Are Drones the future of Photography?
The rising of the machines as you might call it. Has the growth of the drone market become a piece of equipment that you must have as a professional photographer? While I have had varying opinions on this topic, I think it is obvious that this is a trend that is not going away anytime soon.
Now some will say that there is no place for a drone within the professional photography arena. I have been for a long time one of those people that would agree with that statement until recently. There wasn’t one particular instance that all of a sudden showed me the importance of having this tool, it was a lot of research in regards to customers trends and trends in particular markets such as sports and real estate.
One might say, “What about the FAA?” and it’s a valid question and concern. Honestly that is the largest reason that I haven’t purchased one yet. The FAA could at any time make rules that make drone use more and more difficult. You have to look at a drone as a commercial use flying object if you are a professional using this as part of your business. That makes it a concern that the FAA will require a license for commercial use.
Another concern is the local regulations in regards to drone use. Yes there are communities that have certain usage restrictions for drones. You will also have to deal with the negativity surrounding drone use now as well. Lately we have seen negative articles about people getting in the way of firefighters with their drones, or even a man mounting a firearm to a drone and shooting it. This is where educating the public about proper drone use and making sure that one bad apple doesn’t ruin it for everyone else. Make sure before you spend your money on a drone that you understand the rules and are willing to abide by them. Here is just a brief overview from the FAA, and remember these could change if deemed for commercial usage. What Can I Do With My Model Aircraft?
The real estate market is a market that drone usage is booming. Weddings and Sporting Events are two other avenues where usage is growing also. For a long time I didn’t believe that a drone was a need in my bag of equipment that was until I started viewing some real estate listing of larger properties. These are listings that would have previously required a plane or helicopter rental to get this footage. Footage like this is very valuable to the real estate agent also. It is content that you are never going to fully capture with your Dslr either (and yes I cringe when I have to say that).
What drone should I buy? Well, that is something that you will have to decide for yourself. What things are you going to use the drone for? What is your budget? Are you going to use it to make money? All of these questions are ones that you have to answer and then do your research. There are amazing companies like DJI who make absolutely amazing products. Just because DJI makes some of the world’s best drones, doesn’t mean that it’s going to be a fit for you. Do your research, answer all the questions you have and figure out what you are willing to spend.
With all that said, I think that if you are a professional photographer, you really need to look at purchasing, training, and mastering a drone. For us here at Damon’s Photography we have made the decision that once it is budgeted we will be purchasing a drone from DJI that will help continue to grow our business and provide content for our customers and the general public. The payoff monetarily as well as just the fun factor will be more than you can imagine.