Deciding on Drones for Events

4 things to consider before booking aerial photographers

Drones have revolutionized the way moments can be captured and shared. Just a few years ago, the only option for aerial photography was hiring a plane or helicopter. Drones allow us to capture crystal-clear aerial perspectives for a few hundred dollars. With today’s drone technology, high-definition footage of any occasion can be obtained at a very reasonable price.

The accessibility of drone photography has brought us into the future of event planning. Even the smallest gatherings can be turned into great memories. Before hiring a drone operator for your next event, there are a few things to consider.

How Much Footage Do You Want or Need?

Aerial photography is the perfect way to capture breathtaking shots of your event venue from above and get creative with the way it is filmed. Show off all the best aspects of your event without worrying about a photographer.

If you’re considering hiring a drone photographer for your event, you must decide whether you want them to shoot your whole event, including the ground production, or to take aerial shots. If you only want a few aerial pictures and video, prices are considerably cheaper. For full air and ground production, you should expect to pay $400–500. When hiring an operator for full production, it is common for them to cut you a deal on editing.

How Will You Use the Footage?

Deciding how you will use the footage will help determine how much you want filmed, and where. Drone footage makes for amazing marketing or event recap videos. Large-scale trade shows and outdoor receptions take a lot of planning to run smoothly. Drone photography is the perfect tool to make sure your hard work is noticed. With an aerial perspective, event planners can show off venue locations, crowds of people and their setup like never before.

What are You Getting for Your Money?

Cost will depend on several things, including the amount of footage needed and the hoops the photographer must jump through to be approved. The more attendees at an event, the greater the liability factor; in some cases operators might have to get additional insurance to be able to fly their drone. A planner should always check with the venue’s event management team for approval before hiring a drone photographer/operator, and be sure you fully understand when and where it can be used, if permitted. Some convention centers prohibit its use in common areas, for example, but allow it on the expo floor.

What Should You Expect from the Photographer?

“A client should expect [the photographer] to scout the location of the shoot,” says Matt Austin, owner and operator of Aerial Imaging Resources. According to Austin, this can be done in person or using a tool such as Google Earth. He says expert drone operators make sure anything unwanted that could be in the shot is moved or they take note to avoid it when shooting later. Another important consideration for an operator is researching the sunlight conditions for optimal light on what they want to showcase in their footage.

 

 


Victor Montalvo is co-founder of HiFly Photography

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