Drone Pics - giveaway or charge?

Not sure which forum this should go in, so I guess here to start and if it’s in the wrong place, just let me know please :slight_smile:

Today I was out filming with my mini 2 a wee event at a local football club (Scottish Junior League). The groundsman approached me and asked if I could take some pics of the stadium from above and send them to him via email. He said it’s been years since they had any and need some new ones since the new pitch was installed.

He gave me his email addy and I took a half doz or so good pics from above. So…do I just send them to him, or should I ask a fee? If I ask for a fee, what am I looking at - ballpark figure (haha see what I did there? ;), or should I just email these pics to the fella as a kind gesture?

Thanks for any tips or advice anyone can offer me on this subject of which I am as knowledgeable as a newborn!

Hi @Windswept I’ve renamed your post and moved it to Q&A.

Personally I don’t do anything for free.

Just be aware if you are getting paid for it and you haven’t yet done it yet then its classed as commercial work and the rules are a little different (in a nutshell you need commercial insurance).

What are the club doing with it, is it commercial ?

Lots of variables I’m afraid, but in sure others will be along soon to throw their thoughts into the mix.


And, on cue, comes an unsolicited opinion.

If the groundsman wants them just for his private collection then give them to him and suggest a beer might be in order

If you suspect they may be for the club to use in their publicity or to decorate the boardroom then supply the pictures at the best quality possible - but with a large watermark in the centre. It could say “Proof” or “Copyright R Jagen Photography” or whatever but do it to make the photo both unusable and to make it obvious that a fee should be involved.

If you are going to take photos for a commercial purpose you need commercial insurance. That can be obtained by the hour from a specialist insurer like Coverdrone. The CAA gets uppity about commercial work and their definition would include both the scenarios above - you have profited by money or by kind - a beer from the groundsman

Ask yourself cui bono? or “who benefits?” If the person receiving the picture is looking to use it for publicity or some other money-making activity then make sure you benefit too.



Generally, I agree - don’t give your work away for free if they’ve got a budget (and a willingness) to pay for it.

That said, they almost certainly don’t.

My limited experience of Scottish junior teams is that they haven’t two pennies to rub together and are always planning their next fundraising drive packing backs in Tesco or washing cars at the ground on a Sunday. Chances are they’re running a half-dozen classes a week that don’t break even, but that do get primary school kids away from Minecraft and out doing some exercise.

Personally, not a fan of football at all… but the kids clubs do some good in the community, and after a year of lockdown most of them are probably up against the wall as far as balancing the books goes (especially around our way).

So… if it were me I’d be inclined to see it as my good deed for the day. You were there filming the ground anyway, so it’s not taken you out of your way and it will go a long way to keeping them sweet the next time you fancy flying there.


Couldn’t agree more Joe :+1:t2:


Another vote from me Joe.

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Yep I’d just give it to him … but I would put signature on it somewhere unobtrusive…


Thanks for moving it to the appropriate place and renaming it :slight_smile:

I have PLI up to £12M and the pics were taken with a mini 2. Think I’m covered commercially :slight_smile:

Don’t forget to check that your insurance meets the requirements of EC 785/2004 (“Insurance requirements for air carriers and aircraft operators”) and that the policy doesn’t exclude commercial operations. :+1: (apologies if this is a ‘sucking eggs’ situation)

I like this, thanks Joe. This is what I wanted to do but I just wanted to check that I wasn’t potentially taking work away from a business that would charge for this service.

I have no idea if the club will use the pics commercially, but as far as I’m concerned it’s fine with me if they do because they do a lot of great community work and let a group of ASN adults use their facilities weekly. That’s the group I was filming today for Learning Disability Week.

I’m going to send the pics to the Groundskeeper tomorrow :slight_smile:


Nice one, Robert. :+1:


As joe has said, PLI for recreation use and commercial use are 2 different things.

Gift them the photos, obviously you had taken them previous to them showing interest in them.

All boxes ticked :wink:


As a professional photographer I’m normally totally against anyone getting images for free, but in this case I agree with Joe :+1:


IMHO giving images for free is setting a bad precedent which pro and semi-pro photographers have had, and are continuing to have, a constant battle against as it erodes their income, etc., and I have always been against the practice.

That said, in these particular circumstances as described by @JoeC above, I would be a little contrite and provide the images for free - your good deed for the day.


Just to update - I sent the Groundskeeper half a doz pics today and asked that if they are published anywhere, I’d like to be credited as the photographer, and with my best wishes to use wherever the Club likes.

Received a very nice reply from him thanking me.

Job done and I feel happy about it. Thanks for all the great advice here from everyone, much appreciated :slight_smile:


And that is sometimes the best thing a thank you and some feel goodness :blush:


Ian from London he’s always good at explaining stuff👍🏾


He is! Seems like a really nice guy too :slight_smile:

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He’s just not very good at doing wind tests with the mini2 :rofl:

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