Why Quadcopters and Weddings Sometimes Don't Mix

In the past year, we've seen some pretty amazing advancements in camera/drone technology. Quadcopters like the DJI Phantom are incredibly affordable and seem very easy for anyone to master. When shooting a commercial earlier this year, I had a similar mentality. "Why don't I buy a cheap quadcopter and strap a GoPro to it. How hard can it be?"

As it turns out, even small drones can be used with disastrous results. Youtube user: WeddingMan123 recently posted a video with this description:

"Ok so here's the story. This was shot using a DJI phantom and a GoPro camera. This was two days before the wedding at their bridal shoot. This happened towards the beginning. I had done one successful fly by and I brought it around for another pass to make sure it was smooth. I underestimated the lift time and it hit the groom on the side of the face. He had a cut on his cheek and and the side of his head. I felt horrible. Luckily the bride and groom were able to laugh about it after and we continued the shoot. At the request of the bride and groom I put the video online. All though it sucks that this happened. I have decided to own up to what I did, instead of try to hide it from the world."

Don't underestimate the power of these little machines. Your clients may not be as forgiving as this couple was.

[Via Youtube]

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suǝddıʃıɥԀ ǝʞıW's picture

In the Netherlands we call this a 'prutser'.

shando66's picture

in the UK we call it an 'idiot'

Marian Cihoň's picture

suprisingly, in czech republic and slovakia, we have a similarily sounding word - prúser - meaning bummer...

Jan Freire's picture

in slovakia we have pruser as well in czech

David Walters's picture

Not to mention making money using RCA is absolutely illegal right now. My brother is heavy into the RCA world and it is a shame that one can't use an RCA to film weddings/commercials/other business related events for financial gain. People seem to not understand this.

Juan Kis's picture

Why you can't use it to make it money ? Is just in the US ?

Ryan Campbell's picture

In the US it is against FAA regulations to use this for commercial use, not actually illegal, just against regulations. There is no actual law out yet against them for commercial use. You'll just get a letter/email from the FAA discouraging you from doing it again, but no fees or fines. If you want to do it for commercial use, you just need to have SUAV insurance, which is pretty cheap for the weight class the phantom falls under.

Ryan Barnett's picture

You can charge for ground shots, timelapses, interviews and throw in the aerial views for free. Easy open-shut- case esp if you itemize the shot list and have no value next to aerial view. Bam done.

Paul Grand's picture

Yes you can, you charge for editing, not the filming! :-)

Brian McQueen's picture

It's called loopholes. You charge a creative fee and the flight is free.

Peter Kertz's picture

That dude is MONEY. He didn't even flinch after it hit him. BAM!...nuthin.

Jaron Schneider's picture

Like a boss.

Jason Vinson's picture

haha look again. at the end you can see his boots on the ground! @27 seconds.

Peter Kertz's picture

You're right. I didn't view it all the way. However, he initially kept his cool and followed through like a champ for not not calling his attorney. I like this guy!

Dave Wallace's picture

Not only did he laugh it off... he told the videographer to post it!

Jr Miller's picture

How lucky ....He avoided a trip to court.

Noam Galai's picture


JP Vernier's picture

I just say out loud: Hooooly S****!

Ralph Hightower's picture

Dude! You KO'ed the couple!

Keith Hammond's picture

good job it wasn't carrying a 5D mk3, now that would have been a KO

Richard Lutz's picture

That has to be bad for business.

Aaron Grubb's picture

you're very, very lucky they laughed it off

Ryan Barnett's picture

I wouldn't even try this shot at all. Maybe start from ground then go the right of them but never just straight ahead unless if I had fpv to measure a great distance of trajectory. Not to mention, the Phantom is an entry level uav if it was something like a Cinestar or Droidworx then maybe I would do the shot. They are a more stable flight controller than the entry Phantom for sure.

bebekashmir's picture

Even if it hadn't hit them, this was a bad idea. The bad footage isn't worth the risk.

Paul Grand's picture

Agreed, the areal footage is poor and adds nothing to this shoot.

casper de Lange's picture

in south africa we call that really FUNNY!!

Martin S's picture

That's why I only use dirigibles... http://youtu.be/MEh3lEZx_jY

Ricardo Consonni's picture

C'mon, we all know you did that on purpose... Really? Using a drone to shoot bride/groom pictures? Totally wacko! Why not have them throw mudpies at each other?