How to Hire a Drone Operator

If you are looking for a way to enhance video quality for your website, incorporating aerial footage can be a great opportunity. By adding drone footage, you can highlight your business using a new perspective. Once you decide to go this route, the next step is to hire a drone operator. While you could shoot the footage yourself, having a professional doing the recording can give you high-quality footage that is perfect for displaying on any site. There are things you need to consider before choosing someone to record. Here are tips for selecting a drone operator.

Check the Credentials

Before selecting a drone operator, you want to make sure that they are qualified. Professional drone pilots must be certified to conduct business with the public. Operators that don’t have a certificate can’t accept money for drone services. You will want to ask for a portfolio of their past work. A qualified pilot will be able to provide videos, images, or even 3D models that reflect their past work. You can also ask for references to get feedback from previous customers.

In addition to credentials, you also want to check if an operator has liability insurance. Drones can be relatively heavy and go at high rates of speed. While it’s not like with a qualified operator, there is a chance that a drone could fly into someone and cause serious injury. Having liability insurance protects both you and the pilot from any lawsuits that could result from an accident.

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Ensure You Have Permission

Once you have a drone operator, you’re ready to take a drone up and record. But there is one more step to handle before that. As drones are prohibited in some areas, you will want to make sure that it is allowed on the recording site. In some cases, written permission will be required before flying. Having written authorization can take long amounts of time, from a couple of weeks to two months. If it is needed, factor this into the scheduling of your start date. You can also check local regulations ahead of time to see if you are able to shoot on a specific spot. Pilots can assist as well with the familiarity of the area.

 

Be Flexible

Ideally, once you choose a time and date to record footage, it occurs at that time. Things can change, however, so allowing yourself to be flexible is beneficial. When you first decide on a date, make sure you schedule well in advance and check in often with the operator as the date gets closer. This prevents the risk of being double-booked when it’s time to record. Your pilot will also be able to discuss scenarios if you don’t have a set timeframe in mind. They will typically suggest times based on a variety of factors, such as available lighting and wind. This also allows you to have a backup date if needed.

Have a Plan of What You Want

Knowing what you want to film and how it should be recorded can make the entire process easy for you once you start recording. While you don’t have to layout every shot and angle, building a framework gives you a starting point. Ask yourself where you would like a close-up. If your recording is of an event, determine what places you want to have aerial shots. A pilot can also make suggestions if there are areas he thinks could be enhanced. Laying out a template of how you want your presentation shot will prevent second-guessing when finished.

There are numerous things to consider when hiring a drone operator for your project. Knowing what to look for in a pilot, as well as making sure you have the ability to record at your location, will save you time and money.

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