Drones are becoming more and more popular every day, and one of the main reasons for their rise in popularity is because many of them come equipped with high quality cameras that allow anyone to capture and record stunning aerial photography/videography. If you want to learn the best ways to take drone photography and wow your audience then this post is for you. There are many reasons that people want to learn how to take high-quality photos and videos. Whatever the reason, we’ve compiled a list of the best drone photography courses that are available today. These courses are designed for beginners, intermediate photographers, or professionals that need some help with fine-tuning their drone photography skills.

Why Take A Drone Photography Course?

You might be interested in photography because you want to create beautiful pictures. You might be looking for a new hobby because you want to take amazing aerial shots and videos. Maybe you’re just tired of your Instagram feed and you’re looking for something new to post on social media.

You may even be thinking about making some money on the side or starting a full blown drone photography business, whatever, the reason may be, there are a lot of drone photography courses on the market.

The list below isn’t an exhaustive list, however, they all come with good reviews and are presented by professional photographers who will have you capturing amazing photos and videos in no time.

Can You Make Money With Drone Photography?

Yes, is the simple and straightforward answer, but how much you make will be determined by a lot of factors.

The main factor will be how much time and effort you put in. Are you simply looking for a side hustle or thinking of going full time with your drone photography services?

If you are just starting out, you will need to build a good portfolio, this may require you to work for reduced rates to win some projects and build your brand.

Once you have established yourself and accumulated good testimonials, you can start charging premium rates, which according to Thumbtack, is anything between $160-$200 per hour.

Do You Need A Drone License?

This depends on where you live, in the UK, you will most likely need to obtain something called an Operator ID and Flyer ID. The Flyer ID will require you to take an online test, while the Operator ID is for registering the drone with the FAA.

Drone flight in the UK falls under 3 categories, they are Open, Specific and Certified categories. The difference between each category is determined by the level of risk that is involved for each flight and to a lesser extent, the weight of the drone.

For most people looking to use their drone for commercial photography (or filming), you will fall under the Open category. This has three sub-categories, they are A1, A2 and A3.

There is no need for any further action if you have obtained an Operator ID and Flyer ID, however, there is an additional test you may have to take if it is determined that your flight operation falls under the A2 sub-category.

This test is called the A2 Certificate of Competency and will require you to complete a set of reading materials, take a few self-monitored tests and show the CAA that you are a competent pilot.

If you want to operate drones over densely populated areas, it will most likely fall under the Specific category. This will require you to obtain an operational authorisation from the CAA as well as a General VLOS Certificate (GVC) from a recognised assessment entity (RAE).

If you are unsure of which category, you fall in for your drone photography operation, please check out the CAA website for further guidance.

In the US, the rules are a little simpler, if you want to capture drone photography for commercial purposes, you will need to obtain the Part 107 certificate from the FAA.

For more information on what you will be tested on to obtain a Part 107 certificate, read this article.

Best Drone Photography Course

So, when I started researching good courses for drone photography, I was quite surprised by the sheer number of courses out there.

Suffice to say it was hard to narrow down this list, there are quality courses that I have not mentioned, and I do advise you to do your own research before settling on a drone photography course.

There are also some good YouTube tutorials on drone photography and you should definitely check these out for some free material.

Some of the courses on this list are Udemy courses, for anyone who is not familiar with Udemy, it’s an online learning platform that provides courses in a wide range of subjects. They are cheaper than most other courses and have favourable reviews from their students.

Also, something to note, being a great drone pilot will not automatically make you a great drone photographer. The principles of normal photography and drone photography are the same, it’s just, with drones, you have a certain vantage point that that is difficult to gain without the use of a manned aircraft.

By the way, this list is in no particular order, all these courses will give you the knowledge and skills in capturing and developing stunning aerial photography.

Pilot Institute – Drone Photo & Video Masterclass

Pilot Institute are a well-established organisation that provides high-quality drone-related training programs. Their Part 107 course for commercial drone pilots is one of the best and has a 99% success rate. Their latest course offering is the Drone Photo & Video Masterclass which will provide all the training you need to offer drone photography & videography services to your clients with a special focus on Real Estate photography. The course contains over 8 hours of video lessons and free lifetime updates.

$149  (on sale now $59 Nov 2023)  (lifetime access)

Best Drone Photography Course

Drone Photography – Shoot Professional Photos With Any Drones (Udemy)

Instructor – Dale McManus, an award-winning web-developer, YouTuber and professional photographer with over 7 years of experience in this field.

The best reviewed Udemy drone photography course with over 6000 students, this course has over 2-hours of video content and 3 downloadable resources.


Aerial Photo Pro By Drone Launch Academy

Instructor – Alexander Harris – Professional award-winning photographer with over 10 years of experience, mainly uses DJI drones for photography.

A comprehensive course delivered mainly through video tutorials with over 3 hours of content. Everything is covered from initial drone setup and camera settings to making the best use of Adobe Lightroom Pro for editing your images. It’s one of the more expensive courses but there is a payment plan if you are interested.

Cost – $238.80, can be paid in 3 monthly instalments

DJI Drone Photography Academy Premium Master Class

Instructors – Randy J Braun – A professional photographer and an early adopter of drones for photography, Randy brings his decades of expertise to deliver this comprehensive photography course. DJI were so impressed with his work, they hired him as a director, and he helped open their first offices in North America.

Stacy M Garlington – With over a decade’s worth of experience in aerial photography and co-founding DJI’s Still Photography Development team, she and her co-instructor are one of the few photographers authorised by DJI to teach aerial photography with DJI drones.

This is one of the longest courses on this list with nearly 6 hours of video content that covers everything you need to know to capture the perfect aerial images. The course touches upon editing your images with Adobe Lightroom Classic and provides tips on how to land clients for your photography business. There are also a few tutorials on using your drones for photogrammetry.

Cost – $298.80, this can be paid in 4-monthly instalments.

Stunning Aerial Videography & Photography Using Drones (Udemy)

Instructor- Bruce Geddes – A Dr in cognitive psychology, Bruce is an accomplished aerial photographer/videographer.

This Udemy course has over 6 hours of video content and includes 8 articles and 11 downloadable resources. It focuses on both aerial photography and videography, it’s a very popular course on Udemy with over 9000 students and a 4.5-star rating.

Cost – £59.99

James Abbot Drone Photography & Video Training Course

Instructor – James Abbot – An award winning photographer who’s been published on many well-known photography and technology websites.

This is a one-day five-hour in-person course, so it is only for people who are based in the UK. The course is split into two parts. The first part will teach students shooting methods and the second part deals with editing and enhancing your images.

Cost – £299, a £50 deposit is required for booking, the cost is reduced if you can find a few other people to join.

Aerial Photography Course By Drones Direct

Instructor – David Lund – known for his innovative approach to liquid photography, David Lund is an accomplished aerial photographer whose clients include British Steel, Shell and Grants Whiskey.

A one-day masterclass in aerial drone photography, it covers everything from camera settings to editing and colour grading and enhancing your images.

Cost – £234 – This is an in-person course based in the UK.

Aerial Photography By DroneU

Instructor – Vic Moss – A professional photographer with over 3 decades of experience, he is the COO of the Drone Service Providers Alliance and also holds an advisory position with the FAA.

This a comprehensive drone photography course delivered via video tutorial. It covers a lot of topics like basic camera settings for optimal performance to histograms, exposure triangle, night time photography and best practices in post-processing.

Cost – This is part of DroneU’s monthly subscription plan which is $47pm or $470pa.

Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed reading about the best drone photography courses that are available today. With the technology available in drones, they can be a very fun and rewarding hobby to have. If you have a hobby in photography, a drone is a great way to take your pictures to a new level. If you want to learn more about drone photography, check out the courses mentioned above today!