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UAV photography

3 Things to Avoid When Hiring a Drone Photography Company

3 Things to Avoid When Hiring a Drone Photography Company

You've seen them around – these strange, small, flying apparatuses – and you know what they are... “drones” to us lay people, UAS (unmanned aerial systems) to the pros. And maybe you've thought to yourself, “Cool, I'd like an aerial photo of ____.” So how do you go about hiring a drone photography company, and what do you need to look out for before you do?

To ensure a safe flight, we've put together the top 3 things to avoid when hiring a drone photography company:

#1. Hiring an Unlicensed Company

Be sure that the company you're considering to hire to capture your aerial images has its Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) authorization in place; recently the granting of the FAA Section 333 authorization for the commercial use of drones has been replaced with the part 107 Unmanned Aircraft Rule. The Section 333 is still good (it's a 2 year authorization) but soon it will be completely replaced by the part 107. With either authorization, FAA requirements must be followed strictly – there are operational limitations, pilot certification and responsibilities, as well as aircraft requirements. Just one example is flight height: experienced professionals understand the risk of irresponsible operation and would not fly a drone higher than the FAA recommended maximum height. You want to make sure that the company you're using practices safe flying and has all of its credentials in place. A professional, reputable aerial imaging company will willingly share with you exactly what authorizations it has been granted. If you don't see this information, ask for it.  

#2. Not Researching the Drone Photography Company

Make sure you do your homework when seeking aerial imagining companies. Look at their previous work and check out whom they've worked with; learn what you can about them – who they are and what their reputation is. Look them up on Google, Facebook, and read their reviews, not just the testimonials on their website; many sites such as Yelp, for example, may have reviews of the company you're considering. Get references. Your research phase is as important as your subsequent collaboration with the company – you want to trust your creativity to experienced professionals, not the cheapest guy with a drone!

… which brings us to perhaps the most important thing to avoid ...

#3 Not Hiring An Experience Professional

Drone photography might be a hobby for some; however, your best bet will be to go with the most experienced professional your research yields. Whether you are making a marketing investment in your business with aerial images, or looking to capture a birds-eye view for your event, hire a company that utilizes only trained and experienced UAS pilots who follow strict safety and regulatory guidelines. A bonus: hiring experienced professionals should get you the most current technology, too. Have them tell you what equipment they fly, what they use to capture the images, when the equipment was released, and how long they've used it. Technology is ever-changing, and you'll want your “partner” in your creative process to have the very best at your disposal – from drones, to cameras, to editing software. Experienced professionals will also have any necessary permissions or permits for what you want to capture. They'll give you realistic expectations as to when you'll receive your final product. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the best ones will listen to your ideas, collaborate with you, and offer guidance to bring your ideas to life. Whether you're capturing images of real estate, construction, events, or special locations, how it's captured and then how it's edited is crucial to your outcome – an experienced professional will keep you covered on all fronts.

In the ever-changing technological world we live in today, the use of innovative UAS photography and video aerial perspectives has become invaluable for the marketing of real estate, golf courses, live events, hospitality services, construction projects, and more; it's also now a trending technique in pop culture.


Have some fun with your ideas and explore the possibilities with aerial images. And, by following these things to avoid, you'll come out on top!

About the author

Barbara Barclay is the marketing arm of Aerial Agents, a Cleveland, Ohio-based FAA Approved, commercial drone aerial photography & videography media production company. In the birthplace of aviation, Aerial Agents is established as the foremost experienced, professional and licensed expert in UAS (unmanned aerial systems) or "drone" piloting. Drone aerial imagery has multiple applications in a wide variety of areas including sales, marketing, education, entertainment, real estate, travel, hospitality, information, instruction, insurance, news and even court cases.

The Solstice Steps at Lakewood Park

The Solstice Steps at Lakewood Park

The $2 million project to reinvent Lakewood’s access to Lake Erie is complete. The Solstice Steps feature an upper and lower promenade, extending from the existing park at the top of the slope, to the waterline with seating in between. The fenced-in grass slope was transformed into cascading stone stairs with grass landings to be planted between each step.

“We see this as a pivotal step in increasing access to green space, without changing the footprint of the park,” said Lakewood Mayor Michael Summers. “This enhancement to our community’s green space allows thousands to enjoy picturesque views of Lake Erie, our greatest natural resource.”

The new solstice stairs will provide areas for residents to lie out and have a picnic or simply sit and enjoy a beautiful sunset. They have been termed “Solstice Steps” because on the summer solstice, the sun will set directly upon the central node of the project. This marks the farthest north the sun sets each year.

Flying Colors • 21 Awesome Ohio Fall Foliage Photos

Flying Colors • 21 Awesome Ohio Fall Foliage Photos

There is no doubt that Ohio is home to some of the most amazing fall scenes. Northeast Ohio is even featured in the 10BEST by USA TODAY

USA Today had this to say: "Although the last few weeks of October typically boast the best colors, the wide breadth of different trees – dogwood, sugar maples, even hazelnut – peak at varying times, offering visitors a fall spectrum of color the entire month."

We love this time of year and so do our clients. Here are the Aerial Agents "Staff Picks" of our teams best photos from the 2015 Fall season. 

Port Clinton, OH

Ladue Reservoir in Geauga County

Sand Ridge Golf Club in Chardon, Ohio

Rose Lake in Hocking Hills, Ohio | photo by: Chris Migchelbrink

Private Lake in Hiram, Ohio

North Royalton, Ohio

Rocky River, Ohio

Hocking Hills, Ohio | photo by: Chris Migchelbrink

Sand Ridge Golf Club in Chardon, Ohio

Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Wadsworth, OH

Sharon Township, Ohio

North Royalton, OH

Troy Township, Ohio

Rocky River, Ohio

Auburn, Ohio

Hiram, Ohio

LaDue Reservoir in Geagua County

South Chagrin Reservation | photo by Chris Migchelbrink

Canfield, Ohio

Private Estate in Hiram, OH

Marietta, Ohio | UAV Photography 2015

Marietta, Ohio | UAV Photography 2015