Question to ask your drone photographer
Aerial drone photography, otherwise known as "dronography" is popular these days but there are some photographers using drones improperly. To ensure you’re getting a safe, legal, quality shoot, make sure to ask your drone photographer these questions before hiring him or her for your project. Note: "Drones" are otherwise known as small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS’s)
1. Does the drone photographer have a good plan for taking the photos/videos you need?
An expert drone photographer can storyboard the shots for your production which will maximize the time and quality you pay the drone operator for. A storyboard is a visual outline of the plan for taking photos or video, giving you an inventory of shots you need. This is a much better scenario than sending someone out and getting a couple hours’ worth of random shots, hoping for the best.
Discussing or reviewing a list of shots with your drone photgrapher will help save you time, money and a lot of needless headaches. For instance, if you want to open with a sunrise shot of the bridge by your company’s headquarters, then you can request that specific shot.
2. What kind(s) of equipment do you use?
Not all cameras are created equal, and neither are all drones. CT Aerial Image Studios currently uses the state of the art, dji Phantom 4 series. The photo quality is exceptional and the video is crisp, 4K quality. We also use PROFESSIONAL PHOTO AND VIDEO EDITING SOFTWARE for post processing of images to deliver the highest quality photos and video. Ensure your aerial photographer or videographer has equipment that will give you crisp, seamless images to showcase your project.
3. What do you include in your pre-flight safety checks?
There are many things that can cause problems with your aerial photo shoot: violating laws, lack of proper FAA Authorizations, lack of safety precautions,weather, damaged equipment, insufficient battery or memory card storage space, and more. We use a detailed, 3 page checklist to plan and execute our aerial photography missions. Our chief pilot pilot, David Eberhardt, is an FAA Licensed Drone pilot, a former U.S. Air Force pilot, and licensed FAA civilian airplane pilot who is well versed in the rules, safety and operational flying activities.
4. Are you aware of all safety and privacy regulations, as well as no-fly zones?
To fly drones for commercial photography purposes, the drone operator must have an FAA Part 107 license. Our chief pilot and photographer has a Part 107 license and has been an FAA licensed pilot since 1982. There are quite a few pieces of legislation meant to protect citizens and their privacy. Additionally, FAA Part 107 is the regulation that covers all commercial drone photography activity. For example, it is illegal to fly within 5 miles of an airport (i.e. Groton/New London Airport) unless you have specific, written FAA authorization. We have that written authorization. We also keep track of any new or changing regulations. Protect yourself by making sure your photographer knows and follows all laws and regulations.
5. Do you have Liability Insurance?
As of this posting, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) does not require the owner or operator of an sUAS (a.k.a drone) to hold any insurance. If something goes wrong, this means you could be fiscally liable – and in some cases subject to legal action!
CT Aerial Image Studios covers every flight assignment with liability insurance thru Global Aerospace Inc, a leading aerospace company. Coverage option amounts vary from $1 million up to $5 million depending on circumstances and needs.
5. Do you offer re-shoots or post-production editing?
Drone photography can be expensive, ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. Depending on your photographer and the weather, your shots may come out blurry or unclear, overexposed due to too much sunlight, or too dark due to cloud cover or time-of-day.
At CT Aerial Image Studios, your satisfaction is our number one priority. Our reputation depends on your satisfaction. We take pre-shoot preparations and post-shoot editing very seriously. We also use professional photo and video software for post processing of images and/or video to deliver the highest quality photos and video.
We would be happy to discuss with you our client review and approval process which will help ensure your complete satisfaction.
We hope these guidelines help you pick a quality drone photographer or videographer for your aerial photoshoot, and we’d love to be a part of your project. Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.
CT Aerial Image Studios