Everything You NEED To Know About Drones & Aerial Wedding Photography
Drone Wedding Photography
By Jeffrey House Photography
Should you risk having a drone at your wedding?
More and more couples are considering using drone wedding photography as part of their big day.
But is it a mistake?
In this article, we are going to share the positives and negatives of drone wedding photography, so you can decide if it's right for your wedding.
The Positives And Negatives!
When deciding whether or not to have a drone for your wedding photography, there are many serious aspects to consider before making any decisions.
Like everything, there are positives and negatives. I'll be honest, we are going to discuss both, but more emphasis is going to be placed on the negatives because it could save you from a potential lawsuit!
There's no question, drones are really cool. They can capture high-quality video and still photographs from locations we previously could only dream about.
When you see images from drones and imagine having one at your wedding, it's very tempting to jump in with both feet.
Drones can create artistic images that are like nothing we've seen before. They allow for amazing angles and produce really original photographs.
With drones, you can capture sprawling images with interesting artistry. Couples can have aerial images of their guests forming shapes - like a heart. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.
Maybe you're hosting your wedding at a unique venue or location. An aerial photograph might be the perfect way to capture the moment and the location.
But drones don't just capture amazing images - they can also be very distracting and extremely dangerous!
We are going to take a look at 6 critical details to consider before having a drone photograph your wedding!
1. License & Registration Please
Every drone user - whether using it for recreation or commercial purposes - must register their drone with the FAA. And anyone using it for commercial purposes (i.e. wedding photography) must obtain special licensing and may be subject to additional requirements depending on their city and state laws.
If you hire a drone for your wedding, it's critical to secure copies of all current licenses and registrations as this could potentially save you from a potential a lawsuit down the line.
Most wedding photographers carry insurance, but they are using drones as part of their services, their standard photography insurance isn't going to cut it.
When using a drone for commercial purposes, you must carry additional insurance specifically for drone usage.
Again, the last thing you want if something goes wrong is to find out your drone pilot wasn't insured.
3. Location/Venue Restrictions
Before assuming a drone can be used at the location and/or venue for your wedding, check with owner to make sure they don't have any restrictions or policies in place regarding drones.
Many venues have implemented a "no drone" policy on their property due to legal liabilities. There was a recent story in the news about two guests that were injured by an out of control drone while attending a wedding reception. These kinds of stories are popping up more often than anyone would like.
One aspect that's often overlooked with drones is they can be very distracting, especially depending on the quality of the drone. Most drones are not silent and the noise they create can be annoying during a wedding ceremony.
In fact, when used during wedding ceremonies, many of the guests spend the majority of the ceremony looking into the sky - Whether it's due to the noise or their curiosity, their attention is elsewhere.
5. Weather & Other Restrictions
When it comes to flying drones, weather can spoil the fun. Rain, snow, and wind can all impact the use of drones.
Maybe you're thinking you can just use the drone inside if weather ruins your outside plans. If you're going to consider having a drone inside, the location will require very high ceilings and using a drone inside definitely increases the risk of something going wrong.
Again, if such a situation arises, be sure to first check with the venue to see if they would even allow inside use. This could create even more legal issues.
No close up video or photographs!
You may want a drone to film your wedding ceremony and expect them to get close so they can pick up the sound of your vows, etc., but drones don't allow for audio - not yet anyway or at least none that I'm aware of.
Also, if you're using the drone for close up photography of the ceremony or guests, you're definitely increasing the chances of a disaster.
Including a drone as part of your photography services - whether by your photographer or another company, it's going to mean additional costs. It obviously depends on a lot of factors like flight time, location, etc., but for weddings the price generally ranges from $500-$3,000.
And keep in mind, for this price the images aren't even edited. This is just for the raw (images straight out of the camera) photos.
Earlier, we mentioned a recent story about a drone accident during a wedding reception. Two women were injured by the out-of-control drone and sustained lacerations that required 20 stitches, a fractured nose, and a fractured orbital bone.
These guests are now suing the groom, the company responsible for piloting the drone, and the wedding venue. This is not the only story of a wedding guest injured by a drone. As more and more couples hire drones for their weddings, we are seeing more stories like this surface in the news.
It's easy to imagine your wedding and having these amazing aerial photographs, but we can't ignore the dangers that come with having one the devices flying overhead. Aside from the potential legal exposure, the last thing anyone would want is to have a guest or guests injured by a crashing drone.
Would you have a drone at your wedding? Do you think it's too risky?