Let's Talk Drones!
Drones are a newer technology for the wedding industry, but they aren't just for videographers. In this episode with Justin Gibby, we discuss how photographers can use them as well. Justin also goes over the rules and processes of owning and operating drones in your business.
He recommends playing around with a more affordable or used one first before you take them to an event. Now that he and his wife have invested in a drone, they can offer more shots and angles to complete the story for their clients, and you can too!
Started out as separate, but now under Gibby Visuals full time. Their businesses were built on the side of our main jobs at first, but after Justin was let go from his job, he was able to focus on Gibby Visuals full time. While Justin also works with corporate clients, his wife, Emily still does portrait photography separate from their joint packages. Working with couples from their engagement shoot to their wedding allows Justin & Emily to get to know their clients and allows the couple to get used to the camera and video set-up. They also try to capture more of the couple’s story during the engagement shoot.
Okay, on to drones!
Just like with painting your house, you can do drones on your own, but hiring a professional to do drone work is worth the investment. Getting started with $100 drones is actually harder than mastering the more expensive ones because they’re actually a bit harder to use. There is a lot more responsibility that comes with flying drones; there are tests you have to take and pass, permission and waivers are needed, and you’ve got to know what planes in your area are doing. Drones are a blast to fly, but caution is needed when flying them.
Just crash test them
Justin got started with drones because they offered other angles his typical cameras couldn’t get. They saw this as a great investment for their video clients. Justin practiced every day to get the hang of flying it (hint: they’re very easy to crash!). He suggests always keeping them in your eyesight. After crashing his first one, he got a second drone because it became a huge part of his equipment line-up. It may be a good idea to get the $100 version, play with it and crash that one before you crash the more expensive ones.
Know the rules
You can purchase drones straight from the internet; anyone can buy and anyone can fly, but there are lots of things you need to be aware of and there are many places you can take these tests. We’ve got the links for certifications and rules linked below. Once you’ve booked a wedding, you need to check with the venue to see if they’re okay with it and then check the airspace (hover, map) and submit a waiver to the airport (weeks in advance) to get approved to use the drone during the event. P.S. it is illegal to fly at night. So do your research!
Photographers can use drones too
If you’re a photographer and wondering if it is worth it for you to invest in a drone, it may be. Think in the way a videographer would and use the drone to get location shots and wide angles to tell the story before you zoom into the details. The couples and venues love to see the big picture. The Mavic Air ($799) is so small and shoots RAW photos.
Capturing the photos and videos
All drones now have their own cameras attached. Gimbells stabilize the camera in the air so the photos and videos turn out clear. Some drones will come with a monitor and others can connect to your phone or iPad that allows you to see and control the drone.
Travel light when you have destination weddings. You will find so much information online, and be aware that your certifications don’t necessarily work overseas. Talk with the locals and take into consideration sacred or religious areas. The cruise that Justin and Emily booked allowed them to bring on the drones, but would not allow them to launch from the moving boat.
Capturing interiors with drones
Reception indoors can be a bit trickier to manage with all the people. It is easier to do building interiors for corporate clients or just for venue shots. If you are trying to get venue interiors during a wedding, plan to arrive earlier so you won’t have to worry about the wedding guests.
Shop around to find the drone you want (don’t be afraid of used ones) and have fun with it!
Register your drone with the FAA and put it on the drone.
Learn all you can and fly cautiously.