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Back to Blogs 5 Things to Consider Before Hiring a Drone Photographer - Aerial Innovations Southeast

5 Things to Consider Before Hiring a Drone Photographer

Historically, drone photography was considered a luxury but now it’s a growing marketing practice for many businesses. Drone photography is an excellent use for boosting your online presence and the quality of your marketing materials. As drone technology evolves and its utilization expands across various industries, it’s essential to hire an experienced drone photographer that can accomplish your vision. Here are five things to consider before hiring a drone photographer for your next project.

1. Check If Your Drone Photographer is Licensed and Insured

Since 2016, the Federal Aviation Administration has required commercial drone services to have a Part 107 License. Part 107 is the FAA rules and guidelines section that covers drones under 55 pounds. This license ensures that all your footage is legal and won’t be confiscated by authorities. Don’t just ask if they have a permit but also if you can see it yourself. Otherwise, your company’s reputation could be at risk because there are stiff penalties if you select an unlicensed drone hire.

Although it isn’t a Part 107 requirement, it’s good to ask your drone pilot if they have liability insurance. Professional operators will do what they can, but things can still go wrong. If that happens, it’s best to have insurance, which keeps you and the operator from unnecessary legal expenses.

2. Before Hiring a Drone Operator, Ask About The Flight

There are a lot of drone questions, but the first ones you should ask involve the airspace around your targets. Ask if anywhere you plan to shoot is close to controlled or restricted airspace. Ensure that your pilot has the proper waivers and authorizations for drone photography. This is especially true if you’re planning high-altitude footage. Pilots also need waivers for night flying or flying directly over other people or private property. Ask about the condition and type of drone that will be used and the equipment it possesses, and don’t be afraid to get technical.

3. Make Sure They Have Drone Photography Skills

It makes no sense to hire a drone photographer solely on their flight knowledge. Once you’ve ascertained the technical facts, ask about the photo or video quality that the drone can produce. A professional drone hire will know how to manually change their camera settings to account for light, the drone’s speed, and proper focus on the subject at hand. 

You should also ask how long the pilot’s been operating drones. A good drone can account for wind and stability, but that can all be negated by hiring a drone operator who can’t answer simple drone questions and doesn’t know what they’re doing. If you have another photography director for on-the-ground shots, make sure both directors are of equal quality.

4. Hire A Drone Photographer That Can Serve Your Narrative

Drone shots are surprisingly easy to use. Everyone loves aerial photos, but high majesty doesn’t do if you’re trying to capture a family gathering. Even corporate photography can require intimate shots that are hard to get. Before your shoot, you should discuss what you want to achieve with your drone photographer and production team. If you can, try to storyboard what you want beforehand. If you’re not good at drawing, you can hire an artist to do it for you. If there are certain shots or locations you want, don’t be afraid to make special requests.

5. Ask About Other Drone Services

First, ask about post-production. Some drone services will just give you the raw footage on an SD card, but others can also help with editing. It costs a little extra, but it can be worth it if you don’t have the know-how yourself. See if there’s a portfolio of their other work that shows you what to expect. Ask how they can handle different weather conditions such as rain or snowfall. Don’t be afraid to reschedule if conditions aren’t ideal. Finally, see if their rates fit within your budget.

Drone Photography Services from Aerial Innovations

At Aerial Innovations, we employ multiple drones, cameras, and drone operators to cater our approach to the work you need to be done. Our team of experts is FAA Licensed and fully insured with aircraft and liability insurance, upholding the highest safety standards in the industry. Get in touch with us today if you’re interested in using drone photography services for your next project.