Drones are an amazing tool that allow a new perspective and add significant value to your production. If this is your first time hiring a drone, below is a quick rundown of what to expect.

First, let your drone operator know the following:

  • Date, time and how long you'd like to shoot
  • Location
  • What you need aerial footage of
  • Any other details you can provide

Next, we'll let you know what is possible and if there are any restrictions.

  • We can't fly in extreme temperatures or inclement weather. The less wind, the better!
  • Drone operators have to get permission for any flights within 5 miles of an airport.
  • We can't fly over people nor near large sporting events. 
  • Usually we aren't allowed higher than 400 feet and must keep the drone within our line of site (or our Visual Observer's) at all times.

It can technically go higher and further than that, but those are the rules set by the FAA and Transport Canada.

It is possible to get an exemption from some of these rules (called an authorization or a waiver) but it takes time. Requesting a flight next to an airport can take 2-3 weeks. The sooner you know what you need, the better.


Drone rates and operator skill levels are all over the place. Your budget and footage needs will determine what type of drone and crew you'll end up with.

  • Bigger budget = more versatile drone + more crew + more camera options = more complex shots
  • Smaller budget = risk of hiring unqualified personnel and getting unusable footage

I've been on shoots where both scenarios have happened.

What I bring to the table:

  • With my camera operator background, I provide professional knowhow at an affordable price. 
  • Remote pilot certification in both the United States and Canada
    • Small UAS Rule Part 107 with a Daylight Operations waiver 
    • Small RPAS Advanced Operations
  • Carry $1,000,000 in liability insurance
  • Allowed to fly at night

I own and operate DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 Drones with the following specs:

  • Video resolutions of 4K, 2.7K, 1080 and 720
  • Frame rates of 60p, 48p, 30p and 24p.
  • For still photos, the 20 megapixel camera can shoot JPEG or RAW
  • 23 minutes of flight time per battery; a total of 115 minutes before charging
  • Plenty of SanDisk Extreme 32 GB microSD cards
  • An HDMI OUT port (female) if you have an external monitor or wireless transmitter

If you're not sure what settings you need, I can help you choose the best set-up for your project.

My rates start at $150/hour. This is for the time that I am at location. Any required pre-production is included in this price. Additional personnel might be required for more complex jobs.

Projects at night require myself and at least one visual observer. 

Hyperlapses start at $300. This includes 2-3 takes and an edited finished product. See HYPERLAPSES for more information.

Be sure to bring a laptop, flash drive or MicroSD card with plenty of space for transferring files at the end of the day. Please note that 4K footage takes up a lot of space and requires a fast computer for viewing and editing.

Rates above are in US dollars. For Canada, rates start at $190/hr (CAD) with Hyperlapses starting at $380 CAD.

Now you have a better idea of what to expect when hiring a drone for your shoot. Feel free to contact me with any questions or to take that next step and Hire a Drone!

You can also see my stock footage for sale at Pond5.