Drone Flying Tips, Training and Equipment Advice
Having flown drones (UAV’s) since 2014 and being a qualified pilot with permission for aerial work (PFAW) from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in the UK…including night flying, I thought it was time to add this drone section to All Things Photography.
Before we start, here are some of the jobs I have done commercially for the likes of Channel 4, a team from Pinewood Studios, the Sailing World Cup, golf courses, property developers and local businesses:
Aerial photography and video is now firmly established as a huge hobby, pass-time and business for many people all around the world. It is now a multi-billion Pound/Dollar industry and is here to stay with sales figures set to increase as people look to fly drones for:
- Aerial Photography
- Aerial Video
- Search and Rescue
- Thermal Imaging
- Sports Coverage
- Live TV
- FPV Drone Racing (Drone Prix, Drone League etc)
I’ve been a photographer and videographer for a few decades now so when aerial photography and video became accessible in the form of drone flying, I jumped in with both feet to get involved and haven’t looked back since.
The shots you can get from between 10 and 400ft is amazing and simply not doable from any other source. Hiring a helicopter or plane is costly and will not allow you to get lower than 500ft or so. Telescopic poles are great for static shots but not for dramatic, moving and distant subjects and once you get used to flying, it is a hell of a lot of fun!
If you are thinking of buying a drone and possibly using it to make money, earn a living or add it to your existing business services, please bookmark this page or “Like Us” at the bottom as we grow this section with flying tips, equipment advice and the law and regulations surrounding this exciting industry.
Index of Pages
Please see the right hand column for the index
- Tips and Training (weddings, commercial, property etc)
- Equipment (drones, cameras etc)
- Accessories (batteries, props, chargers, cases, fpv, anemometers, gimbals etc)
- Videos (sample videos and training courses)
- Pilots Directory (sign up to get your business found)
- Drones and the Law
- How to Make Money with a Drone
Before you do anything or buy any type of drone or UAV, I suggest that you start small and see if you enjoy flying drones before leaping in and spending thousands of £’s or $’s. If you are a novice photographer or video producer, you also need to think about upping your knowledge in these areas before taking to the skies.
I have seen many people join this industry thinking it will be a breeze to make money flying a drone with camera only to end up selling their aerial equipment a few months down the line.
Don’t think this is an easy way to make money because there are a lot of talented pilots combined with years of experience in photography and video out there who have a head start on you.
However, with our help and advice, there is no reason why you cannot join the fun and reap the rewards with a bit of hard work when starting your own business.
Your First Drone
A few years ago, I put a £150 deposit on what I thought would be the best drone for my needs back then. I already had a number of Go Pro cameras so all I needed was a decent platform to fly it on. I opted for the DJI Flywheel 550 with separate gimbal for the Go Pro.
However, I soon had my deposit returned as I felt a little uneasy about the regulations surrounding the drone industry at the time and held fire. Then came the incredible DJI Phantom quadcopter…a real game changer.
Before buying the Phantom, I wanted to be sure this is what I wanted so I bought a really funky little Hubsan X4 H107C with HD 2MP Camera from Amazon. What a lot of fun and I practiced with this for a few months (I still have it now…two in fact)!
I learned to fly in full manual mode with the Hubsan and became competent enough to the upgrade to a full DJI Phantom Quadcopter kit. Flying the Hubsan proved to me that this was how I wanted to move my photography business forward.
I now fly a DJI Inspire 1 PRO with Zenmuse X5 4K Camera as in the image below.
Please note: Some of the links on this page are affiliated with various outlets from which we are paid a small commission if you buy from them. We only promote stuff we love or think you will need or love yourselves…