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aerialimagery

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I have been an aerial photographer for many years, and the photos for all my customers from a year ago or more were taken from an airplane or helicopter.

So I'm contacting them and letting them know I now use a drone and can now offer lower pricing as well as better imagery.

Today I contacted one of my previous customers who had a lot of work done in the past and his assistant told me the boss now has his own drone and can do that kind of work himself.

So I said ok and thanked them for their previous business. But what I would have liked to have said is that it is probably a hobbyist drone that will not produce the same quality, and that I am a professional photographer, and if your boss isn't, it's likely his photos will be crappy.

Do you have any comeback for those of your prospects who have their own drone, or do you forget it and move on?

I have a prospect who contacted me some months ago and I think they had more than 25 locations to photograph. I recently called him to see if he is still interested and he said they bought a drone and sent their guys out to take some photos, but they didn't look very good and he wants me come up with a price for him with the possibility of doing the photography this spring. This guy found out the hard way it's not as easy as just having a drone.
 

Outta Control

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I am going to go out of a limb here and tell them you want to do a comparison of the finished product.

Tell them that you would love to video and process it for free and to compare it with their boss's final product.
 

rvrrat14

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Knowledge, skills, abilities, and experience are second to none. Tell them of your positives and years in the business and thank them for their time. Give them a business card, maybe collect an email, ping them in a few. Proofs in the pudding.
 
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John Locke

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Most of these guys buying their own craft won't have a Part 107 certification. That's what I would bring up, making sure they're aware of the regulation and the penalties for taking photos or video to any commercial purpose. Even schools, fire departments and police are required to have Part 107. You might email them an article explaining this in short and brief terms, or the FAA regulations on this.

If they do have their Part 107 cert, congratulate them and move on, as they are apparently serious about their flying. You could offer to provide personal flight and photography training at that point.
 

jwaitkus

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Ya ask if he has his 107 certification? Remind of the possible fines. Then pause followed by talk soon
 

aerialimagery

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Ya ask if he has his 107 certification? Remind of the possible fines. Then pause followed by talk soon
No, I'm not going there. I don't care if he uses a drone to photograph his own business without a license. Not sure he would need one for that anyway.

If I'm to get business it will be because I have a desirable product at a reasonable price and not because they're scared they will get in trouble with the government. Besides, I don't know that they don't have a license and I'm not going to imply anything. If it comes across that I'm trying intimidate them, I can be sure I will never have their business.
 
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jwaitkus

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No, I'm not going there. I don't care if he uses a drone to photograph his own business without a license. Not sure he would need one for that anyway.

If I'm to get business it will be because I have a desirable product at a reasonable price and not because they're scared they will get in trouble with the government. Besides, I don't know that they don't have a license and I'm not going to imply anything. If it comes across that I'm trying intimidate them, I can be sure I will never have their business.
I was only kidding. Just adding some humor.
 
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aerialimagery

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I was only kidding. Just adding some humor.
Sorry.

I'm too used to posting on boards where we discuss politics and religion and all the nastiness that goes along with it. I forget this board is not like that and there are a lot of nice people here.
 

dirkclod

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Politics and Religion no we don't but nothing wrong with a little humor . As long as it don't offend anyone and if it does then just report it and It will be addressed .:)
 

John Locke

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No, I'm not going there. I don't care if he uses a drone to photograph his own business without a license. Not sure he would need one for that anyway.

If I'm to get business it will be because I have a desirable product at a reasonable price and not because they're scared they will get in trouble with the government. Besides, I don't know that they don't have a license and I'm not going to imply anything. If it comes across that I'm trying intimidate them, I can be sure I will never have their business.
You may want to reconsider and look at this kind of situation a little different. Disclosing the Part 107 subject is to inform only, letting him know the requirements to keep him out of trouble, and safe, in case he's unaware of the requirement, which is often the case. That's not trying to scare him. If he shows interest in getting a 107 cert to be legit, you can offer him a desirable product, training him for flight and photography. You can even be his RPIC so he can take photos for his business, with you present, until he gets his 107 cert.
 

RNCotton

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We run into that a lot. "You charge how much? .... geez, the kid next door will do it for $20 and a pizza" ... or "I'll just buy my own drone and do it myself."

I gently point out that the FAA considers these to be aircraft, and *ANY* sort of commercial work requires a license. I also remind them that I have a $2M liability insurance policy, and years of experience.

After that, I don't push them. They either do or they don't.
 

embayweather

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Nearly twenty years as a professional photographer and I came across this situation almost weekly. Folk would ask about doing a wedding , we would give them a price, and then they would get uncle bob and his amazing new camera to do it. Needless to say when we saw the results on face thingy or some where they were awful. But many liked them. Why? Because people in these circumstances often accept what a professional would reject. The stories I could tell.
However, you should not give up. It can be a long hard road to get clients to accept the need for excellent images. I would start off by asking if they want such second rate 8mages to represent their business interests as it is those ver6 8 ages that will define their business, as your business is defined by its high quality images. Reminded them it is not just a matter of snap and give them the dvd. Much work will go into preparing the highest quality images by your self. Are the prepared and equipped to do all the necessary post processing that will be needed to get the amazing images they will be looking for.
I rarely, if ever, came across a relative doing a wedding cheaply with their amazing new camera that could even come close to my own work or indeed that of any of my professional colleagues.
 

Andy Post

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I do mostly stills and am getting more and more calls from "found you on the web" I always start with "what is your budget for this project" If they say "I don't know how much this should cost" I know they have something in mind. I'll ask "If I were to toss out a number like $200 or $2,000 or $20,000, which of those is closer to what you were imagining? They almost always say they could probably do $200. Then I'll just say that I'm so sorry, but my own assistant charges me more than that. Would they like me to work up a bid for them?

Click.....
 

Tim Jones

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Sort of like the home owner that takes on their own plumbing job
give them time, they will be back
 
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I've been dealing with the same sort of thing with web development for the past few years with the rise of Wix and other "DIY" website platforms. I would guess that somewhere in the neighborhood of 30-40% of those that say that they'll just do it themselves after talking price end up coming back months later after they find out that "DIY" isn't as easy as those companies make it seem.

When people tell me that they're thinking of buying their own drone, I ALWAYS tell them about Part 107 and the associated possible legal/financial consequences of flying without it. I don't do it to pressure them into working with me, but simply because the average person is, in large part, uninformed. Sometimes, that sincere sharing of information makes people change their minds. They realize that you actually care about them and aren't just looking to get acquainted with their wallet. :)
 

R.Perry

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One realtor in Modesto found out about part 107, he was filming a home that was almost next to the Modesto airport. I have no idea what the final outcome was but it is my understanding he isn't doing his own photography with his drone any longer.

So I would say informing realtors of the legalities would be the right thing to do.
 
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S F Ogden

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Besides the legal issues, we’ll always have to deal with the fallacy that owning a decent tool equates to some sort of mastery. Even people who know that good pots & pans don’t make a good chef or a good hammer doesn’t make a carpenter/craftsman often seem to think a good camera or drone does equate to good results. I try to let my work speak for itself.
 

MartyMullin

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Related question here. People speak of "possible fines." I am studying for my 107 but do not have it yet. I am exclusively flying for fun. I am however getting nibbles like "if you get me some footage of this, I might be able to get you some money down the road." I have not done it and don't intend to. But what specific fines are we talking about?
 

R.Perry

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Related question here. People speak of "possible fines." I am studying for my 107 but do not have it yet. I am exclusively flying for fun. I am however getting nibbles like "if you get me some footage of this, I might be able to get you some money down the road." I have not done it and don't intend to. But what specific fines are we talking about?
I can't tell you what the actual fines could be, other than I assume it would be dependent on the violation. I do know a media company in NY got fined several thousand dollars for airspace violations, but I do not know the details. I'm also a pilot, and have flown for many years and have had a few encounters with FAA but have never been fined or had my license pinned to their wall. I was a crop duster for many years and we tend to brake the rules at times, normally flying too low over populated areas. If you have an encounter with the FAA, common respect and courtesy goes a long ways, play dumb doesn't set well with them. Basically they can go from a mild warning to having you put in jail. A guy I know flew through the China Lake MOA (miltary operations area) while they were practicing bombing exercises, he spend several days in jail, took him two months to get his plane back, and I'm not sure what the FAA did to him.

I'm old enough now that I have learned a lesson, it is kind of like sports, either play by the rules or get out of the game.
 

FatherXmas

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I had a realtor that asked me to do a 'sample' of a high end property and she would decide from there if she would continue using me. So, stupid me, I flew it and took the usual shots including a pano of the gorgeous view of the valley below. She used my work to sell the house but I never heard from her again. Turns out, a high end house like that one only comes on the market once every few years and for her 'regular' listings, she does her own photos. Lesson learned, never ever do a free audition!
 
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