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PPA Today: Drones: July 2017 Archives

Drones: July 2017 Archives

By Bethany Clark

Calling all drone photographers! If you are a PPA member that wants to expand your business by incorporating professional drone photography into your product offerings, consider becoming a Certified Drone Photographer!

The Certified Drone Photographer designation is the official credential for photographers that want to set themselves apart within the drone photography industry. It assures potential clients of a photographer's knowledge, experience, competence, and ability, as well as a compliance with all legal and safety considerations pursuant to operating drone equipment. 

Basically, it assures that not only can you fly a drone legally and knowledgeably, but you can also capture excellent photographs while doing it!

Photographers who earn their Certified Drone Photographer credential do so to demonstrate their expertise in flying drones and taking photographs from drones, gain an edge in advertising their services, and further justify the price of their services.

To qualify for the certification, you have to be a PPA member and have the following: 

  • 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

After that, you simply have to apply for the exam! Once you pass, you will have earned your Certified Drone Photographer designation. For more information or to get started on your path to drone photography certification, head to!

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On May 19th the District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that hobbyists using drones are not required to register their drone or pay the $5 registration fee. It is important to remember if you are using your drone for commercial purposes then you MUST still register your drone. 

The FAA defines recreational/hobby use of a drone as "the flying for enjoyment and not for work, business purposes, or for compensation or hire". The FAA also relied on the dictionary definition to say that a "hobby" is a "pursuit outside one's regular occupation engaged in especially for relaxation or refreshment of strength and spirits after work".

As a hobbyist there are still guidelines in place that you must follow:

  1. Fly at or below 400 feet.
  2. Be aware of airspace requirements and restrictions (YES!! These still apply;, check the B4U fly app before any flight).
  3. Stay away from obstacles.
  4. Keep your drone in sight at all times.
  5. Never fly near other aircraft, especially near airports.
  6. Never fly over groups of people.
  7. Never fly over stadiums or sporting events. 
  8. Never fly near emergency response efforts, such as fires. 
  9. Never fly under the influence of drugs or/and alcohol.
As professional photographers who receives some sort of payment or compensation for their work, you must register with the FAA and pass the Section 107 test to legally operate and charge for your drone photography!

As always, find out everything you need to know about flying your drone safely and legally at

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It's been a year since the introduction of the Section 107 drone regulations and many photographers are still extremely excited as more and more of them look to incorporate drones into their businesses. 

Over the past couple of months, PPA has featured break-downs of these Section 107 exemption waivers, providing you with examples as to when you can apply for them and what sort of information to provide to ensure your wavier is processed as quickly and smoothly as possible.

Here is a summary of the waiver-types and how to apply for them!

You can count on PPA to deliver you all the latest news, helpful tips and even certification for Drone Photography at!


About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Drones category from July 2017.

Drones: June 2017 is the previous archive.

Drones: August 2017 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

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