24 Jan Should you Film your Wedding Using a Drone?
Drones are becoming increasingly popular for wedding films, with many wedding videographers and photographers now offering them as standard within their package, or as an optional extra. When used safely, drones can add a unique perspective to your wedding film and work sympathetically with the narrative.
Here are some tips on what to consider when planning to hire a wedding videographer to film your wedding using a drone.
What to Consider for Drone Wedding Videography
Any videographer operating a drone at a wedding should have Permission for Commercial Operations (PfCO) granted from the Civil Aviation Authority. This means that they will have undergone practical and theory-based testing for aviation safety and the correct procedures for operating an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV/Drone).
Your wedding videographer should perform pre-checks on your venue’s location to ensure there are no airspace restrictions or hazards. They can then inform you whether it’s possible to use the drone or not before committing to something that is not legally possible.
They should also have public liability insurance; in the unlikely event (when used properly) that damage or injury is caused as a result of the drone.
You will need to check with the venue whether they permit the use of drones. Your wedding videographer may ask for the venue’s response in writing as the drone operator would be held accountable if they operate without the landowner’s permission.
Keep an Eye on the Weather
Drones shouldn’t be operated in heavy rain or high winds due to safety risks (and the footage wouldn’t be great anyway). Keep an eye on the weather to manage your expectations and accept the decision of the wedding videographer if they say the conditions are not suitable or safe.
Discuss the Shots you Want Before Your Wedding Day
Have a call with your wedding videographer in advance to discuss what kind of drone shots you would like. Maybe the venue has a lake that you would like to be filmed walking around, or an aerial shot of you both dancing in a field. It’s always a good idea to be prepared and will speed up your couple’s shoot so you can concentrate on spending time with your guests.
The Dos and Don’ts on the Day
Do Film Aerial Footage of the Venue
So many wedding venues look stunning on the outside as well as the inside, so your videographer will want to capture this to use as an establishing shot for your film. Reveal shots or 360 degree pans work well to show your venue in all its glory.
Do Incorporate the Drone into Your Couples Shoot
If you have the time during your couple’s shoot, allow an extra 10 minutes to film with the drone. Sweeping flyovers of the couple walking hand-in-hand through a field, 360 degree kissing shots, or static shots above a couple lying in the grass can enhance the cinematic style of your wedding film.
If your photographer is in tow, ask them to use a zoom lens during this time or capture long shots themselves. The last thing you want is some beautiful aerial footage of the couple with an ominous figure lurking nearby.
Do Film an Aerial Group Shot of your Guests
Most venues are prepared for the popular group shot and will have an elevated area such as a balcony or window ready to use. Using a drone to film the group shot allows you to get a bit more creative, such as filming a pull-away shot that starts with your guests in full frame before flying backgrounds to reveal more of the surroundings. To create movement, you could get your guests to wave at the drone or cheer with their arms in the air.
Do Film the Couple from Areas not Accessible by Foot
If you’re getting married on the coast or on a cliff-top, drones are particularly handy at being able to go where a wedding videographer can’t reach. In the example video below, the couple were filmed walking along a jetty and without the use of a drone; it wouldn’t have been possible to film them in this way.
Don’t Film the Ceremony or Speeches
No drone is silent and the last thing you want while you’re making heartfelt vows to one another, is the sound of buzzing in the background of your outdoor ceremony. The ground wedding videographer will also not be impressed as the audio recording would likely pick-up this background noise. So all round, you risk ruining the atmosphere of your ceremony and speeches, and the audio for the final wedding film.
Don’t Use the Drone Indoors
You may think it will look really cool to get a shot of the band and your friends and family dancing, but the reality is that most standard drones that a wedding videographer would use don’t have fantastic low light performance. They’re far better used outside in wide open spaces in the daylight and this is also much safer for your guests.
Don’t Overuse the Drone
Although it may be a nice touch to film your guests enjoying a drink in the sunshine, don’t use the drone for too long. Ground videography is far less intrusive and your guests will appreciate not having the drone buzzing around their heads as they try to have a conversation.
Catherine Luther is a wedding videographer and commercial drone operator based in Cheshire. Drone footage is included in the wedding videography package as standard. Get in touch today to discuss videography for your wedding.