For many pilots, the thrill of flying is the whole point of getting a drone. But for others it’s all about the end result, the photos and videos you’ve got to show for your time in the sky. This is especially the case if you’re turning your hobby into a business and setting up as a professional aerial photographer. Feedback is always going to be key to becoming better at what you do, so where can drone pilots go to publicize their work? Which platforms offer great exposureand can help to get your best footage seen by peers and industry professionals? Here are five platforms to exhibit drone photography.
Sure, it’s an obvious one to begin with. Since the first ever Youtube video was uploaded waaaaay back in 2005, it’s become a hub for creativity and videography, the foundation of a global community of engaged watchers and posters. It’s estimated that there are over 1 billion users on the site every single month – an audience that gives drone pilots plenty of potential feedback to work with. In fact, YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine and third most visited website after Google and Facebook.
So the benefits are clear here. If you can exhibit drone photography on Youtube, providing it’s good enough to be shared and engaged with, hundreds, thousands, or even millions of people could be watching your aerial footage. You might need to take advantage of some video editing software to ensure that your stuff is up to scratch.
Any platform as large as this can be pretty daunting. So how do you get your content on Youtube, and what’s the catch? First of all, there is no catch. The site is completely free to sign up to and use, and there’s no limit to how many videos you can upload. All you have to do is set up your own channel, which is usually straightforward as YouTube can connect with your Google account – if you have one.
Include links back to your personal or business website in your video descriptions, as well as specific search terms that you think people will be searching for. That way it’s more likely that you’ll be discovoered and subscribed to by potential fans and clients.
We featured Skytango earlier this week. It’s a new marketplace that looks like a great bet for pilots keen to sell and exhibit drone photography. Skytango connects media buyers with pilots around the world. Buyers and media producers can either commission you directly or simply purchase footage that pilots have added to a stock gallery of content.
Skytango is free to join for pilots, and the platform also offers plenty of space to exhibit the best of your material. So why not set up a profile, add a few polished videos, and let the buyers come to you?
You may not have heard of Dronestagram, but fans of Instagram will get the reference. And it’s pretty much the same as its more famous social media cousin, except it’s purely for drones. Dronestagram is a great platform with a dedicated community of aerial photographers from around the world. Pilots can set up an account and post their favorite pictures and videos from a day of flying, and also browse through the work of others out of curiosity or inspiration.
Dronestagram also has a forum where pilots can give each other hints, tips and advice, and the site holds regular competitions to boost publicity for the best pilots. In fact, last summer it teamed up with National Geographic to highlight some of the finest images exhibited on the platform.
Aerial Photography Exhibitions and Festivals
There are plenty of events around for pilots keen to exhibit their best aerial photography. From an annual drone film festival in New York to InterDrone in Las Vegas next summer, the London Drone Film Festival and Age of Drones, an upcoming exhibition in Hamburg, Germany. The bottom line is that aerial photography platforms such as this are only going to develop as more and more people get behind the controls and enter the industry. Why not register for an event near you, or enter your best work into a competition for a chance to win prizes, gain huge exposure and take the chance to exhibit drone photography.
Instagram, Facebook and Twitter
The three main social media platforms each offers something different for pilots looking to exhibit drone photography. Twitter and Facebook also work seamlessly with Youtube, so you can embed videos you have already uploaded with ease.
Instagram is a great way to build a large, engaged following. And as the whole point of the platform is to share visual media, there are millions of users to tap into if you know how to target them correctly. But that same strength can also be a hindrance: It’s easy to get lost in a sea of photographs. Instead of putting you off, that should drive you. The cream always rises to the top, and inevitably your work will get the attention it deserves.
Creating a Facebook page is a no-brainer for drone pilots with plenty of footage to share. Some of the latest models from manufacturers such as DJI actually allow you to stream video straight onto your newsfeed, giving your audience real-time video from wherever you happen to be flying. Although it’s likely to be a platform that gets you more fans than job offers, who doesn’t need their ego massaged once in a while?
Twitter is an interesting one for drone pilots. The platform isn’t dedicated to video, but your drone footage can be supported and discovered – so it’s worth a go. Particularly if you shoot above well-known natural landmarks or places. A few appropriate hashtags and you can put your video in front of people who are guaranteed to be interested.