Jon Hope Aerial Photography | about-jon

San Francisco based Aerial photographer Jon hope Jon Hope, Award winning aerial photographer

Jon Hope is an award-winning professional photographer with more than 25 years of experience in portrait, location and aerial photography. He has shot for Newsweek, The Times (London), The Telegraph (London), Der Spiegel, Financial Times and countless other publications. His corporate clients have included General Motors, Levi Strauss, Orange, HSBC, Sega. Peet's Coffee and Red Stripe Beer, among many others.

Since purchasing his first camera as a teenager, Jon has been photographing some of the world’s most interesting people and places. Jon’s portrait photography has spanned subjects from two British Prime Ministers to members of the Khmer Rouge to Magic Johnson. For Jon, the joy of portraiture lies in meeting people from all walks of life and establishing a relationship, however brief, with them. By forging a connection and putting his subjects at ease, he is able to capture who they are.

Jon’s work has taken him from Missoula, Montana to Tokyo to the North Sea, not to mention quite a few locations in-between. Regardless of the shoot, he brings an eye for detail and an organized approach to the project that comes from his years of experience facing innumerable weather and other logistical challenges.

At 17, Jon took his first helicopter ride with camera in hand and shot a series of photos that became his first published work. Strapped into a harness with his legs hanging out the side door, Jon was mostly awed by the view. However, running through the back of his mind was the worry that he might lose a shoe, and his mother would not be pleased. But the potential for lost footwear didn’t discourage him and Jon continued to ride in helicopters during his time in the British Armed Forces. Years later, as Lead Photographer for World Golf Tour, Jon found himself back in the air organizing a crew of photographers as they shot aerial images of the world’s finest golf courses. The work with WGT inspired Jon to continue his aerial photography locally and internationally.

Jon’s photography is driven by a desire to demonstrate different perspectives of the everyday. What better way to do this than from the air? Watching the world unfold beneath him, he enjoys a greater appreciation of scale and density (for instance, skyscrapers and freeway traffic) as well as humanity’s impact on nature. Be it a road in Iceland that cuts through a lava flow or the East Bay salt ponds with their anomalous colors, the challenge of shooting aerially inspires him. He will tell you that nothing compares with the thrill when a helicopter lifts up into the air and the noise and wind align to create something utterly unique.

Jon’s enthusiasm for aerial work recently led him to complete his helicopter pilot’s license, a credential that provides him with an enhanced technical understanding of shoot conditions as well as a shared language with his fellow pilots. 

Based in San Francisco, Jon is available for photography assignments—both grounded and airborne—as well as technical consulting on aerial projects.