Is drone photography profitable (how to make money with drones)

With the continued rise of social media platforms, everyone wants to create beautiful imagery to share with their followers. Some go as far as hiring a photographer and one that will capture stunning shots from above. 

Drone photography makes that easy. Therefore, there are unlimited opportunities if you consider setting up a drone photography business. 

A career in drone photography can be very lucrative. Yes, you can start your drone photography, which is highly profitable. 

A drone photographer makes an average of $50,646 annually in the USA. That means earning approximately $24.35 an hour, $973 a week, and $4,220 monthly. 

How to make money with drones

Drone photography is one profession that offers flexibility, allowing you to be your own boss and set your own working hours. If you’re diligent enough, you can make extra income without spending much money or time. Here are 7 ways to make money using drones.

  1. Selling photos and videos taken.

One way how to make money with drones is by capturing amazing photos and videos and selling them. Therefore if you have a talent for great shots, there is quite a large market for your work. 

You can sell them to businesses needing drone footage, especially for marketing. You can then sell your beautiful aerial photos and videos on e-commerce sites like Etsy or eBay

Additionally, you can always create your own website. You need a significant portfolio of your work to showcase your photos and videos to attract potential businesses. 

You can also launch a youtube channel to showcase your beautiful aerial photos and videos.

After gaining a command in the field, you can start charging higher rates as your reputation builds. 

Additionally, in advertising your photography skills, you can get commissioned projects that can pay you through commission. 

  1. Look out for commercial agencies that want aerial footage.

Commercial agencies such as real estate are always looking for drone footage to help them advertise their firms. If you’ve got a passion for drone photography, you can use it to make money. 

You can always send your resume to some of the real estates around your area and take amazing aerial shots that will wow them. 

Other companies, such as hotels or resorts, are looking for aerial footage for commercials, advertisements, and other projects. You can always keep an eye out for companies that are always looking for drone photographers to hire.

  1. Signing up for stock photography accounts

You can create accounts on stock photo websites and sell your photos and videos. There are a lot of stock agencies that are always on the lookout for new and outstanding photography content. 

You can always look out for stock agencies that specialize in aerial photography. Take beautiful pictures of landscapes and other surface objects that can likely be used in marketing. 

Companies mostly use stock photo websites to access such pictures and use them to advertise on their online platform or in print. 

Anytime your photo or video is sold through the stock photo website, you will be compensated with a commission. The compensation will differ for exclusive and non-exclusive images.

  1. Using drones for events coverage 

Another way how to make money with drones is by offering drone photography services for events such as weddings. Everyone wants to capture their wedding moments in an aerial view/shots hence the need to employ a drone expert. 

Drone photography seamlessly emphasizes a location’s beauty, becoming more popular at weddings. You will also find event planners who want to take aerial footage to advertise their events. 

More so, you can also get lucky to take coverage of government events. All you need to do is create ways to network with potential clients. 

You can reach them through their websites or word of mouth and ask for a partnership.

  1. Structural or building inspection

It is easier to use drones to inspect a given structure or building and quickly get a complete picture of every part of the asset. The process is also cost-effective and saves time compared to using human effort. 

Therefore, many industries would instead use drones, creating opportunities for drone pilots. Furthermore, construction sites and nuclear power plants require regular drone inspection. 

The drones offer great visual data that is later used to locate an ideal location for a building.

However, to be employed to perform such overhead inspections, you need to reach out. You can always check with your area home inspectors for such opportunities. 

  1. Drone package delivery

Some companies use drones to deliver packages. A package delivery drone must meet style, flight duration, and package safety standards. 

Therefore, most companies will prefer owning one. However, they still need drone pilots to operate them. 

Thus, another way how to make money with drones is by offering services as a drone operator. Therefore, you must be experienced with flying drones carrying an extra package. 

Delivering packages using drones is quick, efficient, and saves time compared to commercial vehicles. 

  1. Filmmaking

If you believe in your drone’s photographic skills, primarily operating it, you can offer drone videography services in filmmaking. However, landing filmmaking jobs might be a task and may need you to start building up a client base first. 

Tell your story and let potential clients learn about your drone photography skills. 

Things to keep in mind when starting a drone photographer

You need a good-quality drone and camera to get the best shots that are marketable and won’t leave you frustrated. You need one that keeps your images professional, and it can be pricey. 

Good quality drones with quality cameras can cost between $500 to $20,000.

You also need a computer with installed drone video editing software. You need to be creative when it comes to editing your photos and videos. 

Your editing skills might be why you stand out from your competition, hence the most essential skills for any photographer or videographer.

You need to market yourself. You can create an online presence to showcase your skills. An online presence allows you to create an online following to reach potential clients easily. 

You can do this through social media. You can also create a website or blog dedicated to your drone photography work. By building a following online, you’ll reach potential clients and customers more efficiently than any other available method.

You need drone insurance. Yes, you need drone insurance, which can cost you $500 to $750 a year. 

Drone insurance keeps you protected against possible damages. Additionally, drone insurance provides a sense of credibility, especially when shown to your clients. 


Is drone photography profitable? Yes, you’ll earn more if you have outstanding skills and are creative to bring out stunning results.

Drone photography offers many ways to make money, and you can choose your niche from doing inspections, covering events, or delivering packages.

Which kind of drone photography do you enjoy shooting most? Next, focus on building your portfolio in that area of expertise. 

This way, you’ll establish yourself as an expert in that field, and finding clients will be an easy peasy task!

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