I am excited to announce that I am a FAA licensed drone pilot!
Over the past several years I have received numerous requests for aerial photography. But, at the time, there were to several issues that made me uncomfortable offering this service. One of the most significant was how the FAA viewed commercial drone flight and what was and was not allowed. This changed last summer when the FAA announced the Part 107 regulations for commercial drone use. With this, they implemented a licensing process and established clear guidelines that made commercial drone photography a lot more appealing.
In the past I’d flown toy drones with less than stellar results. In April, my friend Jeremy, owner of Madore Photography, let me borrow his DJI Phantom 3 Professional to get comfortable flying something more substantial. This system felt very comfortable and made the prospect of flying more realistic. The final step was getting my FAA license. I attended an in-person class given by Dart Drones and took numerous practice tests until I felt comfortable with the depth and breadth of questions, and was able to pass the test.
For a drone, I chose the DJI Phantom 4 Pro. It has an excellent camera, good portability, and advanced navigation with obstacle avoidance. I am able to capture images that match my DSLR and can be processed the same way, making the final photographs very consistent for an entire session.
Below is a comparison of a 13′ tripod photo and an aerial photo from my Phantom 4 Pro.