A bride looks up at the camera. Photographed by drone.

FAA Certified Drone Pilot for Wedding Photography

I am now an FAA certified drone pilot, which brings a whole new dimension (literally!) to your wedding photography. Read on to learn how we can incorporate this into your photographs.

What do you need to know about drone wedding photography?

Drones aren’t just the toys for a manchild who hasn’t grown up yet. Although let’s be real, they’re a whole lot of fun! But did you know that you can also incorporate drones into your wedding to take aerial shots?

The rapid rise of drone technology means that you can now capture amazing wedding pictures that wouldn’t have been possible a decade ago. Simply put, drones literally allow you to add a whole new dimension to your wedding photographs.

Here, I’m going to take a deep dive into drone photography and how it can add a creative spark to your wedding.

What is a drone?

Drones are officially called an unmanned aerial vehicle, or UAV. It is an aircraft that is able to fly without the need for a pilot to be onboard. The term UAV is more commonly associated with military vehicles, with recreational ones usually referred to as a drone.

Why Use a Drone at My Wedding?

Traditionally, a wedding photographer would only be able to photograph weddings from the ground. Sometimes, structures such as a ladder, decorator’s platform or even the high window of a nearby building could be used to gain a different perspective. However, these are not always available, or convenient. Plus, you’re stuck with a fixed height and angle.

A drone allows you to take photographs from a wider variety of angles and distances, and so increases the creativity of wedding pictures. There are also options for drone videography, which can bring spectacular aerial shots which look like a blockbuster movie: bride and groom walking in an open landscape, or an approach to a particularly beautiful wedding venue which gives a view of the entire building.

Want to see an example of what you could have? Check out Allie and Shelby’s Intimate Wedding, which incorporated a range of cool features including drone videography.

A bride and groom lay on a pier. Photographed by drone.

How Much is Drone Hire for My Wedding?

Typical costs for aerial photography can range from $500 – $1,000 or even upwards, depending on the length of time needed. Adding drone images to your wedding can therefore add a little extra to your wedding photography costs.

For this, you get access to high quality equipment which would incur a significant one-off cost if you needed to buy it outright. You’d also be hiring a professional drone pilot with expertise in using the vehicle and will capture the best possible photographs of your big day. This investment is priceless.

It is worth noting that anyone operating a drone for commercial purposes in the USA must be certified by the FAA. Checking the status of this is important when you’re considering who should photograph your wedding or elopement.

The Benefits of FAA Certification for Drone Photography

FAA certification means that your drone operator is aware of the regulations surrounding aerial photography, and knows how to operate the equipment safely and legally. Not only that, but they can sometimes access a range of equipment and flying space unavailable to hobbyist pilots.

Perhaps the most important aspect of FAA Certification is that it means your operator is a commercial drone pilot. In other words, it’s what they do for a living. This level of experience means that they know the angles, the heights, how to arrange the guests, when the weather will affect the photos and more. This experience is invaluable when capturing the biggest day of your life!

What Photographs Can My Drone Pilot Take?

Just like traditional wedding photographs, it is best to meet with your photographer / pilot in advance and discuss any special requests and to talk through your plans for the day.

Your pilot will be able to plan how to capture the shots you want and know what is possible with a drone.

A newlywed couple kiss near a lake. Photographed by drone.

Do I Need Permission From My Venue for Drone Photography?

It’s best to speak to speak to your venue in advance. There may or may not be legal considerations for your particular venue, such as if it is located close to an airport. Using a drone for a wedding requires significant planning and preparation, not only to capture great photographs but also to ensure the safety of your guests.

Your venue may also have liability requirements and may need to discuss these with your pilot, and check their FAA certification. So it’s always best to consult with your venue before confirming any aerial photography bookings.

Which Wedding Venues are Best for Drone Photography?

Aerial photography is best suited to large, outdoor weddings where you have amazing scenery or lots of guests to capture. However, there are times when drones can be used for indoor photography too – however, this requires a particularly highly skilled pilot.

Can Drones be used During an Elopement Ceremony?

Absolutely! In fact, elopements in a large, open space such as a beach, can be ideal for drone photography. The outdoors allows more creative freedom with the drone, as it’s less limited in its movement. A skilled drone pilot will be in their element at an elopement, taking photographs with the stunning backdrops that only nature can provide.

An aerial photograph of a bride in a black dress.

Can I Book You for Drone Photography?

Absolutely! As an FAA certified drone pilot, I can offer aerial photography for your elopement, wedding or any other kind of event that you would like to be captured.

Simply use the contact form and tell me what you need, and I’ll get back to you right away!