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Drone Wedding Photography. Our Guide

Tips & Advice // Published by Sam, Editor - August 15, 2017

Now that you have settled on the wedding venue of your dreams, the next step is hunting for the best photographer who will capture your long-awaited day in all its glory. Gone are the days when photographers had to perform acrobatic moves to get a shot from up above.

Drone Wedding Photography

Equipped with high-tech cameras, these gadgets are now able to capture amazing images. Now, the happy couple can get a 360-degree view of their wedding day from a bird’s eye view. But before you invest in drone wedding photography, there are a few things you need to be aware of. Here is a comprehensive guide on what you need to know before hiring a photography or videography team for drone services.

What are drones?

Drones aircraft are making headlines in the media almost every day. Drones, also referred to as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are aircraft that can either be controlled by drone pilots from the ground or autonomously by a pre-programmed mission.

There are countless types and brands on the current market; however, they all fall into two broad categories: those used for war and are armed with missiles and bombs and those that are used primarily for scouting and surveillance purposes. Drones are more than just fancy toys for any tech-savvy pal. Here, we shall focus primarily on the latter and take an in-depth look into drones for wedding photography.

Benefits of using drones for weddings

These handy little gadgets can be used in a variety of ways. They can be used to capture a tender moment between a bride and groom but from up above. You and your family will be able to view your day unlike ever before. Family and other loved ones can also be able to spell out their best wishes to the happy couple by lettering out the words – using their bodies.

That is a unique and fun way to leave a loving message for the happy couple. These devices can capture the serene and spectacular surroundings of your wedding venue. You’ll be able to immerse yourselves back to that special day even after years have passed by.

From videos and photos of the day can be turned into a mini film that tells the story, this beautiful video was shot using a Phantom 4 Drone by White Balloon Films in the UK.

Drone wedding photography prices

To have a drone at your wedding the costs can vary, you are hiring a drone and operator who will fly the drone. The amount of time you would need them there will be a lot less than your wedding photographer, the drone can only be flown outdoors, so there will be no shots of you walking down the aisle with the drone in the Church, or the dinner reception, however the drone can make for great videos of you coming out of the church, your drinks reception outdoors and group shots from above.

You can hire drone operators from £200-£300, wedding videography packages which include the use of a drone can start from £500 going upwards and into the £1000’s  depending on the package and requirements. A full video package of the whole day, not just with a drone can cost a number of thousand pounds.

What Should I know before hiring them?

There are quite a few things you should be aware of before deciding on using drone-services. They include:
Licensing and registration – Granted that anybody can purchase and fly drones for fun, it’s an entirely different story when it comes to using them for commercial purposes. Anyone wishing to use these devices for commercial business such as wedding photography or videography business must have a legit license. This grant is awarded to operators who pass their tests and are certified as drone operators.

Insurance – Since this device will be flying over your guest’s heads, it is of uttermost importance that you ensure your operator have coverage for their gadget. If you plan to host your wedding in a public outdoor venue and not your home, the driver is supposed to check the insurance requirements of that particular site and adhere to them – many event facilities require proof of coverage before signing off.

Site Restrictions – While almost all venues permit drone usage; some have strict rules about using them. Most places open to the public such as hotels or golf courses have restrictions when it comes to flying photography on their property. This is not in one-bit surprising as you’ll be invading other people’s privacy – your flying camera might capture images of strangers and make them a part of your big day. Most venues rules include only flying directly above your ceremony and reception area and nowhere else – ensure you check with venue manager regarding their policies beforehand.

Operator’s Experience – Operator is responsible for not only flying drone but for the safety of guests and nature as well. Another thing to keep in mind is just because he/ she can pilot a drone doesn’t necessarily mean he/ she has the know-how of capturing professional images. Ensure your operator adheres to rules and regulations of drone-flying. Your guests should also not distract them during flight as this might lead to accidents.

Noise – Drones make a lot of noise (as their name would suggest). This is because they come armed with engines and propellers. With this in mind, sit down with your operator and iron out when he/ she should fly and when he/ she should set it down during the ceremony. It’s best to keep it grounded during significant bits such as vow exchanging.

Weather – Drones are electronic thus prone to water. If the weather is rainy, then your aerial view photographs will have to be grounded. These flying camera’s do not operate in high winds as well as it’s not safe for both the machine and your guests. They should only be used on calm, clear days.

Shots – A perfect time to capture incredible shots is shooting during cocktail hour (between ceremony and reception.) This way, you’ll have beautiful shots of your guests mingling and having a great time. Plus, the attention will be diverted away from you as most people love to watch these devices at work – taking images during the ceremony might not be a good idea as they will attract attention away from you.

Price – Always hunt around and gather up a few quotes from different operators as prices vary. Some can capture aerial images and provide edited photos while others will only capture photos for you. Hunt around for operators who are within your price range. Remember to always ask for references. Note: It’s an excellent idea to always contact past clients and inquire about how it was working with operator X.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, hiring a drone to capture images of your special day is no easy task. There are many things one needs to take into consideration before signing a contract.

However, aerial images are spectacular, unique and breathtaking and well worth the hustle of getting a professional, licensed and well-qualified operator. These devices produce not unique but quality pictures as well. Have you ever used these services before? What were your thoughts? We would love to hear from you so do leave us a comment below.


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