Simply put: drones are much more complicated than most people realize. They make for some amazing photos and are able to capture angles that otherwise might not be seen in photos; however, flying a drone requires skill, precision, and practice.
Drone (or aerial) photography is becoming the wave of the bridal future, as people are looking for new and inventive ways to capture their wedding. Aeriel photos of the ceremony site, bride and train, and bridal party and guests are becoming a wedding staple. However, there are many things to consider when choosing to have drone photography at your wedding:
Drone Pilots should be licensed and insured.
When hiring an individual to take drone photos, it is important to inquire about their drone license, as well as their liability insurance. Every individual who flies small drones are required to take specific classes and pass exams prior to obtaining thier license as a pilot. This is to ensure that they are capable of piloting a drone in all situations and weather conditions. Hiring someone without a license is both risky and illegal (for the pilot). It could also create issues or barriers for certain venues, as many venues have contracts which require vendors to have the proper license and insurance. You could end up paying for a service that cannot be utilized at your particular venue. Liability insurance is also important, as drones carry risk of injury, especially when flown above people. Little known fact: the Federal Aviation Administrator (FAA) has not technically cleared the use of drones over people. However, the FFA currently is revising this policy (Operations Over People) to allow for such in the near future. Most pilots who currently utilize drones for photography will only operate them above small groups (two to three people) to avoid risks associated with such use; all other drone photography will likely be taken from a distance.
Drones have limitations.
Drones are only to be operated during specific weather conditions and in FAA approved locations. Drones are not to be flown during high-wind (over 14 miles an hour) or rainy weather. There are also specific “no fly zones” that pilots are required to honor. These factors should be considered when hiring someone to take photos at your wedding. Is your venue in a “no fly zone”? A licensed pilot should be able to tell you. Also, keep in mind that drone photographers have no control over the weather, and it is possible that they may not be able to fly the day of your wedding if conditions do not permit.
Some photos are better captured from the ground.
Although drone photography does result in some beautiful photos, not all photos are better from above. Drone photos are great for capturing large venues, landscape, or aerial bridal portraits. However, there are some things that are just better captured close up. What you gain in perspective, you lose in detail. A bride who wants to capture the small details of their dress, including hand-stitched mementos from a loved one, would be better off utilizing traditional photography. However, a bride who would like to get a view of their draping train and veil from above would likely be happy with drone photography. Most photos are going to capture the top of people’s heads, unless individuals are posed laying on the ground or looking up. In this way, posing is extremely limited with drone photography. For this reason, I would suggest hiring a photographer, who is able to take both types of photos (traditional and drone).
Interested in learning more? Feel free to contact me; drone photography is available as an add-on to any wedding package.