Becoming a Drone Photographer: Skills, Equipment and Inspiration

As drones change and develop, their impact is becoming boundless. From rescue missions to racing, deliveries to explorations, society continues to find innovative uses for drones, but they all have one thing in common…the imagery captured by drone footage is like no other.

Anyone who has decided to become a drone photographer, must also commit to becoming a skilled drone pilot. To capture unforgettable video and get the breathtaking shots, drone photographers need to know their equipment and be able to seamlessly maneuver the drones.

Becoming a Drone Photographer

Along with skills, it is important to know the ever-changing laws regarding drone air space, restrictions and privacy. When buying a drone, also consider the intended use.


If you plan on filming with a drone, think about:

– the quality and resolution of the camera on the device

– how you will view the footage, whether you will be livestreaming

– whether you will be assembling it or buying one that is ready to fly (RTF)

– the battery life and how long you need it to last


Also, keep in mind that less expensive drones are often harder to fly because they are lacking the extra features that make them easier to pilot and land.


Summit Drones spoke with a dynamic drone photographer from Indonesia about his experience in the field of aerial art. Kadek Aris Budiarta, known as Aris, is a young freelance videographer/photographer based in Kuta, Bali. Aris led us on a flight.


Capture amazing aerial footage with a drone


At age 19, Aris has discovered several uses for his drone photography skills. Whether capturing his travels, documenting a wedding or shooting corporate videos, the unique aerial views are breathtaking. Wanting to share these beautiful drone angles with the world, Aris toned his craft through flight time and now brings moments to life for his followers and his clients.


Does the early drone get the worm? Aris points out that timing is important. Shooting the earth’s natural beauty can mean vibrant colors and stunning flight segues. If you are an early riser, “Wake up before the sunrise and be on the spot before the sun, between 5:30 a.m. and 8 a.m.,” said Aris, who himself favors sunset to get the most favorable angles in his shots.


Get geared up


The equipment is important, but pilot and photo skills are even more important. Develop and improve skills through practice and as you get better, continue to upgrade your hardware and accessories. To get the most interesting videos and images, make use of filters to make colors pop and take advantage of the contours of nature. But remember that the pilot determines the flight, the angles and the shots.


“It’s not about the gear, it’s about the man behind the gun,” said Aris. In 2015, he started taking an interest in photography, using his iPod 5. As his skills have advanced, so has his equipment. Aris now uses a Nikon D7200 camera and DJI Phantom 4 drone.


Inspiration is everywhere


Artists take inspiration from the world around them. Those who actively network on social media are members of a community of artists who are constantly sharing work, discussing methods, bellowing frustrations and inspiring one another. He gets some ideas from drone photographers on Instagram. After being sparked by these muses, he applies a new perspective to the flight to produce unique images and video.


Becoming a Drone Photographer-9


Whatever camera you are using, shoot, shoot and shoot again. Don’t hesitate to snap a lot of shots while filming. Be creative. Be intuitive. Be original. Aris breaks it down in simple terms, “Looks for inspiration, think it, shoot it and do it better.”


The Drone Difference


If you have never filmed with a drone, be prepared for awe-inspiring moments. Drones can shoot underwater, from high angles, in tight spots, in dangerous situations, you name it and a drone can probably shoot it. It gives your art variation and brings life to content that is monotonous.

Drone piloting simulates the feeling of flight and uninhibited freedom, so have fun creating your drone-generated content. “Do what you love,” said Aris. To gain a following, fuel your passions, consider your audience and be involved in the community. Aris offers some advice to drone photographers who are starting out, “Follow people who inspire you, ask them to go out, make content together and don’t forget to consistently share your work.”


Connect with Aris


If you have questions, comments or something to share with Aris, contact him on Instagram. He has a page devoted to aerial images and travel videos ( and a portrait page (


Check out this article  on Apple News! To find our channel,  search Summit Drones in the News app on your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch.


This article was written by Miriam Cronkhite.

Summit Drones on Apple News

Check us out on Apple News!

To find our channel, search Summit Drones in the News app on your iPad or iPhone.