Where to start with commercial work?


I have a DJI mini 3 pro. Where would I start with commercial work? Is it something I could offer? Reading posts I have seen that photogrophers offer drone work as an add on to their business. If i were to offer a service, what could that be when i am just starting out?
Thank you in advance.

Hi @Lowries and welcome to GADC

Big question. its been covered lots and a search brings up most of what you need

Firstly insurance is a must for commercial work.

What is your line of work?, do you see a gap in the market/area for your expertise?, what experience do you have ?

1 Like

Hi @milkmanchris
I am a primary school supply teacher. I’m not sure if I have experiences that will feed naturally into drone work.

1 Like

Do you have anything in mind? photography, mapping, surveying ?

I was thinking of photography. I am enjoying flying my drone and taking photographs and videos.

First of all, you have to work out and know what’s going to set your work apart from all the other commercial and amateur drone operators out there, those on YouTube included. Do you have experience in aerial photography/videography? If not how are you going to gain it? Then you have to work out and know how to pitch those skills you’ve gained and learned and get them noticed, no easy task in itself. You also have to ask yourself what should be your hourly or daily business rate and why any client should pay what you’re asking for as opposed to someone cheaper because the days of any single person or commercial design/publishing business hiring a professional aerial photographer or videographer at the rates you’d have to charge to make a decent living from are numbered when they can scour YouTube, Vimeo, and the other social media hosting sites and contact the multitude of semi-skilled drone operators direct and just ask for the footage to be shot at a discounted price.

Don’t mean to put you off at all but very very few drone operators make enough money commercially to make it pay a decent living wage and the drone community is littered with those that have posed the same question and not gotten over the first hurdle. It means being either extremely lucky or a mountain of hard work and graft to even get started.

Good luck if you choose to pursue it as a living.

And even more irksome those that do it for free either as preplanned job or just give footage away for a byeline :frowning:


I will admit I’ve done that once in the past but no more.


Hi @OldSoulBoy

Thank you for your response. It has definately given me something to think about. I was looking for something where I could earn money from it on the side rather than trying to use it as a way to earn all of my income. I think I will just enjoy flying the drone for the time being and improve my skills. I think I have a lot to lean, especially the photography side of it.


I watched your video of the drax powerstation. It is not that far from where I live. I am still trying to get my head around what you can and cant fly around.

@Lowries that video is quite a while ago and the rules have changed a lot since then.

Have you had a look at our very own Good 2 Go a simple questionnaire of multiple choice questions should answer all your queries on where and when you cannot fly

i think that’s a wise move. Learn what you need to learn and puit the results out on social media, a Facebook page, a YouTube channel, Instagram, you know. Create your own website. It’s easy to do with something like Wix. You might get lucky and your work gets noticed and then get asked to do something for someone. It can happen. I’ve just finished some filming for Channel 4 and although I’m not going to retire on the proceeds it’s supplied the spending money for Turkey in two weeks.

Good luck

Wise decision.

Doing something for a living is different to enjoying a hobby, and it’s a VERY saturated sector unless you can identify an unexploited niche, and those niches are usually there because they need serious investment and the right contacts/sector experience to begin to exploit.

I’m currently developing some drone work in such a niche on the side of my existing consultancy business, it’s 12 months and serious investment in, and it’s starting to look promising to the potential customer base.

Commercializing a concept is a lot of work, it’s not just about “does it work” but “is there really a market” and “does it work consistently to give a useful result” and “is the potential customer interested” and “can we make it pay?”. The latter element has to take into account all of the overheads and ideally in the current economic climate you want something not wholly reliant on discretionary spend and reasonably not-dependant on good weather.

It’s a BIG jump from making a few beer tokens taking aerial pics for mates to having a business which pays reliable income, and it can also take the fun away.


1 Like

Honesty the commercial market is drowned with drones, I did a few drone aerial photography/videos for estate agents, about 5 years ago only beer money in my spare time, it picked up as all wanted this added feature to offer to there clients, money was good and then boom out of no where all rules changed as drones were pushed onto the market and advertised to simple man in the street could operate one without experience as in the past I knew it was easy to fly myself but everyone else thought I had great skills bluffer I am :roll_eyes::joy::joy::joy: every tom dick and Harry bought them even estate agents and I went to drinking loads of beer to water again and begging the wifey for pocket money :cry:


Thankyou for pointing me in the right direction with regards to the Dronescene website.

We are very proud and protective about it :wink:

No need for any other app for flight planning.