It’s a matter of fact that the rate at which new technologies are evolving or being invented and developed is nearly faster than one can possibly keep up with. You celebrate getting the iPhone 6 and suddenly there’s an iPhone 7. You get used to using the Facebook app and then an automatic update changes everything. And just as brides and grooms have truly embraced the philosophy that professional wedding photographers are a non-negotiable wedding detail (yay!), drone photography and videography takes off (pun intended)—and so far, we’re loving the bird’s-eye views of the wedding world.
Essentially a remote-controlled mini-helicopter, drones are very stable and can hover mid-air with little effort on the pilot’s part. While in flight, the drone’s camera can be utilized for capturing views and shooting spectacular aerial videos you couldn’t otherwise capture. San Antonio wedding photographer and videographer Dave Crockett, owner of Ardore Photography & Video, acquired his first drone just this year and says his team typically uses the drone for filming incredible aerial footage of wedding venues. “The possibilities are sky high, literally!” Dave says.
He and Ardore’s lead cinematographer Giovanni Crockett took the necessary steps to earn drone pilot licenses, a requirement for anyone planning to use a drone professionally. “The license is to make sure you are flying safely because it can be dangerous if you’re not careful,” says Dave, who admits that, though the drone is relatively easy to fly and he and his team caught on quickly, they did crash the drone on its very first flight! Repairs were made and the drone is back up and running. “We’ve really gotten a handle on the tool and are having a blast incorporating it with the rest of the cool stuff we do in photo and video.”
Drones have certainly broadened horizons for wedding photographers and videographers and their clients, but drones aren’t just shiny new toys. “Flying a drone is serious business and there are many factors you have to take into account before flying, such as people’s safety, wind and weather conditions, commercial flight paths, FAA regulations, and so much more,” Dave explains. Plus, drones are noisy!
While it may seem like a super awesome idea to have your wedding ceremony filmed via drone, it can ultimately be a huge distraction. “We don’t want the drone to distract from the memory of the wedding ceremony. It would be very difficult for a couple to enjoy their vows with a drone hovering above them,” says Dave, who typically limits using the drone around guests. “I’ve seen footage of a groom getting hit by a drone flown by an irresponsible photographer, so yeah, you need to take it seriously.”
“Keep in mind: drones are just tools, just one pearl on a string of pearls that is more about the creativity of the photographer than the cool tool. Drones should not define who we are as photographers or what the couple is going to get.”
For Ardore, new technologies like the drone are giving photographers and videographers creative new ways to see the world and give couples an unforgettable memory of what their wedding venue looked like on the big day. “People really appreciate that,” Dave says. And though he can’t always guarantee conditions will allow for flying the drone, Dave promises that if they can fly, they will. “We’ve only scratched the surface of what we can do, and we’re really excited to have this in our bag of tricks for giving our couples truly unique memories they’ll cherish forever.”
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