If you’ve kept up with the news over the past several years, chances are you’ve heard something about the controversies surrounding UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) or drones. Ethical concerns over their use in military conflicts as well as safety concerns over Amazon’s proposed unmanned aerial delivery service have grabbed headlines of late. While drones certainly elicit passionate responses, there’s no denying their potential to revolutionize industries such as shipping.
One area that hasn’t been covered as heavily is the aerial photography industry. Construction companies and real estate firms pay a pretty penny to have beautiful aerial shots of building sites and properties. Shots from above can definitely help a real estate firm sell a property more easily but the cost is nothing to sneeze at. Professional aerial photography requires elaborate setup and thus high overhead which can make it cost prohibitive for independent contractors or real estate agents. UAVs have the ability to change all that.
Michigan Live recent profiled Taylor Blom, a Michigan based small business owner whose Front Door Photos does the majority of its business by taking high quality photos of properties on the market. Blom sees the potential in using UAVs for his business and for other kinds of photography. He feels drones allow for unique angles that give potential buyers a better sense of the overall scope of a property. He also feels that without the use of drones, these angles would be inaccessible to most small business owners. Sensing that UAVs will soon revolutionize photography, Blom is staying ahead of the curve. He’s been flying his recently purchased drone over his local golf course to hone his skills. So why hasn’t his aerial photography business taken off yet?
The FAA classifies UAVs as recreational vehicles which means they can be used for sport but not for commercial purposes. Legal experts have warned drone owners not to use their shots for marketing until the FAA releases its new set of rules in Fall of 2015. Blom and others in similar situations will have to spend the next year practicing their flying photography until the FAA decides how and when their images can be used.
Check out the entire Michigan Live story here.