Aerial Photography

Rhode Island from the Sky

The rules of drone photography may be up in the air, but Don and Nate Bousquet have been capturing aerial images since 1987. The father and son duo use a digital camera affixed to a four-foot model airplane flown over coastal panoramas. It all started when Don Bousquet took an interest in flying model aircraft but wanted to do more. “I was six years old, and my dad would fly gilders off the cliff near our house in Bonnet Shores,” says Nate Bousquet. “Over time he went from gilders to electric-powered airplanes. He was bored with just flying the airplanes and not doing anything with it.” Then they decided to hook up a disposable camera to the plane and take photos of the view from above. “You remember the ones you’d have to wind up after taking a photo?” says Nate. “We put those in the airplanes and they could only take one picture per flight, so you’d have to land it and wind the film again.” When digital technology arrived, the cameras could be smaller and lighter, so now the planes are smaller, too. “We didn’t need to have a big plane anymore, which means we can fly almost anywhere,” he says. They’ve shot coastal images in Narragansett, South Kingstown, Charlestown, Westerly and Watch Hill. “Anywhere that has the contrast of the land and the water together.”