When it comes to setting yourself apart from the competition every distinguishing factor helps. One great way to stand out is by using pole aerial photography (PAP). PAP is a photo technique where you take photos of a home with a camera attached to the top of a pole in the air. It helps you capture a bird’s eye view of a home and its surroundings by hovering above them which is a perspective rarely seen in real estate photos.
“How do you take pole aerial photos?”
Taking pole aerial photos is as simple as building an inexpensive photo rig to hold your camera (I recommend a digital camera with an anti-shake aka optical stabilization feature) up in the air. My PAP mount is similar to the one built by Larry at PhotographyforRealEstate.net and will cost about $60 to make if you’re handy.
To build the mount I have you need:
- 16′ telescopic painter’s pole (Home Depot or Lowes)
- Manfrotto 234 Monopod Tilt Head
- 3/8″ Threaded Rod (Home Depot or Lowes)
If you’re not handy try to find a neighbor, friend or family member who is because creating the mount requires some hands-on effort getting your pole, tripod head and threaded rod to come together.
Poles typically range in size from 8 feet tall all the way up to 30 feet or more. My mount is 16 feet tall which I’ve found to be pretty good for most photo scenarios. A secondary benefit of a telescoping pole that reaches a max of 16 feet is how mobile the rig is. My pole shrinks to just under 6 feet at its shortest so I can still transport it in my Mazda 3.
Tip: If you find yourself taking photos of 2+ story home exteriors that are on hilly terrain you may want to consider going with a pole longer than 16 feet to make up for the difference between the ground level the home sits on and where you are standing with the pole.
Once you have your PAP mount ready to go just set your camera to a custom timer (I use 30 seconds), screw your camera onto the monopod head, raise it into the air and snap as many pics as you can. Most digital point-and-shoot cameras can take 3-4 pictures in a row which, when combined with the timer, almost always ensures a few good shots.
If PAP is something you really take a great amount of interest in I recommend reading about more advanced options including adding an LCD tv to your camera so you can see what you’re shooting and vehicle mounted masts to get an even higher perspective on the properties you’re shooting.
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