Things to Know When Using Drones in Wedding Photography

Things to Know When Using Drones in Wedding Photography

Yes, drones are the new stars in town and they are taking every industry by storm. Wedding photography has been getting a taste of this rising trend, and everyone is going crazy over it already. This post is about the important know-how that might be helpful when you decide to include drone photography in your next wedding shoot.
The way they capture photos and videos from spectacular angles is simply fascinating. We know what drones are capable of. This craze is getting bigger every day as new wedding photographers coming into the industry want to get their hands on these flying machines. Needless to mention that they come with a hefty price tag so it is better that one knows the essentials before taking the drone up for a ride on the big day. 

Safety First

Drones today are easy-to-operate electronic devices and almost anybody can fly it with the sleek remote controls that they come with. But that does not mean you can request your best friend to pilot it on the big day. It might sound fun. But trust me, that is not the right way to go about it. You definitely don’t want the drone to crash land on people in the event or even on an empty turf. It is going to cost you a lot. Taking the safety factor into consideration is important. It is mandatory to have trained professionals to fly the drones. In the US one needs to be an FAA part 107 certified Drone Pilot to fly drones for commercial purposes. Pilot insurance is also an essential element. Likewise, there are different regulations in different regions. It is best that you know them well and to ensure that all the safety and insurance standards are met. 

Mind the Weather Conditions

Drones are pretty tough and the latest ones can endure tricky conditions, but they can’t stand crazy rains or heavy winds. So take the weather of your venue into account when you decide to "go drone." Also, when you fly over the water surface, take a note of how far are you setting your limit to fly in or up. You don’t want to crib over a damaged or lost drone later. 

Strictly No Selfies

Just as we talked about the limitless perspectives of drones, it is also important to warn how dangerous it gets when handled up close. Drones are strictly long distance-gadgets and it is advisable not to try close-up shots with them unless and until its one of those mini-drones. The sharp blades, well, you get the picture. You can gather your crowd and say "Hi" out to the sky or just have a calm couple-moment on a wide green lawn. Drones can do magic to simple moments with its versatile angles.

No Indoor Games

We’ve seen a lot of weddings where drones are flying inside the wedding hall with little kids jumping and chasing it, which can be dangerous. Drones can fly inside but considering the risk factor, it is best to fly them outdoors where there are no closed structures limiting it. It is extremely dangerous and it’s funny to see clients asking for a drone even if the event is indoors. All this pain for a bad footage that is never used? Except for the excitement of a flying device on the top of people, there is no purpose that the drone serves here. The footage obtained does not really come out good too. Poor GPS connectivity, electromagnetic interference, and lot more technical reasons vouch for avoiding the indoor usage of drones.

Make the Most of Your Venue

Without a doubt, drones capture pictures that can never be captured by a ground-based photographer. Especially if the wedding you are shooting at a grand venue, then you can try then an aerial shot with a wider perspective will be a cool capture. That’s something that no one but a drone can do. Like the safety and legal precautions you take up, this preplanning of the kind of the shots to take using drones is important too. Else, on the day, you will end up making mediocre shots in a hurry that could’ve been amazing with a little premeditation.

Try Out New Perspectives

Like the venue shot, you can also pick up cool couple shots if you plan the location well. The usual couple shots are there but if you can set their posture well, you can come out with some really cool stuff. The patterns, lights, and shadows on the ground serve as great composition elements and you can play a lot with them. 

With proper pre-planning, you can do wonders with drone photography. Imagine the clients flipping over their wedding album on the anniversary day and finding sweeping aerial pictures of the venue and more. Totally worth it.

Amar Ramesh's picture

An entrepreneur by profession and a wanderer by nature, Amar Ramesh is a creative photographer based in Chennai, India. Wedding photography being his forte with over 300 weddings under his belt, he also shoots fashion, kids, documentary films, heritage, and lifestyle. And he enjoys sharing his experiences constantly.

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Don’t forget that in most jurisdictions wedding photography use would be considered commercial use so the legal requirements may be different to “casual” (non commercial) use!

(Sorry you said similar)

Make sure wedding is at some crazy island so you can justify flying the drone.

Also: Have good insurance. I know it's unlikely, but I can just imagine the chaos if a drone fell out of the sky or was badly piloted and crashed into the family's 89 year old matriarch.