Why Drones Can Cost More

When I first started with Aerial Innovations, I was surprised how inexpensive the photography services were. I soon found out it was because we could share the cost expensive of the aircraft (helicopter or fixed wing airplane) among many clients. It was a well known trick of the trade (and still is!)

A misconception I hear often is that drones are cheaper than using a typical aircraft. In fact, the drones can cost more per project than we can do on our gang flights. We do have a great pricing structure for our drone photography and video. When it comes to reliable quality images at the lowest cost, the choice is clear.

Wendy Whittemore  – Aerial Innovations of TN & KY

**This is the last in a 6 part series, see below for previous videos

Plane Talk About Drones – May 14, 2018 

True Drone Costs – May 22, 2018

5 Drone Skills to Master – May 29, 2018

Be Covered at Every Altitude – June 4, 2018

Flight Hours Matter – June 11, 2018

Flight Hours Matter

Think the FAA has a perfect system for monitoring, licensing and enforcing drone regulations? Think again. The agency has been reactionary to a lot of drone advances in the marketplace. They have a long established program for RC Pilots whom are usually hobbyists. But when companies like DJI made the technology easier and cheaper to fly (and put a camera on it!), it was a game changer. They now had untrained remote pilots in congested downtown areas to get cool shots and that created risk.

They have been playing catch up ever since. There are several large issues with the FAA’s UAV regulations. One is the cumbersome and slow waiver process which they are updating. And the other, in my opinion, is the licensing process. Hear how they have left out a key element in obtaining your remote airman’s license.




Be Covered at Every Altitude

What’s in a number? When it comes to flight altitude, a lot! We have times when we need to get low for the great building or skyline shot. And other times, we are soaring up to 3000′ & 4000′ to capture large areas and projects. In order to do this, we use multiple aerial platforms to get the job done. Learn which ones are best from Owner & Flight Commander, Wendy Whittemore. The is no bad altitude (only bad attitude!)



5 Drone Related Skills to Master

You’ve heard of multi-tasking; doing several things poorly at once. How about drone-tasking? No? Well, I just made it up. But it may be a fitting way to describe how many tasks it takes  to master in order successful & safe drone missions every time with a decent deliverable. I’ve come up with 5 key areas to learn and practice (or team up with someone!); learning the technology, understanding airspace, flight skills, camera operation and post-production. Got 2 out of 3 Mastered? Your on your way!



True Drone Costs

Is buying a drone for your project or company a true cost saving measure. Yes….and no, well, it depends. You want to account for it correctly and weigh the options, then you will make an informed decision. We’ve heard you can end up throwing a lot of money in the sky if you are not careful!

Owner and Flight Commander Wendy Whittemore explains how costs can add up quickly with drone operations.


Plane Talk About Drones

Everyone has a drone story by now. Either you or your company may have purchased one, you have a “fly-away” story or know someone who has, or maybe you are just curious about drones and keep wondering what all the fuss is about. Well, after 18 years as an aerial photographer and now a certified FAA UAV pilot, Owner and Flight Commander Wendy Whittemore has certainly heard a few of these stories.

In the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing some of the most misunderstood topics surrounding drones. This industry is still very new and is evolving everyday. Her advice to most who have questions, get on the FAA website and get educated. Without having the proper knowledge about UAV operations leaves this great tool open for abuse and wide interpretation of the law. It’s our goal to keep drones flying safely…..for everyone.

What do you care about?

The reason it seems that price is all your customers care about is that you haven’t given them anything else to care about.Simon Sinek

In the photography industry, the battle for price has been a savage war lately. In the film days, you had to hire a professional because the process was complicated. Being a hobbyist was cost prohibitive. Pros could also make extra money selling stock because there was only one negative. Now, with better & cheaper technology, the image count has risen quickly and the war is starting to take its toll on many professionals.

We have found that more than the lowest price drives our client’s decisions. Often, they could get it cheaper or do it themselves but they see value in the service that professionals provide. In talking to our clients about why they value our service, we mostly hear about our reliability, quality & personability.

  • Reliability – with a team of photographers and a proven system, we have options in case plan A, B & C all fall through. And that matters when clients are on a deadline.
  • Quality – Yes, the camera still matters as does post-production and our clients know it. People still hire professionals because of their training and practice.
  • Person-ability – Being nice these days is a bonus in any industry. For too long, photographers got a bad rap because of bad attitudes. Treat clients right, and the price will be a secondary factor.

What do your clients care about? Are you giving them more than price?



Nashville, you look marvelous!

What’s it like flying around Nashville with all of the beautiful landmarks and amazing new growth? Well, you could come work for us OR take a look at some of our video stock clips. It’s taken us a while to collect enough to share and also a while to go through all of the great footage. Most footage was shot in 4K with an Inspire 2 and some stock if from the helicopter using an X3 lens with a DJI osmo.

We are hosting the clips on our zenfolio site for purchase for any of your video projects. Past footage has been used for anything from a bid proposal for large projects, to amp up a web site or even for national TV shows. If you are not thinking about incorporating video into your marketing, maybe this will spur your creativity!

Click here to view our stock video gallery


Showing the Love

Last week you met Alyssa and said goodbye to Tiffany. This week we are celebrating 2 anniversaries: Jessi Braswell in the Nashville office has been with us since 2015 and Chelsea Patterson in the Georgia office has been with us since 2017. We couldn’t do it without either of them for very long, they are the glue and the drivers behind our successful sales and customer service. How do we love these girls….let’s count the ways!

5 – days a week you will get a cheerful voice answering all of your questions

4 – quarters of the year that these girls crush it!

3 – primary colors that either of them will have in their hair at once

2 – well, there is two of them, the dynamic duo? the pair in the air?

1 – amount of times you have to ask them for anything, they are Johnnies on the spot!

We love you, Chelsea and Jessi!! You are rock stars and we are your touring band 🙂


Last Flight Out!

We always feel a little sad when we have to say goodbye to one of our team members. This week, Tiffany is leaving us to follow her family and her faith to Georgia. She has been our rock-star in production, making sure everything looks the best it can be and gets out the door quickly. We wish her the best in her endeavors and look forward to seeing her soar in her new phase of life.

As the saying goes, a door closes but a window opens. And we welcome Alyssa back through our open window (well, we let her use the door mostly ). You may remember Alyssa, she was with us a couple of summers ago to help out in production. She is back up to speed and working on images like a champ. We are excited to have her back and are very grateful that she is recalling her earlier training.

Say hello to Alyssa when you hear from her and help us in wishing Tiffany all the best. Here are some photos from Tiffany’s last flight and Alyssa’s first in the R44 with Helistar Aviation…looks like a chilly one!