If you’re looking for professional drone photography in New York City, it’s important to ask the right questions before deciding who to work with. Not all drone pilots are created equal, and you want to make sure you find one who is licensed and fully qualified, has a solid command over the latest technology for capturing quality photos and footage, and actively listens to your goals for your project. Before you sign any contracts, here are the top seven questions to ask a professional drone pilot before hiring them so you can get the most out of the experience!
Top 7 Questions to Ask Your Professional Drone Pilot Before Working With Them
It’s an exciting time to be in the drone service industry, with constantly evolving and improving technology emerging each year. However, there are a few ways you can sort out the best professional drone pilots from the chaff, so you know you’re not only getting your money’s worth of quality visuals, but an excellent customer experience as well. Here are the top seven questions to ask a professional offering drone photography in New York City before hiring them:
1. Are they currently licensed and fully qualified for commercial drone flight in NYC?
While this question might not seem like the most interesting question to ask due to its logistical and pragmatic nature, it is one of the most important inquiries you can make about a candidate’s qualifications to do the work you need them to do. Have they been licensed by the FAA to fly Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems after passing the air space regulations and safety Knowledge Test? When did they first become licensed? And have they renewed their license every two years? Are they aware of any legislation that may make flying drones for commercial purposes in NYC complex, or that may dictate flight parameters? The best drone pilots are aware of any industry changes as they occur, so you can rest assured your aerial content will be provided through legal means.
2. How long have they been flying? What drone type(s) do they use?
These questions not only provide an idea of the pilot’s level of experience, but also the caliber of technology they are accustomed to working with. How many different models of drones have they piloted? How many times have they renewed their commercial license?
3. What projects have they been a part of? What's their portfolio like? Do they have any awards or acknowledgements?
Obviously, asking for examples of their previous work is a great way to get a feel for whether or not a candidate is not only an accomplished, steady pilot but an interesting cinematographer and compelling photographer as well. Do they work largely for professional advancements in fields like land management or real estate, or do they focus more on creative and artistic efforts or content creation? When was the last time they were acknowledged for their work?
4. Do they have referrals and positive reviews?
Speaking of acknowledgments, don’t be afraid to ask for a list of referrals and to check out their customer reviews. If a review concerns you or raises questions, be sure to ask them about it. An experienced professional will be able to address your trepidations easily while maintaining a highly-rated portfolio of work.
5. How extensively do they carry out pre-flight planning and risk mitigation?
It is one thing for a pilot to understand the laws, be currently licensed, and understand the assignment you have requested—but truly superior drone pilots will carry out extensive pre-flight planning. This includes briefing you, their client, on their safety measures, timeline and flight course, and any storyboarding work they might have done to come up with the best possible shots to serve your needs.
6. Are they easy to work with? Do they take the time to actively listen to your vision and your needs?
A good drone pilot is both an accomplished pilot of advanced drone technology AND a photographer and cinematographer as well. However, the best drone pilots are also active listeners that engage with their clients and jump on board with their vision. Do you find the candidate easy to talk to? Do they ask clarifying questions? Do they make creative suggestions based on your ideas? These are all qualities to look for in a professional drone pilot.
7. Do they offer any additional services, such as video editing or photo retouching, or do they deliver a raw product?
Of course, not everyone expects to get fully edited or retouched drone photography in New York City at the end of a contract with a professional drone service. However, if you do not have the desire or inclination to touch up your photos or footage yourself, ask if they offer any kind of editing services, or even if they can refer you to a professional in the industry that they frequently work with. This can save you valuable time if you have deadlines to meet.
Best Drone Photography in New York City
With an ever-increasing number of licensed commercial pilots offering drone photography in New York City, it can be challenging to separate truly outstanding pilots from mediocre ones. If you have a big project you’re working on—whether it’s for creative or personal reasons or professional career advancement—it’s important you hire a drone pilot you can trust to execute your mission successfully, without incident, and on the first attempt. By asking a candidate about their customer experiences, years of flying drones and the technology they’ve gotten to play with, the quality of their customer service, and their composition of aerial footage and cinematography, you can find the right fit for your purpose and easily achieve your goals.
Looking for the best drone photography in New York City? Contact the experienced pilots at Xizmo Media today for an estimate!