It often pays to just ask

Good news so wanted to share

A couple of days ago I wrote to the owners of one of Essex best known and most iconic Tudor palaces asking for permission to fly around the building from their property fully expecting to get knocked back like I did from Heddingham Hall in Suffolk. Imagine my surprise when I found this reply in my email box.

Hi Phil

Thank you for your enquiry.

I have checked with the owners and we are happy to arrange a suitable date
and time for you to take some drone videography.

We would need to see a copy of your insurance in advance and we would love
to have the use of a brief clip or two that we could share on our website,
or social media maybe? We would give you full credit.

Please get in touch to arrange a date if you would like to go ahead. We can
arrange this at fairly short notice, as I’m sure you will want to keep a
close look on the weather forecast.

Kind regards

Karen Brand

Weather is looking good for this Sunday and being closed it looks like I get the whole grounds to myself :smiley: Fingers crossed. Don’t ask you don’t get


How much are they paying for your footage and time? :money_mouth_face:

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:smiley: Nowt, more than happy to have the place to myself for a couple of hours or so.


You shouldn’t give it away… for a couple of reasons:

1, you’re providing a service. A service that many people charge for. If a town had 4 baber shops in it and one of them was providing free hair cuts how much business would the other 3 baber shops get?

And 2, it’s time out of your day and time is money! :money_mouth_face:

It annoys me when places bribe people by saying you can only fly here if you give us the footage for free so they can use it to actively promote their place to make themselves more money.

It isn’t a dig at you, it just annoys me when people expect stuff for nothing.

They didn’t say only if you let us use the footage. They asked if they could use a brief clip. I’m not a commercial videographer. I do it for the fun of it and if a historic private home gives me permission to fly from and over their property I’ll grab the chance with both hands. If they want a professional looking 60 second plus promotional commercial they’re going to be sorely disappointed and as for it being time out of my day I can’t think of anything better than to be out in the sunshine for three hours or so doing something I love. Hardly a chore now is it and if it gets people along to my YouTube channel then that’s an added bonus.


I’m probably going to get flamed for this but I’m pleased for you. To my mind it’s a good outcome. I hope you get a good session flying there.

I do understand why anyone doing commercial work may not be quite so keen. However you could sell your footage after the event and it may generate other opportunities for you when they credit you.

What is great to see is that they were open to the idea which gives everyone in the sphere a boost to my mind and if they really like the results they may request further footage for which you can charge.

In general I’m in favour of a fair days pay for a fair days work but I don’t find this instance a problem as you approached them as a hobbyist, what does annoy me for instance, is local authorities cheapskating by asking for volunteer litter pickers rather than paying people to do it.


Completely get your point, but every drone owner in the UK is now the potential to be a commercial operator; aerial photography is no different to ground-based photography now; anyone can try, and some will be professional that produce stunning results whilst others will look like a kid filmed it on their phone. I’ve often sent pictures to places after I’ve flown there as it just puts a very friendly and positive side to the hobby.
@OldSoulBoy Phil, as for Heddingham, maybe head there on a nice late summer’s evening after closing time… :slight_smile:


It always struck me as inevitable that the whole commercial drone flying thing would turn out to be a bust for most people when drones keep getting smaller, cheaper and easier to use. You either need to be in some niche or else a videographer whose drone is just another camera in the bag. Feel bad for people who spent thousands on courses and kit on the promise of a fun way to make a living, though.


I get that some may feel aggrieved that I’m not charging but as with all walks of life you get what you pay for. If they’d wanted a professional looking commercial grade promotional video they’d have gone to a company that supplies that service, one that has spent the time and money perfecting his business.

Anyone with £500 to spend can rack up at a place and take an hour or so of video footage with a 4k camera but it takes a lot of training and knowhow to know what to shoot and more importantly edit it together properly to tell a story. The vast majority of hobby recreational drone flyers like myself are not going to have the required skill levels to pose a threat to those that make a living from it. And I know I’ll get roasted here but if you do feel the likes of me and others are a threat to your livelihood then I’d politely suggest it’s time to up your game and supply a service that sets you apart from the hobby aerial videographers like myself.

Anyway, that’s another place the community now knows about that welcomes responsible drone flyers onto their property. They’re a bit of a rarity these days. You can all thank me later :smiley: (joke)


Yeah that’s awesome, I’d do the same thing myself. My gripe is places asking for the images and footage as means of payment to give you permission to fly there. As they see it as an opportunity to showcase their land as means of advertising on social media or their website. I just feel it’s a bit of a cheek really.


You’ll probably find the next person to ask permission will more than likely be refused. As there will no longer be a gain for them. Hope I’m wrong though :+1:t2:


As a purely hobby/recreational flyer I see it as quid pro quo. I get to fly around a beautiful Tudor palace when its closed, I get to promote my YouTube channel with the finished video and they get a bit of promotional material out of it. Jobs a goodun as far as i’m concerned :slight_smile:


I very much doubt I’m the first to ask. Could be, but I doubt it. It’s a very well know property here in the South East. Could be wrong though.


I’d of thought there would of been drone images or footage on their website already if you’re not the first.

100% agree with this. I also imagine it’s a pretty tough sell to go and pitch for around £150 for a job when you don’t have evidence in your portfolio of prior experience. For some people the only way to (legally) build up a body of work might be doing this sort of quid pro quo stuff.

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Then maybe I am. There are plenty of aerial images of the place.

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That’s why I tend to fly first after closing time and ask later… :wink:


Exactly the same approach I take. :ok_hand:t2:


I had a similar response from Royal Armouries Fort Nelson over looking Portsmouth. I now have such a good relationship with them that I am welcome to fly wherever I want giving them notice before hand. I used it for some promotional work for the company I work for, some testing of map survey flights and also some promotional stuff that they also requested.


Hear hear!
Great that Bielzibubz got permission.
I tried for an interesting subject near me. Didn’t even get a reply despite 3 separate emails to different links.
I am also a hobbyist so would adopt the same stance.