We got our first commercial gig. It was for Georgie and Tommy's wedding just before Christmas and we had about 10 days’ notice. A quick pre assessment didn't throw up anything insurmountable and the family were very happy to help with getting permission from the estate where they lived. The church (Bibury, Gloucestershire) were happy to have aerial footage and I cleared it, personally, with all the neighbours. The trickiest part was getting permission from the National Trust for where the reception was being held. However, the staff at Lodge Park were very helpful and sent the documents they requested from me to NT Head Office and they came back with the OK we needed, with a couple of exceptions but nothing I hadn't already planned for.
As the day approached there was a concern about the weather. It looked like it would stay dry but it was very breezy, but was within tolerance. I had already decided to not fly too high, to keep the drone close to me at all times, and at a safe distance from everyone else. I briefed the drivers and family at their house and got the clients signature on my paperwork. Time to go to work.
The brides house was on a private estate so that was easy but it started to rain just before I put the 'bird' in the air. The rain blew over pretty quickly and I was able to get some footage of the bride leaving the house and she looked beautiful.
A quick call to RAF Brize Norton air traffic control to advise them that I was about to commence operations in their restricted airspace and then another call to the local police so I could get an incident number in case anyone in Bibury wanted to let the police know there was a 'lunatic' flying a drone in their village. Then onto the church for the brides arrival.
I'd left one of my team there (Harrison) to brief the ushers and the congregation of what would be happening when the bride and groom left the church after the service. Not surprisingly, not one person had an issue with it and I got some great shots of the bride entering the church grounds and then the happy couple leaving the church to be warmly welcomed and congratulated by their friends and family.
The light was fading fast so we packed up and dashed off the Lodge Park on the Sherbourne Estate in Gloucestershire and got set up there. Because of the restrictions placed on the operation by the National Trust there was only one place I could fly from so it was a quick up and down before it became officially 'night' when I could no longer fly.
It was a great introduction to commercial work and I was pleased with how it went. All the training, all the expense and learning are well worth it. The day went like clockwork from start to finish so I know I got this one right and it's a great confidence boost for the work I've already been booked for 2016.
Happy New Year one and all from Whirlybird Imaging and we also wish Georgie and Tommy happiness forever and ever.
Here’s a link to the video from the official wedding videographer and their website is here.