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Do Drones Belong In Wedding Videography?

An article in the Washington Post by Matt McFarland recently, got us thinking about the use of drones in wedding videography.

Do they have a place?

Having only had our Phantom 2 Vision+ drone for the last few months we have experimented with several environments for using drone shots.

And yes, we have used our drone at weddings, but not during the ceremony.

These were our observations.

  • Drone footage is best used before the wedding for establishing shots.

  • During the wedding ceremony would be just plain insensitive. They make a whining noise that would no doubt be a distraction for guests and the bridal party. You would also need a dedicated drone operator as the most important shots of the ceremony are on the ground and close up.

  • Drone footage is ok to get during the nibbles and chatting hour after the ceremony, but really not very effective as the noise means the guest all look up into the sky – in most cases rendering the shot useless – unless that is what you are going for.

  • Drone shots can be effective during the dedicated photo session with the bridal party – particularly beautiful when shooting over water such as a lake or the ocean. Great shots do come from different angles and aerial views are certainly a new perspective.

  • The environment will play a part as to whether drone shots are appropriate. We recently filmed a beach wedding where the couple eloped from America. It was just the two of them on the beach and the drone footage was superbly able to show the beach environment and add to the feel of the wedding video significantly. Perfect in this case as the video was going to be shown back home to friends and family. It was also manageable as the bride and groom were able to be directed and take several shots if required.

I’m not sure that I completely agree with the Illinois photographer Bruce Solko when he says “It’s gonna be one of these thing that will happen quick and will die quickly”. I think that as drones become more widely used, we will get better at using them appropriately. Toning it down to complement the video rather than “being” the video.

So do drones have a place at weddings? Yes and no. In a limited and small capacity if the setting is right. All the while remembering the video is not about showing off the capabilities of the drone. The essence of the video should be about the bride and groom and all things important in celebrating a marriage.

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