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If you’re a certified drone pilot and doing a drone shot for business, you will have to prepare for drone shoots. When getting paid for drone footage it is important to follow some simple rules to ensure that everything goes smoothly and according to plan. 

When flying drones in a paid capacity you want to make sure you appear and act in a professional manner, and that means preparing the correct way for a shoot. Whether you are getting one still shot of a construction figure for a general contractor or getting a series of videos for an automobile dealership commercial, your reputation is on the line. 

How to Plan for a Professional Drone Shoot 

Are you FAA Certified?

If you’re thinking about becoming a drone pilot, refer to the article written titled “How to Become an FAA Certified Drone Pilot.” This article discusses the process of deciding whether you need to become certified. If you are looking to get paid for drone work, the answer is yes. 

Is the drone shoot Legal? 

So you’ve been granted a job to get paid for your drone photography and/or videography services. It is important to ensure that the air space is legal to fly. During your Part 107 UAS Exam you will learn how to understand airspace. It is absolutely necessary to make sure the airspace during your flight is legal and safe to fly. 

The below screenshot is from one of the many free websites that provide airspace information: 

Check the Weather 

Being sure that there is adequate weather on the day of your flight. It is important to always check the weather on the day of your drone shoot, but you can always look ahead. Checking the 10-day forecast daily up until the day of your shoot can help you make judgment calls on potentially rescheduling a shoot due to inclement weather. 

The day of the shoot, it is encouraged to check the Terminal Aerodrome Forecasts (TAFs) and Meteorological Aerodrome Reports (METARs). This was taught and understood in the Part 107 UAS Exam as well. 

There are many free resources available to obtain TAFs and METARs.

Prepare your Equipment 

Lastly, and one of the most important parts of preparation is making sure all of the equipment to be used are ready and in order. Be sure the have the following equipment ready to go:

  • Drone: Ensure the drone is functional, and the software is updated
  • Batteries: Be sure the batteries are charged fully. It is also very important to understand how long the duration of flight time will be during the day of the shoot. This will help you better prepare the batteries. Be sure to always bring a charger to the shoot if a wall outlet is accessible if there is a need to charge batteries the day of the shoot. 
  • Controler: Make sure your controller (whether it is a stand-alone or connected to a smartphone) is charged for the day of the shoot. 
  • SD Cards: Always make sure the SD cards used the day of the shoot have free space. It is a good idea to reformat your SD cards between shots. 
  • Crew: If a crew is needed for the shoot, check-in the day before to make sure your crew is on the same page with the game plan for the next day’s shoot. 


Be Professional 

If you are new to doing drone shoots for business, don’t be nervous. This a great opportunity for you, and you are providing a great and unique product for your client. Although it may not be needed, it is always good to dress professionally, act professionally, and perform professionally. Although you may think some rules are “stupid” or not needed, it’s best to follow the rules and only do what is within your comfort level. 

Lastly, have fun! You starting doing drone shoots for a reason. Having passion in what you do yields the best results. 


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About Author

Zack Meuschke

Mr. Meuschke started his career in digital advertising and has not looked back. Directly out of college he started with a print publication working on their digital team. After a few years moved to the world of video at Comcast Spotlight working on how consumers are transitioning from traditional TV viewership to streaming TV on multiple devices and how that impacted advertising. Finally starting Corkboard Concepts where we focus on data-driven marketing campaigns. He uses his experience to integrate digital marketing into the diverse advertising strategies we build for our clients.