In this post, I want to talk about drones. As most of you know, I love to do photo shoots and using a drone for my real estate photography. Besides being fun, drones provide me with many options. In this post, I want to talk about several key topics regarding using a drone. I will cover what is drone photography? Why use a drone for real estate photography? When can drones be used? Where to use a drone? Why should you use a drone? How do choose a good drone pilot for a photo shoot?
Before I get started it would be good to give a good definition of what is drone photography. Believe it or not, some people don't fully understand what drone photography really is. Drone photography is the capture of still images and video by a remotely-operated or autonomous unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), also known as an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) or, more commonly, as a drone. There are some people that believe drones are just cool little toys to fly around and they are all about the same. Those people are wrong.
So, what is real estate drone photography? Simply put, real estate photography is the use of a drone to capture photos and videos of private and public real estate properties to include commercial properties. Today's drones that are used for real estate photography are very impressive regarding the technology they have, the features available to the photographer and the capabilities of the cameras to shoot impressive photos and unbelievable video. As you can guess, drones used for by real estate photographers can be pretty expensive and it takes a lot of practice and skill by not only a talented drone pilot but a skilled photographer to get impressive images. I know when I received my DJI Phantom 3 from my son, I was very impressed with the capabilities of the drone. I knew I would have to spend some time studying all I could about the drone and I would need to do a lot of practice. The last thing I wanted to do is crash it.
Some people wonder if a drone should be used when doing a real estate shoot. It all depends on the shoot. Today, many real estate agents and agencies are using drone images to help sell their listings. If the real estate property is small, like a small home, a drone may not be needed. However, if the property is large and has a great deal of land, a drone can be helpful in showcasing the amount of land and the prominent features of the property. I have been on several photo shoots where the landowner had a great deal of land that had some impressive features like old barns, a lake, and pastures that could not have been showcased to a potential buyer without the use of a drone. Drones photography images are not only good for private property but commercial properties as well. Today, businesses are becoming more aware of the benefits of drone photography to sell commercial properties. The video images from a good drone provide a whole new perspective of commercial properties. Below is a photo shoot I did of property in Jamestown North Carolina. As you can see in the video, using a drone presented the historic library in a whole different perspective.
Drones are awesome but many people are not aware that drones cannot be used for just any photo shoot. Yes, it is possible to find someone with a drone to shoot some video or take photos but you have to be careful when choosing a drone pilot. Today real estate agencies and individual agents are becoming more aware of the restrictions and rules when it comes to using drones for getting their images. It is very important to choose a drone pilot that is FAA drone certified. A certified drone pilot understands the rules of flying a drone, safety procedures, weather conditions, identifying restricted airspace, and where and when he or she can and cannot fly, legally. The FAA takes drone flight very seriously and having a certified drone pilot is very important if you don't want to get slapped with a huge fine by the FAA. Even more importantly, you don't want to take the chance of damaging property or injuring someone. The bottom line is, get a certified drone pilot. They know what they are doing.
So, what are the benefits of using a drone for real estate photography? One benefit is, drones give a potential buyer a unique perspective of real estate properties. Drones provide unique images and video from different elevations and angles. Images and videos from a drone can be used to create impressive presentations to help real estate agencies sell properties. It is very easy to just list details of property on paper, but seeing the property from a visual perspective can make a big difference in helping sell real estate. I have seen images from a drone help bring in potential buyers in a matter of days rather than weeks. Another benefit of using a drone to help sell real estate is cost. As most real estate agencies know, time is money. The goal is to sell the properties as quickly as possible. A drone photographer can save a client a lot of money. However, real estate agencies have to be aware that not all drone photographers are the same. The cost of hiring a certified drone pilot depends on many factors. The cost may vary depending on the job. A drone pilots pricing may depend on whether you want photos, video, or both. Some drone pilots may charge by the size of the property. Some charge by the hour. The key thing to keep in mind is not all drone pilots are the same. It is pretty easy to find a drone pilot. It may be hard to find a certified one. What may be even harder is finding a good certified drone pilot that is also a photographer who knows how to capture images, shoot video, and is skilled in post-processing.
Drone photography is an art form. Not everyone can do it. Drone photography can be expensive and challenging and there is a reason why many photographers don't offer such services. It takes a degree of skill to be a good drone pilot. Many real estate agencies are starting to see the true value in a good real estate photographer that uses a drone for his or her photo shoots. That is a good thing.
For more information on drone photography or to schedule a real estate shoot, please contact me for more details.
Until next time, keep shooting!