Everything in it’s Place – Part 6 of 6

Our very sexy differentiating factor or value proposition is that we have “developed a thorough process that gives clients better service & products at an affordable cost.” How very sexy. To tell the truth, it actually is! In plain speak, we have a way of doing everything around here and we all do it the same way. This minimizes mistakes, increases effective communication and does save time and money in the end.

What does this mean for integrating our drone into our product line….which has been the focus of our series? It means we diligently developed new systems for working with the drone. From the time a client calls about a drone shoot, our team knows exactly how to handle the inquiry, the pricing, the set up, the shoot, the ingestion, final production and delivery to client.

While the drone imagery has been similar to process once we get it in the office, it’s the capture that has been all new to us. By communicating often pre-shoot and collaborating with our clients and operators, we have developed a step by step system that works best for us once we walk out the door with the drone.

My mantra to my photographers and operators is I don’t want you to think meaning every decision has been addressed ahead of time and the operators/photographers can focus on safe flying and quality imagery.

Wendy Whittemore

Flight Commander – Aerial Innovations of TN, Inc.

Staying Safe In the Air from the Ground – Part 4 of 6

We’ve all seen the viral videos and epic shots made with ready to go out-of-the-box flying machines, aka drones or UASs. It looks and IS so easy to click BUY on Amazon, unpack and learn how to fly and shoot with a drone…. the 7yr old in me is already out the window and down the street…wheeeeeeee!


There are guidelines out there. Hobbyists have been following them for years. And I’ll  guess they are mostly for not running into things like people, buildings and other aircraft. As of this writing, in order to fly for commercial purposes (and that is anything incidental to business, not just for pay) then you need to obtain a 333 waiver from the FAA and have a licensed pilot at the helm. Later this year, we are expecting Part 107 to come out with updated regulations that may loosen some of these requirements.

In brief, there are a few basics that apply to ALL operators.

  • Don’t fly over people, crowds, etc.
  • Don’t fly over highways or busy intersections
  • Don’t fly within 5 miles of an active airport without authorization
  • Always keep the drone in line of site
  • Always have a spotter on hand

Every project is different. Builders know that. And as photographers we look at each and every project like it’s new and different. Our first priority is to safely get you the imagery. Period. And if it means we can’t operate the drone, we have several other platforms to choose from. (and they also satisfy the 7yr old in me!) We’ll have more about safety in our next blog post…..stay tuned!

Wendy Whittemore

Flight Commander – Aerial Innovations of TN, Inc.

*Commercial purposes as defined by the FAA is not necessarily for the all mighty dollar but might also be for internal use in a business. How to stay compliant? For now, apply for a 333 exemption or hire a 333 exempt company. In time, the FAA will publish Part 107 rules for commercial UAV operation. 

View our previous posts about drones:

Introduction to Drones – Part 1 of 6

Selecting the Best Platform – Part 2 of 6

Best Bets on Pricing Options – Part 3 of 6

The Rise of the Drone

This weekend the FAA made progress on its deadline of regulating drones or UAS (Unmanned Air Systems) for commercial use. They have certified 2 fixed wing drone systems, Insitu’s Scan Eagle X200 and Aero Vironment’s PUMA. With a long way to go until the 2015 deadline of “opening the skies to drones” there are still a lot of questions to answer in regards to safety, airspace, operator licensing, insurance and use. And although 2015 seems close, the US is still far behind most of the world including Canada and the UK with allowing this technology to take off. 

There is a lot of misinformation and speculation surrounding the rise of the drone. As the owner of an aerial photography company, I am often asked about drones. Questions focus mainly on how it will affect the professional aerial photography business. Most assume we see them as a threat, that everyone will own a drone and there will be no use for a company to provide this service.

Our industry was once thought to be dying when everyone became a photographer with accessible digital photography tools and google earth which provided aerial images for free! In both cases, the technology increased our efficiency, gave us more control and created more of a demand for our services. Upon its invention in the late 1800s photography itself was seen as a threat to fine art and professional photographers cried foul when Kodak released easy to use cameras to the mass public early in the 1900s. And yet, photography has only become more amazing with each advance.

Will the professional aerial photography business survive this new technology? It will all depend on a company’s professionalism, adaptability and the quality of photography they are able to provide. The keyword is “business” and if there is a strong foundation of relationships, systems and quality, survival is guaranteed.

Wendy Whittemore

Owner – Aerial Innovations of TN, Inc.

 Here are some links to interesting articles

Canadian Regulations for UAV Systems


Newsday Article on FAA Certification


Get your Drone Pilot’s License!