This is *Exactly* What You Need to Know About Drone Photography
Technology has given us many wonderful things, innovations never dreamed of certainly, but one we cannot get over is drone photography and the difference it makes in wedding photography. Drone photography is truly something special and adds a great deal of value to the industry. They give us photos that are more iconic and jaw-dropping because of their composition and landscape, Stephanie Ford, FAA Certified Drone Pilot and Photographer behind Stephanie Ford Photography suggests.
So what is drone photography? Ford explains, it takes photography to another dimension, of being able to go vertical and higher than a ladder. It’s the ability to take a photo from above (up to 400 feet above) use a drone.
Pros + Cons of Drone Photography
There’s the obvious advantage: the height, which gives you the dramatic effect. But Ford says other advantages are the fact that the height can get a “different perspective from the subject, creating more of an artistic photo. And the wide lens allows more of the crowd and landscape to be included in the photo.”
As with most innovations, there are pluses and negatives and for drone photography there are a few disadvantages you should know before making your decision. Although, arguably they could easily be overcome to give you those shots you’re looking for. Ford explains, for one there’s the quality of the photo, which isn’t quite as high as that of a photograph from a DSLR camera (but that’s not to say this isn’t quickly changing). “The drone can also be noisy (it sounds like a swarm of bees), so it can be distracting. And battery life can be short, so there is a need to be quick in getting the shot or video footage desired.” And lastly, another possible disadvantage could be dealing with weather changes, advisories or restrictions.
Avoiding the Noise
The good news — the noise could be avoided, according to Ford. “If possible, flying the drone higher above people will make noise minimal.” However, that’s not to say she would recommend using the drone above the ceremony, unless it can be really high above. “This is the part of the wedding day that you want people to be most present. . . any noise or movement is a distraction.”
Dealing with Weather Restrictions
Just like with flying in an airplane, weather is a big factor for flying a drone. Rain, fog, and wind all have an affect on drone photography. Ford’s advice, though, “Checking the hourly forecast can help plan when weather will be best for flying a drone.” If it’s merely raining, then it’s best to wait to see if rain will pass and then grab the shot. But with fog and wind you’ll want to be cautious, which is why checking the hourly forecast is your best line of defense, and making sure to understand that you might not get that drone shot. Why? “Fog affects line of sight, which is important for the pilot. Wind affects the ability to control the flight and [it’s not recommended to fly in] winds above 30mph,” Ford tells us.
Questions to Ask Before Hiring Your Drone Photographer
So your hearts set on that dramatic landscape or crowd shot and you simply have to have a drone photographer. Luckily for you more and more photographers these days are becoming certified and adding this to their services, but either way you should ensure you’re asking the right questions, because it’s a snag more involved than the questions to ask a regular wedding photographer. Ford suggests you at least ask if they are FAA certified and insured, and of course we agree.
Why is FAA certification so important? Ford explains, “Mostly so they understand the rules that go with flying a drone. Pilots need to understand safety, airspace, and more. A professional drone pilot will also be able to make recommendations on the shot and whether the conditions are ideal to get that shot. They need to consider weather, visability, and airspace when planning their shot.”
Cover photo by @somersidephotography on Instagram