5 Things to Keep in Mind When You’re Adding Drone For Your Wedding
In collaboration Abby Drexler, a contributing writer and media specialist for BWI Aviation Insurance.
Aerial drone coverage is becoming the latest, greatest craze sweeping the nation. There is no doubt that drones are capable of capturing spectacular panoramas that can’t be captured from the ground. This alone makes them a somewhat natural fit for weddings, when people are most likely to want one of the most special day of their lives showcased in a special and meaningful way. But it is important to understand that if not handled properly or done well, drone can actually mar your special day rather than enhance it, so here are five important things to keep in mind if you’re adding drone for your wedding.
Many people have made the mistake of hiring a cut-rate videographer – or not hiring one at all – to capture their wedding memories. The truth is, you spend thousands of dollars on this one event, so there are no do-overs. If you don’t get it right the first time, the moment is gone forever. Unlike regular videographers, however, drone photographers have to have two sets of skills. They have to be a knowledgeable and expert drone pilot as well as an expert videographer/photographer. They have to understand about lighting and perspective and how to get the best shots, or you may end up with a 20 minute video of the top of everyone’s head.
Outdoors is better
Keep in mind, a drone is a small helicopter. You probably wouldn’t want a giant helicopter crashing your wedding and a small one is not significantly better. While theoretically a drone can operate indoors given enough space and high enough ceilings, what you have to also take into account is the noise a drone creates. If you want to pause the ceremony to get one spectacular drone shot after the bride and groom are together at the altar or perhaps get just a shot of the bride and groom exiting after the nuptials are completed, then you can generally get it done without a huge interruption to the ceremony itself. Realistically, however, drone is best left outdoors to capture the spectacular beauty of your surroundings if you are getting married in a majestic locale.
Make sure you have all the proper licenses and permits and the operator is insured
Again, the key to remember here is that a drone is actually a small aircraft. Unlike a regular videographer and photographer that just has to take care of their own equipment, a drone has the potential to wander and even create damage. A drone can potentially get carried off by a gust of wind and smash into a guest’s car or even crash right into the assemblage of guests themselves. While it may be the drone operator’s responsibility to take out insurance, it is your responsibility to make sure they have it before hiring them. There is no doubt that drones can capture absolutely spectacular shots, but they can also potentially increase your liability. In addition to making sure the drone pilot/ photographer has all the proper insurance and releases they need, you also need to check with the venue itself to ensure you have clearance from them (hint: NST Pictures ensures that any drone operator it sends out for your wedding is FAA-licensed, and your wedding consultant will also double-check with the venue for restrictions!).
Drone photography and videography should be “in addition to” not “instead of”
No matter how spectacular or fun having drone footage may be, you don’t want it to replace a traditional videographer and photographer on the ground. Even a seasoned drone operator is only going to be able to get so close to your guests and only at specific times. Drones actually have a fairly short flight time as well, so it is important to maximize that time but make sure it’s not the only thing you take away from your wedding.
Make the most of it
If you’re going to spend the additional money on drone, you want to make sure and take full advantage of it. In addition to getting beautiful shots of a breathtaking location, you can also get guests involved in the fun. You can have them line up to spell out words or even create a fun scene, such as running across an open field or having all the wedding guests line up to form a heart around the couple. Keep in mind, drone footage takes a much longer time to set up than regular ones, so make sure you allot the necessary time for any ideas you might have. Not only do you have to get all of the guests in place, but the operator needs to get their camera and equipment set up just right to get the perfect shot given certain lighting and weather conditions at the time.