million laws of its own but on the plus side I know of no one doing AP there at the moment.
I have some steady real estate guys that keep me going but sometimes there are months and months were theres just not enough sun for useful AP around here. Please don't get me wrong as you CAN make some money off this but making enough to live off is pretty hard with all the rain and gray sky's in the area. I wish you nothing but the best of luck no matter what you try.:)

10-01-2006, 05:02 AM
Hey Dave,

I started doing AP for money this year. I simply call it an extension of the hobby, so its part time for me. My wife helps out alot as she has the gift of gab 'bubbly peresonality' that so many people like. I do the grunt work and she sells. If you make 1 person happy with the results, they talk about you to others. I have gotten more from word of mouth than anything.

I tried to focus on new construction, real estate, and farms. Well it was a bit of a learning curve, but here where I live I am finding more possibilities with agricultural AP than anything else. I am going to focus on that more for 2007.

Mistakes that I have made......hmmmm I'd have to say that not having more tools hurt me. By tools I mean: Urban flying AP, 50 ft mast, high altitude AP, video downlink, GPS overlay.......

Thats where the downtime comes into play. This winter I plan to add some tools.

Here is my modest website: www.land-aerial-photo.com

I'll most likely update the site with new capabilities for 2007.

good luck, Dave

10-17-2006, 07:02 PM
Thanks for your replies guys! I am still working our my Business plan and hope to have something up and running by Spring.

I will keep you updated as I make progress. I finally have a fully independantly controlled mount and downlink and now have to convince my wife it would be so much fun to run the camera.

Cheers all!


10-28-2006, 10:58 AM
Hey Aviator Dave & Kiwi Dave I'm new to this helicam/AP & don't laugh as I've tried my hand with micro-elc. heli's, Blade CX & CP. I used a wierless micro-video pod camera weighing a mere 2-3oz with a reciever conected to a hi8 videocam or a mini dvd player w/8" screen! I tried this cheap method in my backyard and at friends houses. Now I'm ready to do it with a new T-rex-450 SA I purchased. But I'm not sure what minicam I can use. As I mentiond to Kiwi Dave ? on a reply I'd like to get more sophisticated with out breaking the bank! I'd Like useing the new T-rex 600 which is a larger electric heli, a 30/50 size? since I perffer it over gas! "Watt" :D do you guy's think? Artie:confused:

11-03-2006, 04:37 AM
IMHO a good way to get noticed is to do some pro bono (aka FREE) work for a large group. This picture is from a local paper that updates the schools new multi-million dollar updates. In this case they just added a parking lot which was easy to get a good picture.

I offered this service to them as long as they provided a 'courtesy' caption under it. They want us to follow the building projects and they will post my future pictures on the web and in the paper. This paper goes to about 5,000 households....so I consider the work that I do worth it.

I'm looking at doing some charity work for churches (some have 1200 families) and community centers of the neighboring towns.

Doing work for a group of 5000 or 1200 or 100 will get you noticed. Word of mouth travels faster that way.

just my contribution...some may not agree, but the business ethics here in rural Iowa are certainly going to be different than those near large cities.