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Being able to buy and use a drone is a fairly new thing and drone photography is booming all over. It’s stepped up aerial photography, making it cheaper and easier for photographers to capture scenes they once only dreamed imaginable.
If you’re thinking about starting a drone photography company, you’re likely taking a step in the direction of constant work. So, we’ve created an all-in-one guide to help you start your drone photography business. Everything you need to know about getting your foot in the door is in this article.
The Steps to Starting a Drone Photography Business
You can’t just jump headfirst into drone photography. There are steps you need to take before you start shooting. Let’s jump right in:
1. Get Certified to Fly a Drone
In the United States, you have to be certified to fly a drone for commercial purposes, kind of like a drone license. If you plan on making money with your drone, you’re using it for a commercial purpose and it is considered a commercial drone.
This wasn’t necessary until 2016 when the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) passed a set of rules for flying a drone for commercial purposes. This set of rules includes that you must receive a Part 107 Certificate from the FAA and register your drone as a “non-modeler”.
2. Purchase the Perfect Drone for Photography
You need the perfect drone for drone photography – not any drone will do. Below, we’ve outlined some of the biggest features to look for when buying a drone for your photography business.
Some of the high-quality and high-priced photography drones include amazing cameras. If not, there are fantastic cameras that you can purchase separately.
3. Purchase Drone Insurance
Yes, there’s drone insurance. There’s insurance for everything but commercial drone insurance for your business is a must-have.
You’re spending a pretty penny on a drone and you want to protect it. They can easily get damaged or destroyed. The right insurance plan will either fix the damages or replace the drone. Otherwise, you’re going to be left spending even more money on a brand new one.
You should also consider liability insurance which is separate from drone insurance. Liability for your drone works just like liability insurance for your car. If your drone causes damage to someone else’s property, your insurance will cover it.
Learn more about photography business insurance.
4. Practice Flying
No matter the settings on your photography drone, you might want to test the waters first.
Take some time out to practice flying it manually. That way, if an emergency comes up, you can take control and get your drone to the ground without crashing it.
5. Create a Portfolio
Most people will want to see your work before they decide if you’re worth hiring. While you may already have a standard portfolio, this doesn’t equate to a drone photography portfolio.
It doesn’t matter if you’re going to be taking drone landscape photography, drone real estate photography, or any other field you’re in. You need photos proving you have the talent and skill potential clients are looking for. Be creative with your portfolio and have fun.
The Right Drone for A Photography Business
Before you purchase a drone for photography, there are a few features to look for. You can’t buy just any drone to capture aerial views. Here are things to consider:
- Gimbal: First, your drone needs a gimbal. What’s a gimbal? It’s a stabilizer that protects your camera from moving around while it’s in the air to prevent blurry or distorted images. The camera will be as stable as it would sitting on a tripod.
- First Person View: A drone with a First Person View (FPV) is also a huge asset. An FPV allows you to send a live feed from the drone to your phone or other equipment. If you see something while it’s flying in the air, you can take a shot right away.
- Object/Collision Avoidance: Most higher-priced drones have this technology and its great for all drones, regardless of why they’re being flown. It detects objects and flies around them when you’re using automatic flight mode. This, of course, prevents your drone from colliding with a tree or other obstacles that could get in the way and otherwise cause damage.
- GPS: GPS also is helpful for any drone. It determines where your drone is flying and sends that information to either your phone or the controller. As helpful as it is, it’s not necessary to start your drone photography business. But it is something to consider, especially if you’re new to flying drones.
Our Favorite Drone for Photography
Parrot Anafi FPV Drone Set
- Included with the Parrot Anafi FPV Drone set are the drone, a long-range remote control, cockpit glasses, and compact backpack among other small items.
- It includes a 16MB SD card.
- The included camera included is a 4K HDR 21MP with a 3x zoom and 180-degree vertical orientation.
- The cockpit glasses give you a first-person view of everything your camera is seeing.
- The remote controller included with this drone is the Skycontroller 3. This nifty controller has a tablet and cellphone holder and folds up so it’s super portable.
- The drone is easy to fold down and pack away and you can charge it through the USB port on your computer.
- The image or video quality won’t be blurry when you zoom in thanks to the Dolly Zoom function that prevents it from affecting the quality of the image.
Check Price of the Parrot Anafi FPV at Amazon.
The Bottom Line
Going into the drone photography business is a smart move. Before you start, however, you need to know what to consider and the correct steps to take.
We hope this all-in-one guide helps you through the process of beginning your drone photography business.
If you are already established and want to upgrade your equipment, check out our guide to professional drone cameras.