Take Flight PhotoWorks is Capturing Homes in a New Way During COVID-19


Sometimes I daydream that I win the lottery — I mean, who hasn’t? And the first thing I do with all my imaginary money is look for houses. I want a place on Bayou St. John, a farm in Folsom and a beach house in Bay St. Louis. I delight in scrolling through the images on sites like Trulia and Zillow, and I’m not the only one. According to a National Association of Realtors survey, 86 percent of respondents use the internet when searching for homes to buy.

It therefore makes sense for home sellers and realtors to make sure they have images that look great and show off all the great aspects of a property. One way to do that is with drone and aerial photography.

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“The bird’s-eye view of aerial photography is a complete, and sometimes dramatic, look at the scope of a property,” says Kelli Wright, a realtor with Latter & Blum. “The New Orleans real estate market isn’t known for large parcels of land, so when you find one it’s an excellent way to showcase it.”

According to Multiple Listing Service (MLS) statistics, properties with accompanying aerial imagery are 68 percent more likely to sell than properties without. One reason is because aerial photography allows a seller to highlight features like pools, patios and decks. Aerial images can also show details such as the condition of the roof.

Last October, Mark Warriner and Mike Griffin came out of retirement to start a business called Take Flight PhotoWorks, a professional architectural imaging company specializing in aerial and ground level photography.

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Warriner brings years of professional commercial photography and broadcast video production experience to the job. He’s also a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certificated Part 107 Remote Pilot, the certification required to fly drones for commercial work. Griffin is an Air Force Vietnam War veteran with extensive background in sales and marketing.

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The two met in the Civil Air Patrol, where they worked as the first fully qualified team in the southwest region of the patrol’s small unmanned aircraft system program.

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“Take Flight PhotoWorks does residential and commercial real estate, construction projects, insurance claims and aerial mapping for various industries with our Mavic 2 state-of-the-art drone,” says Griffin.

Griffin said the company was off to a strong start.

“Then coronavirus hit, and our business slowed down,” says Griffin. “The whole world slowed down.”

Fortunately, Warriner and Griffin have continued to find work with brokers and real estate agents.

“We can show properties with a different perspective and our images can do a better job in marketing them,” Griffin says.

They also work with construction companies.

“We can fly into places and not put humans at risk,” Griffin says.

One of the things the company offers is its Twilight package — photos shot at the most dramatic angle of a home, taken at just the right time of day when the sun is, or has just set.

“The sky takes on a deep shade of blue and the warm lights from inside the home make it so inviting,” says Warriner.

Like so many of us, Griffin and Warriner are waiting for the day when our economy and our spirits are soaring once again.

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