New Photo Niche in a Bad Economy

Looking to branch out or try a new photography niche and make some good money?

The Washington Post on Sunday wrote about a boom in aerial photographers in Northern Virginia. This guy, Kent Larson, wasn’t even a photographer when he decided to trade in his information technology gig to zoom in on local real estate from the air. He began with an 18-foot blimp. Larson hung the camera from the blimp and stood on the ground, with the blimp on a tether.  He operated the camera with a remote control. And If you shoot it they will come! Shortly after beginning, he was shooting for real estate projects in the DC area.

by Alex MacLean

Clients include general contractors, developers and lenders who hire aerial snappers when decisions are being made about financing properties. The great advantage of this type of shot is access from to the sweet spot. “I would walk around a project and take a picture from the sweet spot, about 200 to 250 feet up,” said Larson in the article. These days he flies a Cessna plane and makes extra money subcontracting it out to other aerial photographers. For more information, visit the association Larson created, the Aerial Photographers of Vienna at Check out a story I wrote on aerial photographer Alex Maclean at

-Alysha Sideman