Welcome to our first installment of Detailed Engagements Vendor Spotlight featuring our friend Ethan Cohen at UAV Look:
Vendor Spotlight: The Perspective of a Licensed Drone Pilot
Why you may want to consider what an experienced professional has to say about using a drone to capture your wedding
Ethan Cohen of UAV Look
Until about four years ago, capturing your wedding from the sky was an unfamiliar idea to most couples. Sure, helicopters and small aircrafts might have the ability to record footage, but that 20-400 ft of airspace above the ground (where the real magic happens) was completely uncharted territory. With drones rising in popularity, more couples are becoming excited about the idea of using them to create a unique perspective of their wedding day. So why shouldn't you ask your tech-savvy cousin operate their drone at your wedding? We spoke with Ethan Cohen, owner of aerial imaging company UAV Look, about just some of the reasons why it’s best to leave things to the professionals— especially on your wedding day!
1. More than Just a Hobby
Just like you wouldn't hire an unlicensed limo driver to transport you to your wedding, you shouldn’t want an unlicensed operator piloting a drone over your ceremony. Drone operation is a serious craft that deserves to be respected. Ethan Cohen is a licensed, fully insured, FAA approved pilot. In order to legally fly his drones commercially, Ethan has his Remote Pilot Certificate and a Private Pilot’s License. In his experience, becoming a licensed drone pilot has been a big investment— largely due to the time it takes to truly learn the craft and understand the risks involved.
2. Experience is Everything
In addition to having all the proper licensing, Ethan also has three years of experience under his belt. He reminds us that even though someone can operate a drone, it doesn't always mean that they should. Simply obtaining a license only requires the operator to know the basics, like asking permission before flying over a group of people, and how to legally comply with airspace restrictions and aviation regulations. An experienced pilot will also have taken the time to learn additional safety procedures in case of an emergency. Bottom line, your drone operator may sound confident in their abilities, but make sure they have the credentials and experience to back them up.
3. Quality Speaks for Itself
Ethan refers to himself as a pilot first and a photographer/videographer second. It takes a skilled operator to know how to keep the drone stable, and smoothly maneuver it to the right camera angles for all the best shots. Ethan also says that licensed professionals tend to use better equipment. They will likely have a drone outfitted with a higher quality camera that will record awesome video footage.
4. Know the Dangers
It is highly unlikely that the drone will fall out of the sky if you are using an experienced, licensed pilot. A professional drone pilot will know the guidelines associated with safe operation, and what to do in an emergency situation. Although drones do use GPS, a number of factors can cause that signal to be lost and the drone to switch into manual mode. If the operator is unfamiliar with flying manually, they will lose the ability to control the drone and create the possibility for a dangerous crash mid-ceremony. Your pilot should also know the limits of their drone. An experienced professional will take into consideration battery life, distance, surroundings and weather to avoid any serious mishaps, and be fully insured just in case.
5. The Sky is the Limit
When used properly, drones have the potential to completely transform the scale of your wedding. A drone will capture an amazing 360 degree view of your special day—not to mention cinematic quality video you can relive for years to come. Ethan reminds us that as long as you have an experienced pilot, drones are actually very safe. It all comes down to doing your research and choosing the right professional for the job.
Some Questions to ask your Drone Pilot
Are you a licensed Drone operator? Note: A Remote Pilot Certificate is required to legally operate a drone commercially
Do you have any additional licenses? Note: Ethan also has a Private Pilot’s License
Could you provide a copy of them? Note: In the event of an emergency, it is a good idea to have copies of these on hand
Do you keep up to date on the safety and legal guidelines for drone operation?
Do you know how to handle it if you lose GPS signal while operating your drone?
Do you have any recent work we could look at? Note: This will allow you to see if the video footage is smooth and the photos clear and sharp
Do you have liability insurance? Note: This will cover damages up to a certain amount in the event of an accident
Want to learn more?
Blog by the talented Emily Delaney, associate wedding & event planner at Detailed Engagements
You may want to read this..