Photography Tips from a Helicopter

Chase Jarvis is a well-known name among photographers, especially the Nikonians. Jarvis has shot for some of the biggest names in the corporate world including Apple, Volvo, Nike, Microsoft, Red Bull, Honda, and Polaroid. Today, Jarvis gives us some tips on how to take aerial photographs from inside a helicopter, a method of photographing which he highly recommends:

Jarvis’s Tips for Aerial Photography:

  • Never walk around the tail end of the helicopter
  • Always make sure you and your gear is safely secured to the helicopter
  • Bring multiple cameras to avoid switching lenses
  • Use memory cards with a lot of storage space to avoid switching them out
  • Don’t use a lens hood as it will be harder to hand-hold the camera and may come off during flight
  • Sit on the same side as the pilot so that you are viewing the same scene and can communicate easier
  • Shoot at a very high shutter speed (at least 1/1000th) to overcome camera shake
aerial photography helicopter chase jarvis

Always sit on the same side as the pilot so that you are both looking at the same thing

Jarvis’s biggest tip is to always listen to the pilot. They’re experienced at what they do, and they know a lot more that you will. So always pay attention to what your pilot says as he/she is following safety procedures.

“Generally speaking, when we shoot from a helicopter, you shoot with the doors off. So call ahead, it sounds like a big deal, but it’s really not. It’s something they can do in a matter of minutes.”

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