How To Sell Drone Photos UK

How To Sell Drone Photos UK

So, you’ve got a drone and a passion for photography. You’re taking to the skies, capturing breathtaking shots from an angle unique to your flying device.

Now, you’re left wondering, ‘Can I sell these drone photos in the UK?

Well, you’re in luck! This article is here to guide you through the process, explaining the ins and outs of turning your hobby into a potential side hustle or even a full-time business.

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How To Sell Drone Photos UK

There’s more to selling drone photos than just snapping a few shots and putting a price tag on them. You’ve got to understand the legal requirements, know the best platforms for selling, and become aware of the types of photos that sell best. Plus, you need to avoid common mistakes and learn the best composition tips and tricks.

And let’s not forget about finding the best locations for your drone photography. Stay with us as we delve into these topics and arm you with the knowledge you need to successfully sell your drone photos in the UK.

selling drone stock photo

Can I sell drone photos UK?

Absolutely, you can sell drone photos in the UK, but remember, it’s not just about snapping and selling; you’ve got to register with the Civil Aviation Authority if your drone has a camera, respect people’s privacy, and stick to the UK’s drone rules.

When it comes to photography pricing, selling your drone photos can be a profitable endeavour, but it’s essential to ensure you’re following the right processes.

For instance, even though it’s legal to photograph people in public spaces in the UK, you need to obtain their consent if you plan on profiting from photos where they are identifiable.

This is particularly important when photographing children, as some may be under protection and cannot have their images published online without parental consent.

Post production techniques can greatly enhance the quality and appeal of your drone photos, increasing their marketability.

However, while editing your photos, remember to adhere to the UK’s drone rules, such as maintaining a safe distance of at least 50 meters from any person or private property, and not flying above 122 meters (400 feet) above the surface.

Keep abreast with any changes in the drone laws and regulations in the UK to ensure you’re always on the right side of the law. Selling your drone photos can indeed be an exciting and profitable venture, as long as you’re fully aware of all the necessary regulations and requirements.

how to sell drone photography uk

Sure thing, before you dive into the exciting world of aerial photography, it’s essential to understand the legalities involved.

As the creator of drone photos, you hold exclusive copyright over your images from the moment they’re taken.

However, if you’re planning to sell these photos on stock websites, you need to provide a license to the buyer.

Furthermore, it’s important to consider insurance considerations. For instance, having drone insurance can protect you from any unexpected liabilities.

  1. Privacy Laws: Remember, it’s legal to photograph people in public places in the UK, but if you wish to profit from images of identifiable individuals, you must obtain their consent. This is especially important when taking pictures of children, as some may be under protection and can’t have their images published online.
  2. Drone Licensing: To avoid any legal issues, ensure your drone is registered with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) if it has a camera and weighs 250g or more. Additionally, be sure to adhere to UK drone laws.
  3. GDPR Compliance: GDPR applies to the collection, storage, and processing of personal data, which includes images of identifiable individuals taken by drones. If your drone captures such images, this data must be handled responsibly.
  4. Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA): In cases where your drone operations pose a high risk to people’s privacy, conducting a DPIA can help you identify and minimize these risks, ensuring you comply with GDPR requirements.

As you venture into selling your drone photos, keep these legal requirements at the forefront. Always respect people’s privacy and handle personal data with care.

If your drone operations might impact individuals’ privacy, don’t hesitate to conduct a DPIA. And remember, while the world of drone photography is thrilling, it’s equally crucial to remain compliant with the law to truly enjoy the ride.

can i sell drone photos in uk

best platforms to sell drone photos UK

Looking to turn your drone photography hobby into a lucrative venture? You’re in luck!

Platforms like Pond5, Drone Stock, Getty Images, Shutterstock, and Blackbox offer a great opportunity for you to sell your drone photos in the UK.

pond5 drone sell photos uk


You’ll be pleased to know that at Pond5, you have complete control over the pricing of your drone photos, and with video clips starting at around £19.57, there’s potential for a decent payout. This means that you can set your prices based on the quality, uniqueness, and demand for your drone photos.

Also, keep in mind that Pond5 royalties are quite competitive, making it a lucrative platform for selling your drone images in the UK.

So, if you’ve got some eye-catching aerial shots tucked away, why not start the Pond5 submission process?

When it comes to your pricing strategy on Pond5, you might want to consider the market trends and the pricing of similar content. Remember, setting a reasonable price can help you attract more buyers and increase your chances of making a sale. So, do your research and price your drone photos competitively.

Here’s a simple table to help you understand the potential earnings on Pond5:

Content TypeStarting Price (GBP)Potential Earnings (GBP)
Video Clips£19.57Varies based on pricing set by artist
Music Tracks£3.91Varies based on pricing set by artist
Drone PhotosArtist’s discretionVaries based on pricing set by artist

Isn’t it exciting? Your drone photos could be the next big thing on Pond5!

Drone Stock

Imagine having your stunning aerial content hosted exclusively on Drone Stock and earning a whopping 50% from every sale! That’s right, by choosing to exclusively host your drone photos and videos on Drone Stock, half of every sale goes directly into your pocket. Whether you’re a pro in drone maintenance or just starting out, this is an opportunity you shouldn’t pass up.

And the best part?

There’s no minimum number of sales you need to make before you start earning your royalty. Your cut comes from each and every transaction, so you start benefiting right away.

What this could mean for you:

  • Pricing strategies: As the artist, you have the power to set your own prices for your drone photos and videos. This control over pricing can allow you to take advantage of peak buying times or adjust to market trends, potentially boosting your earnings.
  • Client acquisition: Hosting your content exclusively on Drone Stock can make it easier for clients to find and purchase your work. Plus, a consistent presence on the platform can help build your reputation as a reliable source for drone imagery, attracting more clients in the long run.

Remember, these are percentages of the sales, and actual payouts can vary. But with a bit of strategic planning and quality content, you could see significant earnings from your drone photos and videos.

getty images drone photos pay out uk

Getty Images

As an artist, you’ll find that Getty Images offers a unique platform for showcasing your creative work, with competitive commission rates. If you’ve got a collection of stunning drone photos, this could be a lucrative avenue for you.

For royalty-free still photographs, you can start earning at a rate of 20%. If you’re contributing your work through iStock, a subsidiary of Getty Images, the royalty rates start at 15% for photos and 20% for videos and illustrations.

But what if you’re an exclusive contributor? Getty Images recognizes the value of exclusivity and rewards it accordingly. You’ll be able to earn between 25% and 45% if you’re contributing exclusively through iStock. However, remember that these are commission rates, and the actual amounts you’ll receive may vary depending on the specific content and pricing you set for your work.

Product Specs:

  • Royalty rates start at 20% for royalty-free still photographs.
  • For iStock content, royalty rates begin at 15% for photos and 20% for videos and illustrations.
  • Exclusive contributors can earn between 25% and 45% on iStock.


  • Competitive commission rates.
  • Offers an exclusive contributor program with higher commission rates.
  • Gives artists the freedom to set their own pricing.


  • Actual earnings may vary as they are dependent on the pricing set by the artist.
  • The commission rate for non-exclusive contributors is comparatively lower.
  • High competition among contributors may affect the visibility and sales of your content.
shutterstock selling guide drone aerial photos


In comparison to Getty Images, Shutterstock offers a unique and potentially more lucrative platform for selling your drone photos. Their commission rate ranges from 15% to 40%, and the more content you sell, the higher your earnings rate. This means you could potentially earn quite a significant amount from your drone photography.

Shutterstock’s pricing is flexible and varies depending on your contributor level and the number of licenses sold within a calendar year. This could be an excellent opportunity for you to continually increase your income as you sell more photos.

The contributor experience on Shutterstock is also noteworthy as it offers a simple and straightforward process of uploading and selling your photos. Shutterstock offers a commission rate that ranges from 15% to 40%. The more content you sell on Shutterstock, the higher your earning rate.

The pricing on Shutterstock is flexible and depends on your contributor level and the number of licenses sold within a year. Its contributor experience is user-friendly and makes the process of selling photos simple and straightforward.

Though Shutterstock is a great platform, it may be worthwhile to consider Shutterstock alternatives like Adobe Stock or iStock, which also offer competitive rates for drone photography.

black box drone stock video seller


Don’t you just love the idea of keeping a whopping 85% of your earnings when using BlackBox to market your content? Indeed, the platform’s pricing dynamics are quite favourable. When you sell your drone photos, BlackBox only takes a 15% commission, leaving you with the lion’s share of the profits.

This is a key Blackbox benefit that has drawn many content creators to use the platform.

On top of that, selling drone photos in the UK through BlackBox is completely legal and straightforward, making it an excellent choice for photographers in the market.

User experiences on BlackBox have generally been positive, with many commending the platform’s favourable commission rates. The platform has a straightforward process for uploading and selling content, making it user-friendly even for beginners. However, it’s important to note that your earnings depend on the net sales revenue of your content. To give you a clearer picture, here’s a breakdown:

Gross Sales RevenueBlackbox Commission (15%)Your Earnings (85%)

As you can see, the more your content sells for, the more you stand to earn. So, why not give BlackBox a try and see how much you can make from your drone photos?

drone photography selling

What Type Of Stock Drone Photography Sells Best

You’ll find that aerial landscapes, symmetry and patterns, real estate, architecture, weddings and events, travel and tourism, industrial and commercial, and nature and wildlife are the top sellers in the stock drone photography market in the UK.

These themes aren’t just visually appealing but also serve practical purposes in various industries.

For instance, real estate agents use aerial images to showcase properties, architects use them for their portfolios, and businesses in the tourism industry use them to promote tourist destinations. To capture these images effectively, you’ll need to master drone lighting techniques, which can significantly enhance the quality and appeal of your photos.

In addition to drone lighting techniques, the equipment you use can also impact the quality of your images. High-quality drones with advanced camera features can help you capture sharp, clear, and vibrant images. Some drones even come with built-in features that let you capture symmetrical lines and patterns, which can make your images more interesting and visually appealing.

Alongside the right equipment, image editing is another crucial aspect of drone photography. With the right editing tools, you can enhance the colors, adjust the lighting, and remove any unwanted elements from your photos, making them more attractive to potential buyers.

Remember, the key to selling your drone photos isn’t just about capturing high-quality images but also about offering unique perspectives and interesting compositions. Whether you’re photographing a stunning landscape, a beautiful wedding, or a large-scale industrial project, try to capture it from a perspective that hasn’t been seen before. This won’t only make your images stand out but also increase their chances of being sold.

And of course, always make sure that you comply with all necessary regulations and requirements to avoid any legal consequences.

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common mistakes selling drone photos UK

Navigating the world of aerial photography can be a thrilling yet challenging journey, filled with potential pitfalls that could hinder your success.

One of the most common mistakes you might make is not getting your pricing strategies right.

Setting your prices too low might give potential customers the impression that your work is of low quality, while setting them too high might deter potential buyers. It’s crucial to research the market and find a balance that reflects the quality of your work and the demand for drone photography.

Also, don’t forget to account for commission rates on different platforms, as ignoring these could result in lower earnings than expected.

Another area where you might stumble is in the quality and composition of your drone photos. Boring or uninteresting compositions can make your work less appealing to potential buyers. Focus on capturing unique perspectives, interesting subjects, and visually appealing compositions to increase the chances of selling your work.

Post-production editing is another aspect that shouldn’t be overlooked. Many drone photos can benefit from this to enhance their visual appeal. Ignoring this step may result in lower-quality images that are less likely to sell.

Here’s a quick table to help you remember these points:

Mistakes to AvoidWhy it’s a MistakeHow to Avoid it
Incorrect PricingCan deter potential buyers or undervalue your workResearch market and balance quality with demand
Ignoring Commission RatesCan result in lower earningsBe aware of rates on different platforms
Poor CompositionMakes photos less appealingCapture unique perspectives and interesting subjects

Lastly, don’t forget about copyright issues and legal requirements. Ensure that you comply with all necessary regulations and requirements, such as registering your drone with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) if it has a camera and weighs 250g or more, and following the UK drone laws.

Failing to do so may result in legal consequences. Also, be cautious when taking drone photos that may invade people’s privacy or impact GDPR compliance.

Obtain consent from identifiable individuals in your photos, especially when planning to sell or profit from the images. By avoiding these common mistakes and employing effective marketing techniques, you can increase your chances of successfully selling your drone photos and maximizing your earnings.

best drone stock photo layout

best composition tips for stock drone photography UK

Mastering the art of composition can truly elevate your aerial photography game, making your images stand out in the stock photo market. To create visually appealing drone images that sell, you need to consider various elements such as lighting techniques and camera settings.

The correct use of lighting can add depth and drama to your images. For instance, shooting during the golden hour can give your aerial landscapes a warm and captivating feel. Moreover, adjusting your camera settings to capture sharp and well-exposed images is crucial. Use a fast shutter speed to avoid motion blur, and adjust your ISO settings to capture the finest details.

four composition tips to enhance your stock drone photography:

  1. Aerial Perspectives: The beauty of drone photography lies in the unique perspectives it offers. Whether it’s capturing a bird’s eye view of stunning landscapes, or providing a unique angle of a property for real estate marketing, the aerial perspective can make your images more compelling.
  2. Symmetry and Patterns: Use your drone to spot and capture symmetrical lines and interesting patterns. This adds a sense of balance and harmony to your images, making them more visually appealing.
  3. Focus on the Subject: Whether it’s a majestic piece of architecture, a bustling wedding venue, or a serene wildlife habitat, make sure your subject is the focus of your image. Use the rule of thirds to position your subject in a way that draws the viewer’s eye.
  4. Play with Shadows and Reflections: Use lighting to your advantage to create interesting shadows and reflections, adding an extra layer of depth to your images.

Remember, the key to successful stock drone photography is to produce high-quality images with unique perspectives and visually appealing compositions. It’s also important to comply with all necessary regulations and requirements when flying your drone in the UK. So, go out there, experiment with different lighting techniques, camera settings, and angles, and let your creativity soar. The sky is literally your canvas, make the most of it.

best locations for stock drone photography UK

Having covered the essentials of composition in drone photography, let’s switch gears and explore how to find the best locations for your aerial shoots in the UK.

Knowing where to fly your drone can significantly impact the quality and appeal of your photos, therefore, it’s an aspect you can’t afford to overlook. It’s not just about finding picturesque landscapes, but also about ensuring the safety and efficiency of your drone operations.

First off, drone maintenance is vital before heading out to any location. Ensure your drone is in optimal condition to handle the diverse UK weather and terrain. Regular checks will help you avoid unexpected malfunctions during your shoots, saving you time and potential loss of images.

Additionally, be conscious of weather considerations. The UK weather can be unpredictable, and adverse conditions can affect your drone’s performance and the quality of your shots. Prior knowledge of the weather can help you plan your shoots better and take precautionary measures to protect your drone.

When it comes to selecting locations, be creative and diverse. The UK offers a wide range of sceneries from the rugged coastline and serene countrysides to the bustling cityscapes. Each location presents unique opportunities for stunning aerial photos.

But remember, capturing the perfect shot is only half the battle. Using image editing software can further enhance your photos, bringing out the best colours, textures, and details. So, whether you’re soaring over the Scottish Highlands or sweeping through London’s skyline, the right location combined with post-production edits can make your drone photos stand out in any stock photography market.


So, you’ve got the lowdown on selling your drone photos in the UK. Remember, it’s not just about snapping a great shot; you need to be aware of the legal requirements and avoid common pitfalls too.

You’re ready to take to the skies and capture some eye-catching aerial imagery. With the right composition and location, your drone photos could become a lucrative business.

So go on, give it a shot!

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