I recently had the opportunity to capture aerial video and a few photos for a commercial client, shooting both their warehouse and office spaces via a DJI Drone. His needs were relatively straight forward and the timing needed was "sooner rather than later"! ;)
Having worked in the field of Aerial photography & videography for quite some time, I have captured aerial imagery in a number of different ways including commercial airplanes, commercial helicopters, remotely controlled airplanes and "drones" from a number of manufacturers.
A couple years ago, I decided to move away from aerial photography since it was a difficult landscape to navigate due to client's declining budgets and the entry of the FAA into the use of drones. As time marched on and the FAA became clearer (not that it's completely clear as a fish tank now) the rules of the land have become much more navigable. I now hold a FAA certified UAS Remote Pilot Certificate and am currently FAA Part 107 commercial pilot.
So what does that mean? Well, to be honest, I'm more free than ever to capture and create aerial video and aerial photography for my clients at a moments notice and far less expensively than before. Commercial helicopters in 2015 cost $565/hr and upwards to operate!! Add to that my time as a photographer while in the air, travel time and editing. Now, travel time and editing have not changed that much, but operating costs have declined dramatically. I still take into account equipment acquisition, maintenance, annual equipment overhauls and other costs of doing business, but in the end it has lent me the opportunity to serve my aerial customers quickly and cost effectively while also cutting down the burden of flight planning and travel time for myself.
Add to all of it the safety of not actually being "in the aircraft" which makes my wife far less nervous than the days I'd have to hang out the side of an open cockpit Robinson R-44. :D
Drones have been making a major push in the world of aerial photography and aerial videography and it's clear it will be the way of the future for many of us versus the old ways of doing it. I'm all in with it and can't wait to see what the future holds for drone companies like DJI, GoPro, Yuneec and PixHawk.
Here's a quick tease of the vide that will be integrated into my client's final project.