Photographing New York City from a Helicopter

Have you visited New York City before? I’m sure many people have. Have you taken a helicopter flight over New York City? Most people have not, but you absolutely should. There are two main companies in New York city that provide helicopter flight services; Wings Air Helicopters and FlyNYon. They are both great choices to fly, you will have to visit their website and pick which one is best for you. On here you will see photos from both of these companies.

Empire State Building  Taken with Sony a7iii

Empire State Building

Taken with Sony a7iii


Believe it or not, I am scared of heights. On these look down shots the pilot has to turn the helicopter sideways in the sky, because we can not see directly underneath us. The first time I experienced this in San Francisco, my first flight, I was extremely scared. However, I knew that these are the best shots - so I sucked it up and kept firing!

New York Sunset

Communicating with your pilot is important

Before flying, talk to your pilot and let him know what you want and most importantly what you dont want to photograph. For example, our flight was going to stop by Governor’s Island - but I am not very interested in shooting that. I told our pilot to skip the Island and that gave us an additional 5 minutes of flying, you can shoot at lot in 5 minutes in a helicopter. Dont be afraid to tell them what you want, you are paying good money for this flight, fly over your favorite places!

Lower Manhattan Sunset

Lower Manhattan Sunset

All in all, do your homework. Compares both companies and see which one is the best fit for you. Have a memory card with a lot of storage, full batteries, and I would suggest using the 24-70 if you are flying during the day. if you are doing a sunset or night, you will need a prime lens with an f/1.4.

Thanks for reading.

Felipe SilvaComment