A “Drone Use Survey” conducted by Professional Photographers of America shows that interest in drone photography is rising. In a recent survey of more than 1,000 professional photographers, nearly one-third of the respondents who aren’t currently using drones said they are “very likely” to include drone images as part of their product offerings in the next two to five years.
Other findings from the survey revealed:
Drones are being used most frequently in these four specialty areas: real estate (25.3 percent); commercial (19.1 percent), wedding (11.8 percent) and nature (11.4. percent).
Forty percent of respondents who currently aren’t using drones have had customers inquire about using them as part of their paid assignments.
The results from the PPA survey parallels data from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that projects that sales of drones (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) will grow from 2.5 million in 2016 to 7 million in 2020. The FAA also projects that the sale of drones from commercial use will double from 600,000 this year to 2.7 million in 2020.
At PPA’s annual Imaging USA conference from January 8-10 in San Antonio, TX, PPA will share additional findings the from their organization’s survey. The conference will also include a first-of-its kind drone photography exhibit and live photography drone demonstrations.
“We pride ourselves in helping our members stay ahead of the latest and greatest technology resources available to professional photographers,” said PPA CEO David Trust. “As our survey and new FAA data revealed, drone usage and regulations are growing and changing. Our goal is to educate photographers so they can make informed decisions about when and if to add drone photography into their service offerings.”
Adding drone photography to a photography business involves more than the cost of the drone itself. For example, operators must comply with evolving FAA guidelines, pass TSA background checks, and take a UAS operator test. PPA publishes information about news related to drone regulations on their website.