Starting A Drone Photography Business? 4 Things You Should Do
Photography is an art. In fact, it's one that is close to my family. Several family members, including myself, share a passion and aptitude for photography. Drone photography is one of the latest forms of the art and it's being incorporated into businesses on a daily basis.
After proposing to my then-girlfriend last year, the process of hiring vendors began. Despite having family members who were capable, we felt it would be best to hire an outside photographer. The first wedding photographer offered a drone photography add-on to our package, promising 'sick aerial shots'.
Apparently it had caught on, as numbers 2 and 3 also offered drone photography. It had become a bargaining chip. Who would include aerial photography for free?
All of them eventually offered to include it at no extra cost
We ended up going with none of those photographers.
Because the DJ also offered drone photography and included it in our package!
If you are thinking about including drone photography into your business, or even opening a drone photography business, there are four things you should consider
Four Things to Consider
1) Take a flight safety course
You may receive a job offer that puts you in a hazard-prone area. While the promise of a wad of cash is tough to turn away, it's definitely in your best interest. Aside from the FAA asking people not to fly drones over crowds, you also may have a run-in with local law enforcement. Keep it away from roads, crowds, airports and other potential disaster areas.
2) Establish clear pricing packages
This is not just for the customer, but to protect you as well. Strict pricing protects you from taking a loss and it allows the customer to know exactly what they can expect, and for how much. Inevitably, they will start to negotiate with you, so you may factor this in to your pricing. But whether you bill hourly or a flat rate doesn't matter so much as knowing how much you're making for your time and what the customer is getting for their money.
3) Insurance may be wise
While drone insurance is not an obligation, it could be the way to go. Let's say you sink a few thousand into your setup and your out on the job. Well, besides drone technology still not being perfect (few things are), you also never know when mother nature has a destructive trick up her sleeve. While damaging your drone would be bad, damaging a person or property would be even worse. The financial blow of any of these circumstances could be more than you're able to recover from. And speaking of finances...
4) Spend Wisely
You open a business to make money, yes? While spending is inevitable, you need to make sure you don't get carried away. It's very easy to spend on things you think you 'need', but you really just want.
To be clear let's use this example. You are looking for drone accessories and come across propeller guards. After all, isn't that similar to the thinking behind insurance? Spend a little to prevent from spending a bunch. NO.
I'm not saying don't buy propeller guards at all. I'm saying buy propeller guards if the areas where you'll be flying are indoors or narrow. If you live in the plains of Kansas and are working with agricultural businesses, you probably don't need those guards. Point being - be wise.
UAV photography can be an excellent way of making money. It is becoming more popular and drone manufacturers are making better products everyday. Before you start advertising your drone photography business, consider the four items from this list. Your chances at a successful business will increase the more you can minimize risk.
- Nick McGuire