What You Need To Know About Drone Footage
Drone footage has been a hot add-on for a few years now, especially when it comes to wedding videography. It seems like a simple enough service, but there's a lot to think about when having a drone at your wedding.
Drone footage is not permitted everywhere. Your photographer or videographer should be able to look up your venue ahead of time using apps like AirMap to read about any flight restrictions. This is also why it's important to hire someone who has their Part 107 Certification (granted by the FAA) to fly their drone commercially: they know the rules! If your venue is anywhere in DC, or around a big commercial airport, chances are you won't be able to have drone footage at the venue. Most drones are equipped with GPS tracking and will not take off in a restricted area.
Build in time on your wedding day for the drone to fly. While more experienced pilots have the routine down, it will still take 10-15 minutes to get the drone on, up, and around your venue. This is especially critical if, for example, you have one videographer on site who will be flying the drone. There needs to be a dedicated time for them to step away from what's happening on the ground to operate the drone and get clean footage.
The Part 107 guidelines also state that a drone should not be flown directly over people who are not under a safe structure. If you know you want drone footage including you and your partner, or any wedding party members, etc, be aware that you may need to sign a waiver with your pilot. If you'd like this kind of image or video, you'll also need to pad in some extra time as you'll need to be directed on the ground while the drone is also moving.
If you're wanting a drone to capture video during your ceremony, you'll want to chat with your videographer ahead of time. Often it's difficult to do this - 1) because they'll need to be paying attention to and shooting what's happening on the ground, and 2) drones can be quite loud. A drone may interfere with the audio collected from your ceremony, like vows and readings. Know that it may not be possible to fly the drone during the ceremony. This is up to the discretion of the pilot.
On the fence about adding a drone to your wedding package? We recommend adding it if you're looking for a super cinematic feel to your wedding film (or just want some epic aerial photos), and/or if you're getting married somewhere with sweeping landscapes like on the water, in the mountains, or on a farm or winery with a lot of texture to the land. This new view can truly enhance the final product!