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Drones for Wedding Photography & Video
Learn everything you need to know about drones for wedding photography in 2022
As a wedding photographer and/or videographer, you have an incredibly important job. It’s down to you to capture the special day for a couple, and (hopefully) the only wedding day the two of them will have.
One way you can offer a unique and more creative service to your clients is by using a drone. Drones have become increasingly popular among hobbyists and videographers for vlogs and television shows and the drone market has exploded. So, how are you supposed to choose a reliable drone (God forbid it dies in the middle of a wedding!), that offers incredible quality, and fits your budget?
The good news is you don’t have to spend all day searching “best drones for weddings in 2021” in Google and reading thousands of reviews – we’ve rounded up the top 5 so you can immediately dive into our shortlist.
Drones, Weddings, and The Law: What You Need to Know Before You Fly
Yes, if you don’t already know, there are plenty of rules surrounding where you can fly your drone, especially if it’s on public property.
The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) has outlined rules for if you’re flying for fun and if you’re flying for money. If you are a professional wedding photographer or videographer, you need to make sure you know these laws.
If you’re a relative or friend who wants to film a wedding as a favor and later use the drone for fun, you have much less to worry about.
If you are buying a drone to make money, you need to pass an FAA test and receive your Part 107 certification. Rather than trying to outline all the rules here, the best thing to do is to head over to the FAA Unmanned Aircraft Systems page which outlines the rules and how to get your license.
The Part 107 test costs $150, and is a simple, multiple-choice test of 60 questions.
If you are flying for fun, you must:
- Fly no higher than 400 feet
- Keep your drone in sight at all times
- Never fly near airports (at least 5 miles away)
- Never fly over people
- Never fly over sports events
- Never fly over or near emergency events (like fires)
- Never fly under the influence
Regardless, you need to register with the FAA for $5, and then you can own and fly as many drones as you like for three years. Your FAA ID needs to be displayed on your drone.
So, with the rules out of the way, which drone is best for wedding photographers and videographers?
Here are the top drones for 2021.
Best Drones for Wedding Photography & Videography
These drones for wedding photography and video will get the job done
Looking for the ultimate professional wedding drone? This is it. At a normal price of $1,729, it’s not cheap – but you really do get what you pay for, especially if you purchase the professional kit bundle.
The DJI Mavic Pro Platinum 2 is the best drone for weddings in 2020 because it has the best flight time (31 mins) and is – importantly – one of the quietest drones on the market. The inbuilt GPS and radar is one of the best on the market and it’s able to keep the drone stable and will land it back at the exact point where it took off.
One reviewer reported pushing this drone up to 1000ft high before chickening out, which is the kind of distance you can only achieve with a drone of this caliber. The camera produces incredible pictures every time and is sure to perfectly capture any outdoor weather event.
With a flight time of 17 minutes, you’ll also be able to keep it up in the air for longer than other drones in this price bracket. It will also fly a predetermined path when you set it up via the app.
If you’re looking for a drone that produces great quality but is also an affordable choice for someone who is not yet sure if they want to use the drone professionally, the Potensic is a great choice.
This drone offers 1080p video and images, can fly up to 10 minutes on one charge, and has a “follow me” mode which means it will automatically follow you and capture whatever you’re doing – perfect for wedding guests who want to enjoy the day and capture it.
With a battery life of 22 minutes flight time, you’ll have plenty of time to capture your images or video of the event.
This drone comes with a 2K live adjustable camera, 5G WiFi transmission, “follow me” technology, and folds away into a small and easy to carry bag – perfect if you already have a huge backpack of cameras and lenses to carry with you to a remote spot.
MARSMO offer a 12 month warranty, too, so if you have any problems at all they’ll solve it in just 24 hours.
If you’re looking for a great budget drone, look no further. The VISUO XS816 is the perfect entry-level drone that will give you all you need to get the perfect aerial shots you’re looking for.
With a 4K camera, gesture photos, gesture recording, “follow me” and up to 20 minutes of battery life, it really is a great choice for those who want all the features and a drone to have fun with later.
Where this drone falls short is in the distance – don’t expect to get more than 25m (82ft) in the air. For that, you’ll need to step up in the price range you’re willing to spend.
This is a great budget option if you are still wanting to be able to capture some great drone footage but are perhaps a less experienced operator.
The camera on this drone is more suited to panorama footage with its 120° wide-angle 1080P camera so would be a fun choice if you are getting married in a rugged outdoor location and wanted to capture some breathtaking scenery on display during your wedding day.
This drone is very user friendly and simple to use. It also features GPS auto get you home feature meaning that should you run low on battery or have trouble operating in certain conditions the drone will automatically fly back to you using GPS.
This drone has many features and can cover you no matter what your ideas are for drone wedding photography. We love its extra features such as auto return home, follow me and live video capabilities.
This drone shape and sleek design makes it stylish and small to use but with all the capabilities of some of the larger drones on the market. Despite its small size it comes with extended battery life and 3 batteries ensuring your flying day won’t be cut short.
A great all around choice, that takes into account functionality, ease of use and budget constraints. With extended battery life, this Quadcopter looks great in a steel gray color but also includes some great features such as follow me and object trace all for a great price point too.
Frequently Asked Questions About Wedding Drones
Can I use a drone for wedding photography?
Using a drone for your wedding photography is a great way to add an exciting and unforgettable aspect to any wedding. In the most part, drone wedding photography is used to get aerial footage of the wedding such as the outdoors ceremony, stunning aerial views of the venue and surrounding location. For the most part you will need to hire a videographer that offers use of a drone as part of their package as, to ensure good footage, editing and styling an experienced drone pilot is needed. As drone footage at weddings becomes increasingly popular, you will find more and more photographers and videographers that offer this service as part of their standard package.
Can I film a wedding with a drone?
Filming the whole wedding using a drone is difficult due to a number of factors, mainly down to the fact that most indoor environments are not suitable for drone footage. A drone can still be used to capture some powerful imagery at key points throughout the day such as parts of the wedding that are outside as well as capturing some great imagery of the weddings location. Getting a shot of the drone lifting off and panning out to show your whole wedding party is a spectacular shot that couples love. When getting in touch with drone suppliers be sure that you are able to explain some of your expectations surrounding what is to be filmed so that they can use their experience to tell you what is and what is not achievable on the day.
How do you use a drone at a wedding?
A drone can be used in a number of ways at almost any wedding. Usually, your wedding photographer or videographer will have one on the day to use at key points to capture the best shots. Its best to make sure that you are hiring an experienced drone pilot on the day so you can ensure you and your guests safety, as well as guarantee those all important shots you were counting on. Something that may hamper drone footage on the day is the weather, so be sure to begin by speaking to your drone operator about what happens when the flight is hampered by the weather and what steps they take for safety in this eventuality.
Which drone is best for wedding photography?
There are a number of great drones available at varying price points that make an excellent drone for wedding photography. The best drone for wedding photography is one that is relatively lightweight and simple to use, that also has the capability of capturing good quality images with long battery and storage capabilities. For drone wedding videography, it’s often best to steer clear of drones that feature a GOPRO style camera as it can be difficult to capture detailed images of the bride and groom. Image stabilising ability is another important quality to look for when you are concerned with the quality of the footage.
Which drone is used in weddings?
Drone wedding photography is different for every videographer and photographer so you will find that a wide variety of different drones are used depending on their own personal preferences. The most important thing is to ensure that the person operating the drone understands what is needed to ensure a safe flight as well as great images. For this reason you will find it is often down to personal preference of the drone pilot. Spend time looking at local drone operators work to ensure you don’t have any nasty surprises when the footage is returned to you.
How much does a drone wedding cost?
Drone wedding photography varies in price depending on which provider you choose to use. It is worth budgeting between $500-$1200 for a drone pilot that will not only take images on the day but then edit them also. Some traditional videographers will also offer drone wedding photography as part of their package so it worth contacting a number of different providers as part of your search. That said, you may be lucky and find a professional who is able to film for you and give you or your videographer the raw footage to edit. In all, think about what particular shots you are hoping for that use the drone and contact the providers you think could be most suitable.
Can I fly a drone at a wedding?
You will have to check flying laws and its best to ask permission from the venue beforehand. Laws vary from state to state but in general you will need the landowners permission, as well as conduct safety checks to ensure the venue is suitable, for example, check for telephone mast and low cables etc. An experienced drone pilot will be able advise you on matters such as these and will most likely be available to contact the venue beforehand on your behalf or at the very least be able to offer you further advice on gaining the correct permissions. Always make sure your commercial drone pilot is accredited has the correct licenses in place.
Is permission required for wedding drone photography?
You will need to get permission from your wedding venue for wedding done photography. By hiring a professional you are able to take their advice on how to make having a drone at your wedding possible as well as safe. That said, most venues if suitable, are happy for drone footage to take place as it is a great way of showcasing their venue so don’t be afraid to ask and see what options are available to you. Whatever you do, don’t arrange for a drone to be present and turn up on the day and expect the venue to be OK with that.
How much does it cost to hire a wedding drone videographer?
The price of a wedding drone videographer will vary depending on your location, the level of coverage you are hoping for and the experience of your chosen videographer. Anywhere between $500-$1200 will get you a drone pilot and edited footage. There may be cheaper options available, however the best drone for wedding video will always be a provider that puts safety at the forefront, so bare that in mind when making your decision. You may be able to find a less expensive option by having a smaller amount of your wedding day filmed using a drone, by using a student drone operator or cutting back on the amount of editing used in your video.
We hope this list of some of the best drones for wedding photography has helped you in your journey! Have experience with any of these drones? Drop us a comment below and give us your thoughts!
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