By now, you’ve probably seen some epic event footage captured by drones across the world – all the way from the Nevada Desert at Burning Man to the insanity that was Tommorowworld, Belgium. If you have any upcoming outdoor events, or even events in massive indoor spaces, the drone photography can capture your whole event in an absolutely huge scope.
Whether it’s a traditional drone, or a DIY quadcopter, drone photography has come along in leaps and bounds since it was unleashed upon the world in the mid 2000’s. Drone photography is now used everywhere from music festivals, to conferences, to Indian weddings, to real estate websites.
So, how do they work?
Drones are unmanned flying devices that range in size from small to large. Some have data capturing equipment on board like thermometers and cameras. Drones are usually controlled via your computer with an add on package, or an app on your phone or tablet, or via a remote control device, over Wi-Fi.
Prices for drones depend on what sort of technology is onboard, the control system, flight time, and size. You can pick up a drone yourself for just a couple of hundred dollars, although this can stretch out to many thousands of dollars, depending on the model that is chosen.
Drones may also come equipped with photography centered specs, such as ProDrone’s Ultimate Flying Platform, which allows users to attach a DSLR camera to drone via a custom mount, to the Lily, a drone that you throw which then catches footage of you while on the move, such as skiing down a mountain slope!
Benefits of Drone photography
You hire event photographers and videographers to take photos and videos of the people that are the best looking, are having the most fun, and are the most well-known for your marketing purposes. You want to show off that the people that come to your events – because that means your events are awesome. But what about the event setup itself – is that awesome too?
Unless you have an excellent photographer or videographer on board, a lot of shots just won’t be able to capture the fantastic setup, or the energy and excitement of a crowd. Using a drone to capture your setup and interactions shows the event from a whole new perspective – one that can capture everything – think macro, instead of micro.
For marketing purposes, aerial drone views of an event interspersed with on the ground action shots capture every single angle of your event.
And what else? Well, you have ticketed entries counted, and crowd counters across your space to measure which people are coming in at which entrances, but how far do you go beyond that?
From a planning perspective, you can use drone photography to capture crowd movements, effectively seeing which parts of your area are the busiest at which times, and which areas are slowest. This can make planning future events a lot easier. Busy at the north end bathrooms throughout? Put up some portable ones nearby for the next event.
Can you do it yourself?
Sure! If you have both a keen interest in technology (or simply like playing with remote control gadgets) and have some interest in photography – which is pretty much standard if you’re on Instagram, right? – the you can pick up a drone yourself for a couple of hundred dollars and start playing around with it.
Be careful, as they’re an expensive piece of kit, and if you crash, repairs can be costly. Think of it like learning to drive a car. Make sure you do your research before you make a purchase – some drones will be infinitely more easy to fly.
Of course, if you’re planning on flying the drone yourself, you’ll have to think about whether you can spare the time across the course of your event to actually capture some good footage.
The other option: Hiring drone photography
If you know that you’ll be flat out during the event, or don’t want to purchase a drone yourself, then hiring a drone event photographer will be your best bet. Since the field is still quite niche, you may need to search around a little to find a company that provides the service.
A Google search for hire drone photographer (and possibly your area) should uncover some results for you to have a browse through. Drone photography for hire may not be available in smaller regions. Most companies that offer the service will have experience in shooting both events and made-for-TV footage.
Drones can provide that elusive third eye view of your events and give you stunning photography and videography to use in your subsequent promotional materials. They are no longer a novelty, moreover they are an integral part of many businesses’ photographic strategies. Maybe it’s time that you too, start thinking about what a drone can do for you.