Photography business reaches for the sky to beat the pandemic

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A Yorkshire photographer whose business was hard hit by pandemic related restrictions has reinvented his firm.

Skipton-based Alex Lester has now entered the professional aerial inspections, surveying and thermography industry.

When his wedding photography and videography work dried up completely in 2020 due to Covid, he used lockdown to invest in additional training to develop new drone operative skills, including obtaining Cat1 Certification to perform thermographic surveys and reports. UAV Studio was born.

Lester, who had experience of drone photography at events and has held Operational Authority from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) since 2018, launched UAV Studio with an exciting addition to his equipment – a Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced drone – which will allow him to conduct hi-resolution aerial thermographic surveys.

The business is initially focusing on the agricultural, energy and building industries, helping landowners, local authorities, landlords and others save time and money by surveying hard to reach areas.

Lester said: “Adding the new drone to our repertoire allows us to offer a wider service to those who need surveys of areas which are difficult to reach by traditional methods.

“For example, we have recently been commissioned to carry out a survey on a sea wall to identify possible water ingress and have helped landlords identify water pools within flat roofs.

“We have also carried out an aerial survey to help settle a boundary dispute. These types of disputes can often be contentious, and time is of the essence to reach a conclusion.

“Using the drone to carry out a survey takes around a fifth of the time it would take to carry out a traditional land-based survey, which saves on costs and is hugely beneficial in obtaining a high level of detail without drawing out the process.

“The pandemic has hit many businesses hard, but I am pleased to have been in a position to take an alternative route and pursue something I’ve keen to explore for a few years.

“There are endless opportunities for the business as there’s no shortage of customers who want to gain valuable insight with minimal hassle and I look forward to seeing what the future holds for the new business.”