I would start with a bigger frame than the little ladybirds, the cost of getting a good set up to start flying is not cheap, I build systems to customers requirments, the latest build I did was a DroidWorx Hexacopter frame, I also built them a cheap training Hexacopter craft, this was a way for them to get used to flying before heading out with "real" one you can see a video of it here, I remommended the F550 Flame wheel kit with the GPS Naza flight controller, as this was the closest thing to their aerial photography craft, I would say to help you more with the future projects we would need to know what size camera you would like to carry on the aerial photography copter, a quad might be enough for you needs, however if you are looking at the bigger cameras like a DSLR then you need to be looking to the Hexacopters over a quad.
Other thoughts will be the time, energy and what you want your involvement to be with the system, the open source controllers offer a great deal of features for less money, so an APM 2 might be a good choice if you are after the "control" of changing code and like to do setting up of the system PID's etc. The other option is a close source controller like the Naza or thec WKM with are outstaning controllers but will cost you more than the open source offerings, the plus to closed source is that the systems will work from the box and have little to no set up required so you will spend less time in the work shop adjusting and more time in the air doing flights.
I am sorry, I missed your post Martin, I'll come back later and answer! :)
#1 get a simulator controller and some RC simulator software. It takes awhile to learn to fly good enough to not just be pissing money away with crashes.
#2 get a medium to big trainer plane with a pusher prop setup. The Bixler is highly recommended by many here. You want a big plane because they're easier to fly, easier to see, and easier to fix. You want a pusher because otherwise you will break your prop on most landings until you're good at flying.
#3 Hobbyking.com is BY FAR the cheapest place for all RC supplies.
All the simulators (at least G4 and AeroFly) have heli models. In any case it's a cheap investment that is 100% guaranteed to pay off in saved crashes, repairs, and parts.
I only got a simulator after I crashed my fixed wing a couple times, and I wish it had been the other way around.