Putting Your Drone to Work

Tags: drone photography Lily Next-Gen

Article | Fri June 15, 2018, 05:20 PM EST


  • Lily Next-Gen.png

    Lily Next-Gen.png

    Lily Next-Gen is a prosumer drone used for work as well as fun.
  • Yamaha RMAX with MOTA JETJAT ULTRA.png

    Yamaha RMAX with MOTA JETJAT ULTRA.png

    The Yamaha RMAX disperses fertilizer and pesticide across large swathes of land. Inset: A brace of the world’s smallest video streaming drone, MOTA JETJAT ULTRA, perched atop the RMAX 45’s rotortip.
  • Aeroterrascan Ai450 drone.jpg

    Aeroterrascan Ai450 drone.jpg

    The Ai450 drone from AeroTerrascan has collected images and sensors data to measure sulphur dioxide, carbon dioxide and other gases from the Mount Agung volcano in Bali, Indonesia. It’s also used to surveying and mapping agricultural facilities like palm oil plantations.
  • Tactical Robotics Cormorant drone.jpg

    Tactical Robotics Cormorant drone.jpg

    This drone could save your life: Tactical Robotics' Cormorant is a NATO-compliant ambulance drone that can carry two people or ferry up to 500 kg. (1,102 lbs.) of cargo for each 50 km (31 mi.) sortie.
  • Ehang 184 passenger drone concept.jpg

    Ehang 184 passenger drone concept.jpg

June 15, 2018 -- Anyone who’s a photographer can use drones to get that special shot. Wedding photographers, event planners, real estate agents, or almost anyone can use a drone for income. Selling a car? Nothing shows it off better than driving it along a scenic road. Want to make a vacation property look special? Show off its surroundings in a bird’s eye view.

A top-flight consumer drone can capture great images. Your first job just might pay for the drone and all the trimmings like extra batteries and accessories.

But there are a few things you need to know before you start.

(1) Write out what you want to do with a drone. Besides the uses we’ve listed, others could include:

  • Covering sporting events
  • Property inspections
  • Checking a jobsite
  • Agricultural mapping or images over time to monitor crop health and animals
  • Infrastructure inspection and looking into difficult-to-see places like gutters and rooftops
  • Newsgathering
  • Movies

And wherever your imagination takes you!

(2) Write out what you want in a drone.

Drones excel at photography so don’t skimp: it should have a 4K camera and rock-solid flight qualities, like Lily Next-Gen’s Smart Hover™ to keep it in place even in wind.

Most of all, it should be super simple to use. It’s a tool you’ll be using a lot. It should free you to concentrate on getting the perfect image, not worrying about the drone.

Autoflight features like one-touch take-off, hover, and landing are must haves. So should return-to- home automatically if the battery runs low or if your drone loses the signal from your controller.

(3) Use your own, or buy, a large screen smartphone or a tablet.

Use a large screen smartphone or tablet if you’re going to use a dedicated controller. It will display the video and still images from the drone, and overlay this with information you need for flight such as altitude, direction, speed, etc. A dedicated controller generally offers a greater range and a greater degree of precision in flying over using a phone or tablet alone.

(4) Any drone used for work in the U.S., even a small drone, requires the person flying have a drone pilot’s certificate. Getting one isn’t a lot more difficult than a driver’s license but you can’t do it unprepared. It requires that you pass an FAA test as well as a background check.  Info about the pilot’s certificate is here: https://bit.ly/290TYrQ. Also, any drone in the U.S. weighing more than 250 grams (8.8 ounces) needs to be registered with the FAA before its first outdoor flight, a quick and easy process.

(5) Make sure to check any regulations or restrictions in your area, for example no-fly zones. Good drones will help do this for you by showing you where you can and cannot fly.

(6) Practice, practice, practice:

  • Read the owner’s manual front to back. Learn the drone’s autoflight capabilities so you’ll know exactly what it will do under different circumstances.
  • Consider buying a nano-sized drone to practice with indoors first. You’ll learn basic flying skills without any risk of damaging your more costly aerial camera.
  • Fly your work drone in little baby steps in a large safe area until you know where each control is and are comfortable using it.

(7) Create a great sample reel showing off your drone videos to post to your company page, on Facebook, and elsewhere. Consider approaching at least one business opportunity as a loss leader so you can acquire this footage for your reel.

(8) Make lists of your target opportunities. If a business, show them your reel and tell them how much they can save over more costly and riskier manned aircraft like a helicopter. If a wedding or other event photography, show them dramatic shots of people having fun, lifetime memories they couldn’t get any other way. Seeing is believing: if possible, offer to fly your drone then and there so they can see for themselves.

There are a ton of ways to earn money by putting your drone to work. You just need to put your mind to work to imagine and then go out after them


Article | Fri June 15, 2018, 05:20 PM EST


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Article Images

Lily Next-Gen is a prosumer drone used for work as well as fun.


The Yamaha RMAX disperses fertilizer and pesticide across large swathes of land. Inset: A brace of the world’s smallest video streaming drone, MOTA JETJAT ULTRA, perched atop the RMAX 45’s rotortip.


The Ai450 drone from AeroTerrascan has collected images and sensors data to measure sulphur dioxide, carbon dioxide and other gases from the Mount Agung volcano in Bali, Indonesia. It’s also used to surveying and mapping agricultural facilities like palm oil plantations.


This drone could save your life: Tactical Robotics' Cormorant is a NATO-compliant ambulance drone that can carry two people or ferry up to 500 kg. (1,102 lbs.) of cargo for each 50 km (31 mi.) sortie.