June 28, 2024

A Day in the Life of a Drone Photographer

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Have you ever wondered what it's like to experience a day in the life of a professional drone photographer? With the rise of unmanned aerial vehicles and their incredible camera-equipped cousins, this emerging field offers a unique way to view the world. With cameras hovering high above, drone pilots and photographers are able to capture breathtaking aerial imagery that was never before possible on such a grand scale.

For those of us at Boise Aerial Drone Photography, no two days are ever quite the same. From inspecting infrastructure and surveying land, to filming jaw-dropping nature videos and photographing masterful architectural compositions, the day-in and day-out of our business has a lot of variety.

But what really goes into this adventurous line of work? And what can we plan for each day? Stick around as we give you a firsthand look into our typical daily routine as a drone photography business–the preparation, the procedures, the artistry and even the bumps along the way. It's a bit of a whirlwind, but that's all part of the electrifying experience!


Morning Preparations: 
The day begins early, usually around sunrise. After checking the weather forecasts for the planned flight areas, we prepare our equipment. Drone batteries are charged while we review the project requirements and flight plans.

At that time, we'll consider questions like: what aerial photos or video footage needs to be captured? Are there any priorities or potential hazards to be aware of at each location?

In planning the day, we'll also plan out a driving route between locations, as well as breaks. If lunch can't be dependably scheduled between flights, we'll pack some food.

With our drones, cameras, batteries, and accessories packed up, we conduct meticulous pre-flight checks of all equipment, ensuring everything is working properly and safely before heading out. Power cycles, firmware updates, camera lens inspections, and more…the checklist is extensive but critical.

On Location: 
Arriving at the first location for the day, we scout the immediate area while the ground control station is set up. Potential hazards like obstructions, crowds, water hazards and no-fly zones are identified and accounted for. If working with others on site, we'll brief them about the flight plan so they know what to expect.

Pre-flight checks are conducted again–checking GPS reception, setting aerial boundaries, testing camera functions, and more. Only once we've verified everything is ready do we get clearance and take to the skies with the drone. High above, we work efficiently to capture all the required aerial drone photos and video from various angles and with different camera settings based on factors such as lighting.

Some projects require comprehensive mapping or modeling which involves meticulous automated flight paths planned in advance. Other shoots are more freestyle, using skilled manual camera work to get innovative angles and dramatic shots. In either case, we constantly monitor factors like battery life, staying keenly aware of our operating environment at all times when controlling the drone.

With the first location's objectives completed, we do a quick on-site review of the footage before packing things up and moving on to the next location on the agenda for the day.


The Process Continues: 
Our days can involve trips to 2-3 different locations, separated by transit time. We have to repeat the full routine of setting up, checking hazards, carrying out pre-flight protocols, and working the flight plans.

Between locations, we plan to stop and eat lunch. The exact timing on a three-location day will depend on how long the flights are and the distance we're driving. If this isn't feasible, we'll eat packed food like protein bars and fruit.

Every drone flight is supervised from start to finish. Once the day's shoots are completed, we diligently pack away all of our equipment before making the return trip back to our office.

Evening Review and Prep: 
After uploading the aerial footage to our editing workstation and doing secure backups of the files, we get to work on the digital darkroom aspects of the job in the evenings. This involves sorting through tens to hundreds of photos and video clips, rating, and picking out the best shots.

We'll then do initial editing and touch-ups - adjusting light levels, fixing distortions, sharpening shots, and more using specialized software and a discerning creative eye. The goal is to have an initial batch of high-quality, polished visuals to send over to the client for review the next day.

But the work doesn't stop there. With the first editing run done, we move on to charging all the drone batteries to ensure they're ready for use again the next morning. We log all the flights and update our paperwork. Finally, we communicate with clients as needed to share that day's work and coordinate about upcoming projects before calling it a night.

Wrapping Up:
The life of a drone photography professional is a unique and adventurous one. Every day presents a new set of challenges, scenarios, and creativity to put our skills in aviation, photography, and client service to the test. All we can do is prepare thoroughly, stay safe, and work diligently to deliver the aerial artistry our clients expect from us.

Whether you're a potential client curious about what goes into professional aerial photography and videography, or someone considering drone photography as a career path, we hope this glimpse into a typical day has provided some valuable insight.

Operating a drone photography business requires a unique mix of technical skills, creativity, stamina, and a commitment to following strict safety protocols. While challenging, it's an incredibly rewarding way to combine aviation and artistry into stunning visuals that were never before possible.

If you have an upcoming project in need of aerial imagery or drone mapping services, we invite you to get in touch. Boise Aerial Drone Photography would be happy to discuss your specific requirements and provide a quote tailored to your needs. We leverage our expertise and cutting-edge equipment to deliver top-quality results that will make your project imagery truly take flight. Visit our website at or call (208) 912-2963 today to start soaring to new perspectives!