To drone, or not to drone—apparently, that's the question! Drone photography is rising in popularity, which is no surprise if you've seen the breathtaking shots these flying machines can capture. But if you're still puzzled or skeptical about aerial photography, and the pros and cons of having one shoot your wedding photos, read on! Here's everything you should know about hiring a drone to fly at your wedding. Not only have we been doing this for years, but at Cape Cod Aerial Photography, we also use FAA certified licensed pilots.
We'll start with the less glamorous info, then get to the fun stuff. Safety is the most important thing to keep in mind if you plan to hire a drone. Drones are essentially mini-helicopters with cameras, so if the drone operator isn't a properly trained professional, you risk having any number of accidents on your hands (none of which you would ever want, but especially not on your wedding day!). As stated above...Not only have we been doing this for years, but at Cape Cod Aerial Photography, we also use FAA certified licensed pilots.
Drone shots can capture dynamic, illustrative videos and images that display the scope and scenic context of your event. "Drones offer unique and grand perspectives of the beautiful locations where people choose to wed. Are you tying the knot on a mountainside, vast valley or other stunning location? Imagine looking through your wedding album on your 20th anniversary and having a sweeping aerial snapshot of your venue. So cool! It's an amazing way to take full advantage of the gorgeous space you chose.
Since drones are so versatile, you'll be able to get creative with your wedding shots. Gather your guests on the lawn to spell out words or organize them in other fun ways. We have caught several incredible, emotional moments that wouldn't have been possible to get from the ground, like the bride and her father hiding on one side of the house while the groom waits to see her at the altar—all in one shot. (We get choked up just thinking about it!) Some of the best photos end up being a couple's ceremony exit, surrounded by the sprawling landscape or city-scape. The contrast between the intimacy of those moments and the epic grandeur of the vista makes these shots so spectacular.
Drones are pretty tough, but they're still electronic devices, so that means no flying in heavy rain or crazy winds (over 20 miles per hour). The good news is that cold weather won't deter them. Our drones have insulated batteries, and our crew keeps everything in the car with a battery warmer, right up until we're ready to fly. Plus, once the drone starts discharging, it'll generate its own heat. The drone likes cold air because it's denser so you get more lift. You can actually get a couple more minutes of flight time in winter because the aircraft flies more efficiently.
Our drone pilots can fly vehicles inside, but it's much more risky, so we just won't do it. We can do aerial shots inside as long as the ceiling is high enough to ensure the drone isn't in danger of hitting anything. Having enough space isn't the only issue, though: We avoid using the drone an indoor ceremony because of the noise. Overall, outside will probably be your best bet. If you're having an outdoor wedding and you're not thinking about using a drone, you should. Especially if it's on a piece of family property where it's timeless, beautiful and special. Or if you're doing a wedding on a boat, for example, how else are you going to get a shot unless you have a drone?"
Drones should always augment and never interfere, so definitely stay away from close-ups. Not only is it very unsafe, but it's also obnoxious, intrusive and loud. If you'd hoped to capture your vows with a drone camera, you're out of luck—there's no audio from the drone. "You don't need to capture the vows to capture the scene," Gyokeres says. "What you can do is film the walk and the couple meeting the officiant at the altar, and then land the vehicle. You still get the shot you need without interrupting anything."
Aerial packages range from $500 to $2,500. Cape Cod Aerial Photography offers services with a day rate, with raw, unedited footage at $1,500 (including a full assembly team: cinematographer, pilot and technician). Both provide their services individually or in collaboration with your hired, ground-based wedding photographer.