Drones are perfect for capturing a unique angle of a wedding. If you are a professional photographer, you can offer your clients a more creative and well-rounded service offering. For hobbyists and amateur photographers, bringing your drone along to a wedding may be the perfect way to contribute to the day and provide the people getting married with a unique perspective on their wedding.
The best DJI drones for wedding photography include the DJI Mavic mini 2 and the Mavic air 2. These drones have a very high image capture resolution and can be carried easily to the wedding. A professional wedding photographer will need the DJI Mavic air 3 for next level shots.
Using a drone for a wedding is becoming more and more popular. You need to know a few things about the laws and regulations for drone flying before you launch near people and above private property.
Can you use a drone for wedding photography?
You can use a drone for wedding photography as long as you have all of the appropriate licenses and abide by the Federal Aviation Administration’s rules. Getting the appropriate licenses is particularly true if you are a professional wedding photographer or videographer.
If you plan to fly your drone over a wedding, you need to pass the part 107 certification. It is a simple multichoice set of 60 questions that will test your knowledge of the Federal aviation rules for drones.
For a wedding situation, the most important rules are that you cannot fly over people, fly your drone higher than 400 feet and must not be under the influence while flying. You must also get permission from the property owner if the wedding takes place on private property.
Once you have all the appropriate checks and balances in place, you can use the drone to capture some amazing shots of a very special day.
In a hurry? Here are the best DJI drones for your wedding
|DJI Mavic Mini 2||More Info||Small size|
|DJI Mavic Air 2S||More info||Great flight time|
|DJI Mavic Air 3||More Info||Hasselblad camera|
Here are the best drones for amateur and hobby photographers.
Best for Amateur and hobby Photographers:
If you want to use your drone to capture the special day of a friend or relative, here are the best drones that you can pack alongside your wedding suit or dress.
DJI Mavic Mini 2
The DJI Mavic Mini 2 is the perfect drone to take on your wedding outing. Because it is incredibly small and weighs less than 249 g, you can fly it in some places without a license.
The small size does not take away from the powerful nurse of this drone. It has a range of advanced flight features and software. This drone may be the best for a wedding with a flight time of 31 minutes, a level V wind resistance, and an ultra clear 4K video.
I think it makes particular sense for a wedding because it is small. The small form factor means that you will be able to carry it with you throughout the day without it being too much of a hassle and the small size means that it is more likely to be allowed to fly over private property by the property owner.
Here is an example of what the Mavic mini 2 can achieve in a wedding:
You’ll notice that the drone is small enough to make people very comfortable with it being nearby. Also, the drone is small enough to get close to open-air settings without people freaking out. Some of the much bigger drones can produce a lot of downwashes and will easily blow over table decorations and, if big enough, chairs.
If you want something a little bit more serious, the next level up is the Mavic Air 2S
DJI Mavic Air 2S
This drone is ideal for those seeking a serious drone that falls between hobby and professional.
The Mavic Air 2S is an amazing camera drone with a 1-inch sensor and a 4K high-resolution video capability. It can capture 60 frames per second, which is brilliant for the slow-motion style of wedding photography that makes everything a little more serene and cinematographic. Who doesn’t want to feel and look like a Disney Princess on their wedding day?
Here is an example of the footage that this drone can capture.
Compared to the DJI Mavic mini, you will notice that the colour is much more vivid, and there is a better contrast in the shots. If you’re serious about photography, this is the drone for you, and you want to be sure your drone can record the greatest footage possible. It can shoot in raw format, ideal for post-production image manipulation.
The drone is strong enough to handle the high altitude wind whilst being small enough to get close to some of the wedding guests. It is, however, not advisable to get close to the wedding guests with such a big drone.
From wide establishing shots to more intimate and close-range photography, this drone will be able to do it all.
Best for Professional Photographers:
If you are a professional photographer, the DJI Mavic Air 3 is your best option for wedding photography.
Because of the impressive camera hardware that it is carrying and the powerhouse motors and battery power it has to stay in the air, it may be a business investment for securing new business and charging more for your services.
DJI Mavic Air 3
The drone is equipped with two cameras. The first is a Hasselblad 4/3 CMOS camera, while the second is a zoom camera. The hybrid zoom of the zoom camera is 28x (that means optical and digital zoom).
The optical and digital zoom is perfect for keeping the drone away from the wedding and the guests whilst also achieving a sense of intimacy with the people who have attended the wedding.
Drone noise is one of the most frustrating things when trying to fly your drone discreetly. Staying far away and using the zoom function is perfect for when you don’t want to ruin the ambience.
This drone features a huge 46 minutes of flight time to make sure that you can capture everything you need during your wedding photography shoot. It has extreme precision positioning technology, so you can ensure that your drone and the guests will stay safe.
This drone truly is a powerhouse.
How do you use a drone at a wedding?
Using a drone at a wedding can reveal some interesting and fun angles for your wedding video. It’s not always the best for close-up or near people shots. A drone can be very noisy, and it will certainly put a dampener on the formalities of a wedding.
However, using your drone at a wedding can help you set the scene and provide some great establishing shots of the location, the bridal party, and guests and provide you with much-needed B role footage.
The most obvious use for a drone is to establish the location before you cut into other footage of the day. An opening shot to show the surroundings and the beautiful location that weddings are typically held in is the perfect use for a drone. You can fly up to 400 feet legally in the United States, and the vantage point will provide you with some awe-inspiring footage. And a perspective that the people getting married hadn’t seen of the wedding venue they chose.
Bridal party shots
Flying the drone over the official photos of the bride, groom, or wedding party will help provide a little bit of context for the wedding photos and show the spirit of the day much better than a static image.
Stay clear of the photographer’s line of sight, and you can capture footage and photos all at once. Brilliant for those “behind the scene” shots of the day.
Full guest shot
Capturing a single photo of the entire wedding party and guests is a nice way to use a drone. Using a drone to get far enough away to get hundreds of people in sight whilst also close enough to recognise individuals is something that a drone is perfect for.
Examples of this sort of shot are shown below.
You’ll notice that you can also capture the location and the guest list in some shots. You can also be very creative about arranging the guests and placing them into a large heart around the married couple if that is the style they are looking for.
Many people spend a lot of money on transport to and from the wedding. Typically they only end up in the photograph upon arrival at the wedding venue. Using a drone, you can follow the car or other mode of transport a little further and allow the car budget to get a little more value.
A great wedding video involves lots of B roll footage. You can get very creative with the B role footage, and a drone is perfect for letting the creativity flow.
You may consider capturing this B role for your wedding shot:
- running through a field of flowers
- standing and kissing
- hugging shots
- walking between venues
- location shots of the wedding and reception venue
- people arriving for the wedding
- the wedding party arriving
Only your imagination limits the number of shots that are capable with a DJI drone. Planning with the people getting married is the most important bit of making sure you capture the day.
Drone for wedding photography: Buyers Guide
Purchasing a drone for wedding photography comes with a few vital considerations for hobbyists and professionals alike.
Because you will be flying closer to people, filming alongside other equipment and over private property, here are the important considerations you need to make if you are looking for a DJI drone for wedding photography.
The top of my list for any portable photographer is portability. Carrying around a drone and equipment or day is a massive pain.
Choosing a drone that isn’t very large and packs down to a small and portable form factor is an important consideration for wedding drones.
I like my drones to come in a compact and form-fitted case which means that I can chuck the drone into my backpack without any issue. I carry my drone nearly every day in my peak design backpack with no issues.
The Mavic mini 2 is the best option for photographers seeking portability. Professionals who are carrying a load of other camera equipment simultaneously will also like that the drone is very small and light.
Capturing the perfect photos and videos for a wedding day means that camera quality is an important deciding factor. Luckily, all the DJI drones are capable of high-resolution photography and videography. Things like sensor size and the camera’s maximum resolution are important factors.
The sensor is where the light lands after it passes through the drone’s camera lens. The sensor turns light into an electronic signal to be processed and turned into a digital image.
Most new cameras on a drone have a CMOS sensor as they have a better imaging processing capability. All of the DJI drones typically have this sort of sensor.
A larger sensor typically helps with:
- high resolution – a larger surface area allows you to include more pixels in your photos and videos.
- Improved lowlight performance – if you are doing a lot of low light drone videography, an increased sensor will help.
- Higher dynamic range – a large additional sensor means that the dynamic range will be increased. The dynamic range relates to the range of tones your camera can capture and the difference between pure white and pure black. The larger the range, the better the image.
Choosing a camera with a large resolution will help you edit your photos and videos. If the drone camera allows, I do not record in anything less than 4K.
Even if the final product is not 4K, you can crop and zoom without losing any of the resolutions or introducing noise and pixelation into the image.
Gimbal stability is an important consideration for the best DJI drones. The newer the drone, the better the Gimbal software and hardware. That said, DJI drones have a fantastic reputation for producing clear images even in the most challenging of situations.
High winds, buffeting, and drone movement all contribute to noise in the photos and videos of a drone. A good Gimbal has three-axis stabilisation and can smooth out the roughest of wind gusts and flying conditions.
Luckily, most DJI drones have three-axis Gimbals, and every one of the drones on this list is suitable for more challenging flying environments.
I like that DJI drones come with internal storage for those annoying situations where you have forgotten your memory card or your memory card runs out of available space for photography and videography.
There have been many times when I have gone to record, and I have missed out on important shots because I haven’t had the extra space. Being able to record the internal components of the drone has saved me frequently.
There tends to be a much higher barrier to safety when it comes to weddings and drones. No one wants their day ruined by an out-of-control drone or incapable drone pilot. Luckily, all of the DJI drones on this list come with various safety features such as return to home and 360° sensing.
Wedding venues typically have a lot of very nice trees and shrubbery around the venue. The extra greenery makes it perfect for photos but not so friendly for drone flying. Ensuring that your drone has an excellent array of sensors will save your drone when it comes to flying near overhanging objects such as branches.
The sensors will protect your drone and help you get permission from the private venues for flying your drone to capture the wedding.
Return to home
Return to home is a fantastic feature for any drone and every DJI drone comes with it. If you are stuck managing multiple priorities and need a quick way to return your drone home, the one-button return is a fantastic feature which will keep the drone safe.
Get to know the rules
There are many important rules to flying a drone. The most important ones for a wedding include flying over people, the maximum height you’re allowed to fly, any chance of intoxication of the pilot and getting permission from the venue and private property owner.
Flying over people
Flying over people is banned in many countries. In Australia, where I regularly fly my drone, you have to remain 30 m away from people and avoid flying above them. Imagine a 30 m radius cylinder around a person.
You are allowed to fly closer to people after you do some other training, but I have never needed that qualification.
Ensure you are familiar with your local laws and regulations and you understand where you can and cannot fly and how close you can get to people. Even though wedding photography is all about the people present, flying your drone near them is not worth the risk to safety and having your drone confiscated by law enforcement.
Getting a huge number of establishing shots seems to be the best way to create a lovely intro or an intro to your wedding video and photo album.
Weddings are a time for celebration, and alcohol often accompanies the joyous occasion. Professionals will not drink while filming and will turn down any opportunity to drink beforehand or during their “on-time”.
If you are using a personal drone and getting a friend to pilot it, you must remember that they should not be under the influence of any substances while piloting the drone.
Permission from venue
Lastly, getting explicit permission from the venue before your flying means that your DJI drone will be welcome at the ceremony and the reception. Never take off without the owner’s permission, as a drone can be seen as an invasion of privacy.
There is everything you need to know about the best DJI drone for wedding photos and videography. The best drones for hobbies include the DJI Mavic mini 2 and the DJI Mavic air 2S. The best choice of DJI drone for professional wedding photographers includes the DJI Mavic air three because of its portability and optical zoom capabilities. It truly is a powerhouse if you have the budget, and it makes sense to buy it from a business perspective.