To fly or not to fly. That is the question. And one that deserves careful consideration when it comes to whether you should own and operate a drone as part of your wedding photography offering.
Because to be frank, it’s something I’ve opted not to provide, despite going against the grain.
First however, let’s look at some benefits of drone photography, namely, the aerial compositions that open up with the ability to shoot from the sky. After all, who wants to say no to breathtaking views of sprawling valleys and impressive mountain ridges? Yet, at the same time, while that can create a variety of epic vistas; for me, the focus of a wedding photographer should be on the details and expressions of the day. Something that can hardly be captured from hundreds of meters away. Perhaps that’s why I’m of the opinion that drones are better suited to videographers and their sweeping landscape panoramas; which if used as a sort of stock footage, can add a nice dimension to their wedding films.
Even so, below is a list of potential obstacles you could face if you are looking to utilize drones at somebody’s wedding:
#1 – Noise
If you’re a first time operator, you might be surprised at how noisy these gadgets can be. They are motorized machines, no less. Which means that even at heights of say 30m plus, they can still be a tad distracting, especially if your wedding locale is in the peaceful wild. Definitely not recommended for when vows are taking place.
#2 – Safety
No wedding vendor is immune from rainy weather, but usually a mild gust isn’t anything to fuss over; unless of course, you have a drone in flight. The last thing you want is for it to spin out of control and hit something, or worse yet, someone! Mid-air drone collisions with trees, buildings, and even the odd power line are unfortunately not unheard-of.
#3 – Time
Wedding days are usually busy days. And good drone photography takes time. From setting up to scouting the right birds-eye views, you never want your couple to have to wait too long for you to be ready. Incorporating drones could also mean a shortening of your own shoot time in general, as you not only need to fly them up, but also safely back down again.
#4 – Regulations
In some countries, permits are needed before you can release your camera into the sky. So make sure you are familiar with your area’s rules and regulations – some of which may include allowable flight times, altitudes, and distances to populous areas etc.
Finally, while insurance isn’t compulsory, at least not yet in most regions, it might be a worthwhile investment, particularly when you are still a novice. Practice makes perfect!