How To Shop For A Drone Operator

Selecting the right UAV for the job

Selecting the right UAV for the job

Quality aerial imaging can provide a unique and intriguing view that will set your project or business apart, and create a lasting impression on your audience. To achieve the best results, there are some important things to consider when you are selecting capable unmanned aerial imaging professionals. First, the drone aerial imaging company must be able to operate small, unmanned aerial vehicles UAVs legally. Elevated Element was one of the first companies in the state of Maryland to receive their 333 Exemption, as well as their Part 107 remote pilot certification from the FAA. This type of credential is required to operate small UAVs for commercial purposes in the United States. Your UAV pilot should be able to show you their remote pilot certification card.

Along with operating legally and responsibly, the UAV service company you are looking to hire should be fully insured with at least one million dollars in liability coverage. Although, it is a must to be insured, a true professional drone operator also has an exceptional record of safety. Elevated Element prides ourselves on having a stellar history of safe, incident-free flights since 2009. Responsible flight is always our top priority for every mission.
Experience such as this is probably the biggest differentiator that will determine the overall success of the final results of your desired aerial imagery. You should be able to quickly and easily recognize whether a UAV imaging company has the experience needed to deliver the best possible results. They will have a portfolio of high quality video, still photography, and in our case, 3D imaging viewable online. However, be aware that some companies try to pass off work of others as their own as they are trying to “get off the ground”. A simple Google image search of images can help determine the true origin of the examples they provide. Companies with legitimate experience and longevity in the commercial UAV imaging field will also have evidence of working with a long list of reputable clients. Elevated Element is extremely proud of our extensive client list that includes household names including Nike, Under Armor, US Army, State Highway Administration, Smithsonian, PBS, Trade Point Atlantic and more.

Ample experience is what has informed our refined methods and workflow for achieving the highest quality of aerial imaging. We employ a multi-person team to ensure that every function involved in producing such work is completed with the utmost of care and focus. In addition to having the right people in place to fulfill each role, the company must also possess all the right equipment to carry out a specific task. Elevated Element has an entire fleet of various types of drone aircraft designed to efficiently capture the type of data needed for optimal final deliverables. For example, a six-foot, fixed-wing UAV used for large orthomosaic mapping projects is not the drone of choice for cinematography projects. Be clear about what your needs are, and ask questions about the model of drone the photography team intends to use, what the specs are for that aircraft and camera combination, and why they selected it for your job. The right aircraft, camera and stabilization equipment combination is critical for achieving the exact results you are looking for.

All of this may sound like a bit much if all you hope to do is snap an image of your home from one perspective to help your realtor place your property on the market. If that is the case, then perhaps you can get away with having your friend with their own drone snap a quick photo for you– as long as they can set the camera settings properly for the lighting and conditions during the time of the scheduled shoot. However, if your needs require a comprehensive skill-set for producing the most effective visuals possible for maximum impact, then taking the time to review these qualifications may save you time, money and hassle down the line.