Day in the life of an aerial photographer


Day in the life of an aerial photographer

Date Posted: 26 Aug 2021

Falmouth-based Matt Burtwell started flying drones as a hobby back in 2014, before the drone phenomenon took off. A self-confessed ‘coastline addict’, he’s always loved nothing more than being around the sea, so naturally began capturing views of the coasts and familiar locations in south Cornwall. After sharing his images on social media, with a pretty instant positive reaction, this passion soon became a business.

Gaining the necessary qualifications to be able fly drones commercially, Matt invested substantial money into equipment and getting his business Aerial Cornwall off the ground. Now 7 years later, his drone photography and filming company, specialises in property filming for estate agents, architects and hotels, covering all aspects of aerial filming from sport events to farming and agriculture.

Building an expansive stock library of photos and video footage from around the Cornish coastline, Aerial Cornwall licenses these out to companies and businesses. A work highlight for Matt is producing his annual calendar, full of his favourite photos captured throughout the year.

With a very weather dependent job – you can trust Cornwall to keep you on your toes – Matt shares with The Great Cornwall Guide his typical day, when the sun is shining…

6am I like to get up early and make the most of the day, especially if the weather is good. This is my time to sit down with a coffee, reply to some emails, make a plan for the day and prep my gear.
7am Get some brekkie! Usually either a smoothie or some eggs on toast.
8am Ready to head out for the day. I can be shooting all over Cornwall depending on the job. I do a lot of property photography so this hugely varies with locations. If the weather is good and I don’t have any ‘commercial work’ to do then I will visit locations I haven’t yet photographed.
9am Arrive at the first property shoot. Meet the client, have a chat, familiarise myself with the layout and property boundaries – make a plan of what needs shooting.
9:30-11:30am A shoot, usually takes around two hours. Capturing video and stills
from a variety of angles.
11:30am Grab a snack and a coffee, head off to the next location.
Midday Arrive at the next location and have some lunch, if I’m in a good area with decent cafes I’ll usually buy some lunch locally.
1:30-2:30pm Another property shoot. The thing I really enjoy about shooting properties is seeing so many different types of homes, you never really know what to expect and some are really surprising and in stunning locations. It’s also interesting speaking with the owners and meeting different people from all sorts of backgrounds.
3-5pm Wrapped on client shoots for the day but if the weather is still good I’ll certainly make the most of the location or somewhere nearby and shoot some stock footage for my library.
6pm Arrive back home in Falmouth. I like to keep things organised so if it’s not too late I will spend the next hour backing up and sorting the footage from the day. It makes life so much easier to have a good system when you need to find a particular clip or photo. I also take this time to look over what I’ve shot from the day and make a bit of a list if anything is worth sharing on social media or even worth printing.
7pm onwards cook dinner, relax and bed!

Aerial Cornwall drone Image 2
Aerial_Cornwall_Matt 2
Aerial Cornwall drone Image