Curious about drones in Denver

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Hi Everyone,

I'm a professional photographer here in Denver and have been running my own weddings and portrait business for over 12 years now.  I am finally getting curious enough about maybe adding some drone coverage into what I do and am starting to look into it more seriously.  I'm currently just trying to soak up whatever knowledge I can find online and am trying to figure out which drone should be my first one to learn with.  

Thanks for any insight you might have!



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Do you also produce wedding videos?  

When the Canon 5DII came out and you could shoot quality stills and video a lot of still photographers started to produce videos and cinematographers started shooting stills. The truth is it’s not about the camera, they are very different businesses and many photographers failed to make that transition. 

Drones are kind of like that. They certianly add a different perspective but that comes with a more complicated workflow, liability, and distraction.  That’s not to say that you can’t use them effectively but it is a different sort of thing. 

Probably the best drone for this would be the MAVIC2, it’s small, quieter, shoots good video, marginal stills compared to what you’re shooting if your using a DSLR, and pretty easy to fly.  

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Hey @AprilRamone

Welcome to the community. I agree with @Av8Chuck said.

Here is a good article on somethings to consider before buying your first drone:

You also might want to look into the Mavic 2 Zoom. It's very similar to the Mavic 2, however, it has a very cool and unique zoom capability, this feature could allow you to capture the ceremony with a drone (assuming its outside) while not annoying the guests. 

So just a couple of tidbits, if you have any further questions we are here to help.

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Hey @AprilRamone, welcome to the world of UAVs and to the forum; there are a lot of great people in here with experience and a helpful attitude.  I own Colorado Aerial Imaging and have been flying drones in the Denver Metro area for a little over 3.5 years, primarily performing inspections.  I'd be happy to help you understand the local Colorado and federal regulatory rules as well as the equipment options. 

DJI owns the market share of drones in the world and they have very good products.  The Mavic 2 Pro or Zoom are great drones for hobbyists and "prosumer".  They cost about $1,500 without extra batteries, cases, ND filters, etc.  I'm not sure what your budget is and your skill level, but you might consider finding something less expensive to learn on if don't have a lot of experience.  Another option would be to contact a local American Modelers Association (AMA) club and see if you could visit their flying field and ask to fly a club member's drone at their flying field.  They have wide open spaces that are legal to fly in, so you wouldn't have to worry about where to fly and you could try before you buy.  Another solution would be to go to DJI Colorado, a store near Park Meadows Mall in Lone Tree, CO where they have a small indoor cage that you could fly their demo drones.  The store has knowledgeable staff.  The cage is pretty small, it really only allows you to get a sense for how noisy the drone is, but other than that, you're pretty limited on what the cage flying will provide for you.   But, as @Philip Moore more suggested, flying over the wedding, while it's in progress, might be distracting unless you had the Zoom version which would allow you to fly higher.  And as @Av8Chuck suggested,  during a wedding, I think it would be difficult to transition from doing all of your normal photography shots and then transitioning to the drone.  Drones are great for creating that establishing, scene setting shot, but I think your money shots are still those on the ground.  So, you may want to consider adding a drone photographer, someone specifically dedicated to the drone shots to your team.

Keep in mind that in order to fly professionally, the pilot will need to have an FAA Part 107 certificate (which is not hard to get especially if you use UAV Coach as your training aid).  You'll also want to have drone liability insurance and spend some time figuring out the local laws.  For example, it's illegal to takeoff or land in any Denver city parks and we have quite a few airports around the Denver Metro area which puts another limit on the areas that you can fly.  @Isabella | UAV Coach provided the link that has some good resources to figure out those local laws.

Feel free to reach out to me and I'll be glad to help.

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  • 2 weeks later...


Its important that you get FAA certified since you will be using a drone in your business.  There are a myriad of ways to study and and prep for the exam.  You will also want to consider some drone liability options.  There is a wedding photographer locally where I live who shoots with a RED camera and a Mavic Pro.  I can hook you up with his Twitter feed.

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