Wedding photography has evolved significantly over the years, with new technology constantly reshaping the industry. Drone photography has emerged as the latest evolution in capturing beautiful wedding moments. With a bird's eye view of the wedding venue, it provides a unique perspective that is challenging to achieve using traditional ground-level photography techniques.
Drone photographers can experiment with the drone’s camera settings, including aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, to create stunning aerial images that capture the beauty of the location. However, this photography isn't just about capturing stunning aerial shots. To get the most out of a drone setup, photographers must consider the battery life of their drone, learn time-lapse techniques, and be well-versed in post-processing to fine-tune their images.
Drones can also be used to capture moments that were once too difficult or dangerous, such as group photos on a cliff edge or a breathtaking shot of the bride and groom in a hot air balloon. With some careful planning, creativity, and skill, drone photography could be the next evolution of wedding photos, creating albums that stand out from the crowd and capture the magic and beauty of this special occasion.
Drone Photography With Brent Looyenga
1. Trial & Error With Aerial Shots
With a drone camera, wedding photographers can now capture images from the air – a perspective that was once impossible without a helicopter. But determining which shots are drone-worthy is a skill that Brent learned through trial and error. “In a drone photo, you’re trying to frame an image, but from the top down instead of with a clear background because the backdrop isn’t what you’re looking at.”
The Coeur d’Alene, Idaho-based photographer, says everything changes when you’re literally looking at the ground to take a photo. “I have to ask myself, can the trees frame the couple? Is there something unique about the ground? Or is there a lot of color or great texture?” He likens it to setting up a flat lay. “It’s similar because you’re trying to make sure that the subject is the thing that people see, but at the same time, with a flat lay, you’re also trying to fill in the area with other beautiful details that look amazing.”
2. Getting His Drone Flight Patterns Down
Being a gadget lover, Brent quickly got the hang of flying drones, but posing his subjects was a different story. He admits to having learned more about how to make people look natural from above, a skill that's essential when capturing stunning drone shots.
Brent highlights how drone flying can reveal a surprising challenge in capturing stunning wedding shots – people look uncomfortable from above while they're lying down. “It’s important to know how to pose people’s legs and hands so they look natural, otherwise it’s really awkward from the air.”
Another challenge that drone hovering presents is hiding what you don't want to feature in the shot. “There’s always a blanket that they’re laying on, so I’ve learned over time how to spread the dress out to hide it and other things that just come with time and practice.”
Suggested Read: Posing For Perfection: A Guide To Wedding Photography Poses
3. When To Fly & When To Stay Grounded
When done correctly, aerial drone photography has everything you need to elevate your wedding photography game. While acknowledging the endless photo opportunities that a drone presents, Brent always keeps his priorities in check.
"The value is in the people – not the view," he stresses, emphasizing the importance of capturing candid moments of people laughing and having fun. While a stunning venue shot is great to have, it can't replace the emotional moments that define a wedding day.
When working with a second photographer, Brent can capture both epic venue shots and candid moments without sacrificing one for the other. However, when shooting on his own, he uses the drone only about 30% of the time. In some cases, the ground doesn't offer the necessary framing or color to create a great drone photo, so Brent prioritizes capturing authentic moments between the couple and their guests. Because at the end of the day, the goal is to produce a collection of photos that captures the essence of his clients' special day, and drones are just one of the tools he uses to achieve that goal.
Thank you, Brent Looyenga, for sharing your valuable insights on drone photography. Be sure to head over to his website to see his amazing photographs, and check out more of his work on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.
Whether it's capturing an epic shot of the couple surrounded by nature or showing off the grandeur of the venue, aerial photography adds a touch of magic to any wedding album. From panoramic shots to candid moments captured by motion photography, you can create visually stunning and memorable aerial photos that will last a lifetime. As with any technology, there are some safety considerations along with local drone regulations and guidelines to follow. So, plan ahead and incorporate drone photos to add an exciting and innovative angle to your wedding photography and offer a unique, dynamic, and unforgettable perspective to your clients for their big day.
At ShootDotEdit, we thrive on bringing inspiration and marketing ideas to you from leaders in the industry! We are committed to assisting you in expanding your wedding photography business. Our professional editing services are one way we accomplish this goal. To learn more about how we can help your wedding photography business, check out our pricing plans.