I am constantly looking for new and fresh ideas that will not only make a wedding day stand out from the crowd but also offer my couples a more exciting experience. I am a keen promoter of photography at weddings in general, as much as we’d all like to remember every part of the day, sadly over time those memories begin to fade. What better way of bringing them back to life than by looking at a thorough selection of imaginative and descriptive photos. It isn’t just remembering that is important, you can’t be everywhere on your wedding day. Things will happen that you’ll possibly never know about, photography and videography allow you to look back and see these things as if you were there.
Long gone are the days where a photographer had to balance on a ladder to get a group shot. Technology has moved on so why not move with it by incorporating it in your wedding day? This is your chance to be cutting edge, the use of a Drone to capture memories from the air is becoming more and more popular. I was lucky enough this weekend to meet with Ashley from Avian who showed me in person the capabilities of the drones he has available to capture aerial photos on your wedding day. I was amazed.
Avian is a CAA approved professional countrywide company that specialises in aerial photography and videography for commercial and personal requirements. Although Ashley and his team have been using this equipment for many years in the commercial world they have been shooting weddings for 2 years. Working alongside your general wedding photographer they’ll be able to offer you a selection of shots that would otherwise be impossible to get.
Like me you’re probably thinking, this is great but there is no way I can squeeze it into my budget. Well I’m extremely excited to say I was proved wrong. With the set-up cost starting from £250 and the flight costs at £50 per hour this is definitely worth considering. Compared to other drone photography companies they are extremely competitive, not only is the price good but I truly believe that Ashley and his team provide a service worth well in access of what they charge.
What do you get for your money?
All photos and video is taken in 4K ultra HD. Because of the super quality, they are impossible to email so Avian will ensure they are edited and loaded onto their site in a private account for you to view and download within 24 hours of them being taken. Other options such as live streaming of a video link is possible to as many devices as you wish. Say you have a guest who can’t attend your wedding due to sickness or maybe they’re just not close enough to travel, let them see what’s going on in live time direct from the drone. Such a wonderful addition to a standard videography package. Like a general wedding photographer, Avian offer a selection of printing services for a small additional cost or you can simply have the photos electronically from your account, the choice is yours.
The Drones are all GPS linked and will always be within 500m direct line of sight of the Pilot.
The minimum altitude is normally 50 metres but for the purposes of weddings and where crowds are under the control of the flight team, the drone can fly at lower heights allowing for even more amazing quality photos and video such as flying up the aisle.Of course, it is very important to listen to the instructions given by members of the flight team.
Avian are aerial photography and videography experts so they can work independently or under the instruction of a photographer. This is achieved through a live stream called 'Dual Downlink' which is a video feed directly from to drone to a portable screen which a photographer can use to orchestrate photos and direct the flight team accordingly.
The flight team consists of a Pilot and multiple Observers who watch the drone at all times and communicate between each other via radios.
Each drone battery lasts approximately 30 minutes and with multiple batteries there is a continuous cycle of batteries that can last the whole day.
Each team nationwide maintains and inspects its drones weekly in addition to conducting monthly training exercises.
There is a minimum notice period of 14 days required to allow the local flight team to visit the venue location and conduct essential pre-flight risk assessments and site inspections to ensure it is possible to use the drone.
In areas that may be close to airports or have airspace restrictions Avian will ensure they gather relevant clearances from local Air Traffic Control in advance which means there is hardly any venue they can’t attend.
Sound is generated by the drone but it can be compared to that of a swarm of bees. As its height increases the noise minimises. It is by no way intrusive or disruptive to your day. Avian are happy for you to experience the drone in flight prior to your day if noise is something you are concerned about.
A secure area called an 'Exclusion Zone' (the area the drone uses to take-off and land) must be setup nearby but does not have to be located at your venue. This prevents the area being included in any photos. Avian will visit the area in advance and decide on a suitable site to establish the exclusion zone. This will be arranged with the venue and ground photographer so is something you will not need to worry about.
These drones are rather resilient when it comes to weather although heavy wind and rain has the potential to put a stop to their use. In the event of this happening Avian will not charge anything and your deposit will be returned. A very generous gesture from the company as they have potentially travelled a fair way to get to the venue and if it looks possible that the weather will change they will wait to ensure the opportunity isn’t missed.
Memories are priceless. If you are having any part of your wedding outdoors and you can manage to include a drone in your budget then I consider it a must. This goes for all photography options. You will be disappointed after the wedding if this is an area you decide to make cut backs on. Photos will stay with you for life. Looking at them after the day will be like reliving it in your mind all over again. They’ll be up on the wall in your house, a screensaver for your phone or laptop and will likely be out on social media within days of you receiving them. Make them count. Make them something to be proud of. Make them something you’ll want to show off for the rest of your life.