- Getting certified as a drone pilot
- Learning about regulations governing drone flights
- Determining the structure of your business
- Getting the proper gear
Image Credit: stevanovicigor via iStock
When I think of drone photography, my mind immediately gravitates to the beautiful aerial photos and videos of landscapes that I see all over the internet.
And while starting a drone-based landscape photography business would be my first choice, it certainly isn't the only thing you can do with a drone to make money as a photographer.
In fact, there is a surprising array of very different photographic pursuits that you can undertake with a drone.
In addition, there's also plenty of non-photography related drone photography business ideas out there as well.
If you're itching to start a new business with your drone, you might consider one of the following three ideas.
Drone Photography Business Ideas: Real Estate Photography
Image Credit: djedzura via iStock
The manner in which people look for homes has totally changed over the last couple of decades.
Where in the 1990s people were most likely to go into a realtor's office and make an appointment to see homes, today, people hop on their phones and look at online listings.
That being the case, realtors have put a lot of time and money into perfecting their photography and videography skills to put the best foot forward in online listings.
But realtors are as busy as they come, and with those hectic schedules, they often need to hire photographers to handle the photo-taking and videography aspect of listing a property for sale.
That's where you and your drone come in...
By contracting with realtors in your area, you can build a solid drone photography business by simply providing photography and videography services.
Image Credit: wsfurlan via iStock
A related real estate drone business to consider is offering home inspections.
The inspection process looks at every aspect of the home from the foundation up to the chimney.
Granted, some items that need to be inspected are easier to access than others, which is why having a drone can be so helpful.
Using a drone like the DJI Inspire 2 Eagle Edition, you can quickly, easily, and safely inspect the roof, windows, chimneys, and other features that are high off the ground.
Even better, with a drone you can offer inspection services for multi-story homes, apartment buildings, condos, and the like, too.
Commercial & Industrial Inspections
Image Credit: pixone via iStock
Single-family and multi-family homes aren't the only structures that need to be inspected.
There are plenty of opportunities in the commercial and industrial realms to start a successful drone photography business.
For example, you could offer inspection services for commercial properties like high-rise buildings or warehouses.
As another example, you could focus on providing inspection services for things like bridges, wind turbines, and mobile phone towers.
Each of these types of properties need to be inspected on a regular basis, but due to their height and size, it's difficult (and dangerous) for people to do so directly.
Again, armed with the right kind of drone, you can offer detailed inspection services at a price that will save your clients money and keep everyone out of harm's way at the same time.
Speaking of the right drone, if you ask me, the ideal rig for a commercial drone business is the DJI Inspire 2 Eagle Edition by Drone World.
This custom-designed kit has everything you need to start a drone photography business, from the Inspire 2 drone to an enhanced helical antenna with extended reception, a Zenmuse X4S 360-degree 4K gimbal camera, propellers, and camera filters.
What's more, this kit also includes four TB50 intelligent flight batteries, a four-battery charging hub, a 64GB memory card and reader, a 10,400mah portable battery bank, a controller sunshade for unobstructed views as you fly, and an awesome hard case to carry it all in.
If this all sounds impressive, it is...
The folks at Drone World spent months designing this kit for the ultimate in flight experiences.
This is no weekender drone to enjoy at the park once a month - instead, this is a professional drone that's specifically designed for pilots that need the ultimate in performance.
With multiple tracking modes that allow the drone to follow a particular subject, a tap-to-fly feature for quick liftoffs, a return-to-home feature that ensures the drone gets back to you safely, and other high-tech gadgetry, I can think of no better drone to rely on when starting a drone photography business!
See the Inspire 2 Eagle Edition in action in the video above, or visit Drone World to learn more.
How to Start a Drone Photography Business
Image Credit: agnormark via iStock
I recently wrote an article about how to start a drone photography business, and in it, I outlined some of the critical factors you need to consider when doing so. They include:
Checking off each item on that short list will help you get your business going in the right direction and help you flourish as a drone photographer.
But don't forget that there is increasing competition amongst drone photography businesses because drones are becoming more and more affordable.
That means that you are sure to face more and more competition as the years go by.
Image Credit: KSwinicki via iStock
To ensure you continue to get clients, you need to focus on your branding and marketing strategy such that your unique selling proposition is front and center with the buying public.
On the one hand, this means having a consistent message about who you are, what you do, and what your company is all about.
On the other hand, this also means setting yourself apart from the crowd in some way.
To do so, focus on your unique talents, skills, or training, explain to customers why the drones you use are better than all the rest, find a niche - like real estate photography or mapping and surveying - and become the top provider of that service in your area.
The point is that you can't expect clients to come flocking your way simply because you've started a business and have an awesome drone.
Instead, continually work to get better, fine-tune your marketing, and make a concerted effort to create a brand with which customers can identify and trust.