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PPA Today: Drones Archives

Recently in Drones Category

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Drones are everywhere you look, including PPA's educational library! PPAedu has an extensive library filled with hundreds of educational videos on topics that interest professional photographers. Aside from being interesting, these videos are packed with loads of information to help you brush up on, or learn more about photography. In this case, drone photography!

Buying Your Drone: What You Need to Know with Randy Braun & Stacy Garlington from DJI! First time buying a drone? Watch this video and learn which features you should be looking for when buying your first drone Learn important key features to look for: price, camera and lens quality, etc. and how to choose a drone that fits your needs. 

The only way to access these helpful videos is through your PPA membership. As a PPA member you can access these videos anywhere, anytime. Between PPAedu and PhotoVision, photographers who have a PPA membership can tap into hundreds of programs to help them Be More! Get full access to all the PPAedu and PhotoVision videos.


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Quick reminder that private aircraft and drones will be restricted from flying near U.S. Bank Stadium during Super Bowl LII, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officials said Monday.

Temporary flight restrictions -- up to 18,000 feet within 30 miles of the Minneapolis stadium -- will go into effect 3:30 pm Sunday and expire at 11:59 pm that evening. That doesn't include commercial flights, or emergency medical, police, public safety, and military flights. Fines are expensive and... these restrictions make it illegal, so this is a useful alert for all drone and sports photography aficionados.

Read more at Star Tribune.

By Bethany Clark

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Drones are everywhere you look, including PPA's educational library! PPAedu has an extensive library filled with hundreds of educational videos on topics that interest professional photographers. Aside from being interesting, these videos are packed with loads of information to help you brush up on, or learn more about photography. In this case, drone photography!

"Using Drones in your photography Business" with Randy Braun and Stacy Garlington explains the added value drones can generate to your photography business. Learn how to broaden your client base and expand your line of services.

The only way to access these helpful videos is through your PPA membership. As a PPA member you can access these videos anywhere, anytime. Between PPAedu and PhotoVision, photographers who have a PPA membership can tap into hundreds of programs to help them Be More! Get full access to all the PPAedu and PhotoVision videos. 

By Chris Homer

Have you been using drones in your business but want to take things further and set yourself apart from the competition? Check out PPA's Certified Drone Photographer program! 

This unique program ensures that you are not only legal to fly drones, but also equipped with the education to take the best pictures using drones. Before you jump in, there are just a few things you need to know.

To be eligible for the program, you must meet certain requirements:  
  • PPA membership
  • An FAA Section 333 Certificate OR Remote Pilot Certificate (Part 107)
  • Proof of General Liability Insurance
  • UAS Registration Number
  • Logbook summarizing 30 hours of Flight Time

If you meet these requirements, you can apply for the program, which includes a $75 fee. After your application is successfully processed, you will be able to schedule your Certified Drone Photographer exam, the final step in your certification. The exam consists of 60 multiple-choice questions, costs $25, and you must score an 80% or higher to receive your certification.

The Certification is valid for two years, after which time you will need to recertify. Recertification can be completed by uploading your new FAA score or updated remote-pilot certificate.

Get more information on Drone Photographer Certification and access to the application, so you can get started on earning your certification today! 

ch_headshot_100x100.jpgAbout the author:
Chris Homer is PPA's SEO & Web Specialist, which basically makes Google Analytics his best friend. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Chris cheers passionately (and obnoxiously) for the Bulldogs in all things from football to checkers. When he's not hard at work on PPA's websites, you'll find Chris at auto racing events around the southeast, where he's known as a master architect of tent villages.


by Mayo Lawal

If you are considering drone photography as an addition to your business, we've got great news for you! The Drone Zone at Imaging USA 2018 will cover everything you need to know about being a drone photographer.

Did we mention that an EXPO PASS is FREE? Register at and enter the promo code TSC2018 at checkout. It's that simple! 

Drones are one of the hottest new photography tools on the market, and it's important to learn how to use them and incorporate them safely, legally, and profitably into your photography business. This year, the Drone Zone will feature daily sessions in the trade show to explore drone photography as a business element, a new photography skill, and FAA training and insurance options to keep you legal and protected!

The Drone Zone will include the following sessions:


·         To Drone or Not to Drone? Your Questions Answered with Colin Smith

·         Aerial Adventures with Eddie Tapp, M.Photog.MEI.Cr., API

·         FAA 107 Requirements  with Robert  Norwood

Furthermore, Imaging USA 2018 will also feature two pre-con classes where you can learn the technology behind drones, proper aerial photography techniques, how to market drone photography to grow your business, and much more!

This Drone classes include:  

Incorporating Drones into Your Business
January 12, 9am - 5pm
With Stacy Garlington and Randy Braun

DJI Aerial Photography Academy is an intensive one-day class designed to teach valuable secrets to students who wish to create top quality, compelling, marketable aerial photographs using DJI drones. Expert instructors Randy Braun and Stacy Garlington have come from DJI global headquarters to share their expertise in an upbeat day-long classroom presentation. 

Let's Talk Drones
January 13, 9am - 5pm
With Manie Kohn

 Join highly-acclaimed drone pilot Manie Kohn as he discusses the ins and outs of drone photography and how you can ACCELERATE your business in this exciting new industry. Learn how to navigate through the complex drone-licensing landscape and FAA Drone Regulations, while also discovering how you can create extraordinary images. Learn to use many of Manie's own techniques to help you avoid making the cinematic mistakes often made by drone photographers. Explore the fields, the various skill levels, and the overall business of drone photography as Manie shares his experience and craft.

Find out more about Imaging USA classes and speakers on the Imaging USA website. Imaging USA 2018 takes place January 11-16 in Nashville, TN. So if you haven't already, hurry and register today for the full Imaging USA experience.  Or, pick up your FREE EXPO PASS today! 


By Sidra Safri

Congratulations on the purchase of your drone! This is an exciting development in the world
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 of photography and one we know you will thoroughly enjoy. However, before you can begin taking aerial photos and charging your clients, there are a few things you MUST do! 

1. Register your drone at the FAA's website
If you are only going to use your drone as a hobby and not for commercial purposes, then you do not have to register. However, the moment you decide to charge for your drone photography, you must register with the FAA.

2. Study/ Get Licensed
In order to fly your drone for commercial purposes, you must have a section 107 drone license. This shows the FAA that you know enough about aerial flight patterns, and other facts, to man a drone, and are well prepared in all situations. You can find plenty of study materials at or the FAA website. In order to get your certificate, you must score a 70 or higher on the exam. The exam will cost you $150 dollars to take and it must be taken at one of the FAA testing centers which can be found here. Also make sure you are aware of what waivers you can apply for. For more details or to go ahead and apply for a waiver, visit the FAA's website

3. Review your insurance.
With your PPA membership, you are already insured with PhotoCare. However, this does not include drone coverage. You will need to increase your liability insurance. This can be done by contacting Lockton Affinity and they will walk you through the entire process. You can find more information here.

4. Download the B4U fly App
This app is created by the FAA. You want to make sure you use this app before you fly. This will let you know if there are any flight restrictions, as well as if you are too close to an airport or possibly flying in airspace you are not allowed to fly in.

5. Get PPA Drone Certified
This allows you to stand out and show your clients that not only did you put in the time and effort to legally be able to fly, but also you were willing to put in the time to take fantastic drone photos. There is a learning curve to drone photography, and being a PPA Certified Drone Photographer will help you get past that learning curve in no time! For more information, visit PPA's Certified Drone Photographer page.

6. Stay up to date on all things drones.
With drone rules changing every day, it is necessary to stay current on any new developments. Visit to be in-the-know on all things drones!

By Bethany Clark

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This usually goes without saying, but we're going to say it: when it comes to drones, not following the rules can have consequences.

According to the Associated Press, a Northern California man accused of flying a drone over two NFL games last weekend and dropping political leaflets has been arrested. Police cited Tracy Michael Mapes, 55, with misdemeanor charges and released him after a drone was spotted over Levi's Stadium as the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks played.

By Sidra Safri

Many of you remember PPA talking about the Drone Pilot Integration Program a few weeks ago. Upon its introduction, there has been a large influx of interest, and the FAA wants to ensure that the correction information is shared. 

The FAA will be hosting a webinar on  November 27th at 12:00 pm to discuss the program details in depth. For more information about the webinar, please see the FAA announcement below:

The new Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration Pilot Program fosters innovation and advances the integration of UAS into our nation's airspace to ensure U.S. global leadership in the emerging UAS industry. It's taking collaboration to a new level!  

There's already been tremendous interest in the Program and more than 4300 people registered to attend our online webinars to learn how they can participate. It's facilitating partnerships between state, local, and tribal government entities and private industry to gather operational and other data from advanced operational concepts, such as flights over people and package delivery. 

Based on demand, we've added more webinars, which provide you with an overview of the Program, application process, and the specific criteria and deadlines that you will be required to meet. Registration is required: 

The results from the Program will help to inform the development of future enabling regulations that will expand safe UAS operations and help to transition many of the new and novel operational concepts that we manage today by exception into routine, commonplace aspects of our everyday lives. 

Details about applying, timelines, and requirements are at 

Stay up-to-date about all things drones at

By Sidra Safri

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It's Veteran's Day and you probably want to go out into the November sunshine and get some great shots of the celebrations taking place all across the nation. If you're in our nation's capitol however...stop right there. We've posted about this before, but it just keeps happening!... remember Washington D.C. is always a NO-DRONE ZONE. Meaning that, no matter what time of the year it is, you cannot fly a drone in the D.C. airspace. 

If an individual is caught flying a drone, not only will they have to deal with buying a new drone, but will also be subject to fines up to $1,500 and other criminal penalties. 

Bottom line: don't fly your drone anywhere near D.C!



The Department of Transportation has taken its first steps this week to increase the government's involvement in the use of commercial drones. 

The program entitled "Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Pilot Program" would allow various safety tests and improvements of advanced operations. This program would also work with state and local governments to provide regulation clarity and continue to develop regulations in a more efficient and practical manner. 

This initiative may possibly allow the opportunity to explore drone package delivery (think Amazon) and test security and data links to ensure proper communication between pilots, drones, and planes. The improved connection will help prevent drones from not only crashing into each other but also planes. For more information visit the Department of Transportation Website here. 

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