Hello from San Diego, CA


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Hello all!

My name is Darren, and I recently obtained my Part 107 here in San Diego, CA. Its a pretty heavily utilized airspace location, unfortunately. I own a DJI Mavic Pro that I am starting to figure out. I look to develop my own aerial video company, and any advice or tips that anyone has in starting your own aerial video business I'd greatly appreciate it! Happy flying!

- Darren

 

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Hi Darren, welcome to the forum.

When you say that you want to start an aerial video company, who are your customers?  Also, it kind of depends on how old you are?  Where are you in life?  

If your young and this is your first business, go nuts, have fun and you'll probably fail but you'll learn a ton about trying to run a business profitably.  If your a bit older, maybe trying to support a family, have a mortgage etc., its a very different thing.  If that's the case what video production experience do you have?  

Saying that you want to build a professional aerial video company with a MAVIC is a bit like saying you want to be a professional portrait photographer with a GoPro.

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Thanks Chuck,

I appreciate the response. Currently at the moment, I'm 31. No children, no mortgage, with little production experience minus my own personal videos. I've somewhat recently got out of the military, where I've had some experience with fixed wing birds, and now I am looking into my next career.  

As far as customers. I was looking into the real estate market, professional photography as well with weddings, events, and such. But to be honest this is all fairly new to me and my initial instinct is to try to do it all. This would be my first business, so I am trying to navigate in a way to be successful. I chose the Mavic simply because I wanted to get some hands-on experience learning how to operate drones first, and that was what I could afford at the moment, but I do plan on upgrading to something for more commercial use. 

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Hi Darren,

Don't worry too much about which drone you use, if your customers are realtors then the MAVIC and Phantom4 are certainly a good tool.  Keep in mind that for the most part people who produce marketing material and property videos for real estate are photographers and the drone is just one of many tools you need to be proficient with.  Also don't worry, if your starting with real estate you don't have to be an expert in any one area either.

Here's a thread about real estate photography:

I have several videos, I'm not trying to pimp my videos, just try to get more detailed discussion started for those interested in this sort of work.  There are several people who share examples of their work and experience so its a good place to start.

From a business perspective, weddings, event videography and those sorts of productions are probably quite similar.  You really need an understanding how to work with bridezilla, realtors and commercial producers.  What I think separates profitable endeavors from those that aren't is how well you understand the problem your trying to solve, not how well you fly a drone. 

I hope this helps point you in the right direction.  There are some really knowledgeable people on this forum if we could only get them to participate or lead discussions a bit more.  

Thanks for your service.   I really enjoyed being in the Army, but boy did it feel great to get out... 

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On 11/8/2017 at 11:50 AM, drkern1 said:

Hello all!

My name is Darren, and I recently obtained my Part 107 here in San Diego, CA. Its a pretty heavily utilized airspace location, unfortunately. I own a DJI Mavic Pro that I am starting to figure out. I look to develop my own aerial video company, and any advice or tips that anyone has in starting your own aerial video business I'd greatly appreciate it! Happy flying!

- Darren

 

Hi Darren,

So glad you posted!  I am responding as a "start-up" myself, although likely with a different "bent."  As much as anything, it is important that I reach out to build relationships beyond locals (Washington State and Upstate NY) as I perceive more and greater opportunities when connected for referrals or partnerships.

I have a Mavic Pro and my license.  More than anything I have been taking advantage of engaging in a UAS Certification program that just rolled out at a local community college.  I love the idea of videography, yet know the greater profits can be found with more mapping applications.  Thus, I am focusing on that track so that I have a balance.

Funny...I was visiting San Diego a few months ago and attended a monthly UAS meeting sponsored (I think) by a local aviation group?.   Are you aware of those meetings?  If not, I can track down the person who heads it up.  Interestingly, few people knew each other and the greatest challenges were with congestion and wait time for waivers.

Have you thought about reaching out for contracts outside your area?  I may be "pie in the sky" or right on track, as I intend to reach out beyond my local area so I can incorporate travel into my business.

So...with an assignment (from school) to build a detailed proposal and presentation to land a gig to film a Bass Fishing Contest at a lake near a small airport for two days, I am hunkered down pulling together all the details.  Funny...I am also required to guarantee I have two other UAS pilots and at least three visual observers, all with a good level of experience.  This assignment alone will help me build a great portfolio so I will begin to have an online presence.  I think that is key in selling your services.

Yes...a long response, yet hope I sparked something that might help.  Keep us posted!

Kate

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