Capture Professional Aerial Photography and Video With Hudson Valley Drones
Owner and drone operator Keith Perry talks about how a hobby and amateur photography turned into a business.
Photos by Keith Perry
Hudson Valley Drones is taking off. Keith Perry is a certified drone operator and the man behind the new business, offering aerial photography and video services to customers.
Perry had an opportunity to start flying drones in the Hudson Valley, which originally started as a hobby which turned into becoming a licensed drone pilot, also known as a certified drone operator. He went from taking amateur photography and posting it on Instagram to learning video and industrial services.
Perry crafted these skills and began the business informally in 2016, becoming an LLC in 2018.
Hudson Valley Drones has done work for real estate agencies, solar companies, charity events, and more. Perry says the solar industry utilizes drones on the engineering side to scope out a place to put solar panels. Drones also help evaluate how well the panels are working, specifically with a thermal camera measuring how much heat is coming off the panels.
To take a drone shot, there’s creative thinking and regulatory rules that must go into the planning. Perry says you have to think of something that might look unique from up in the air.
“But the first thing you do is check out the location and make sure it is not near any airport or any controlled air space. If it is we might need permissions from the FAA or traffic control or another regulatory body,” says Perry. “More or less we find a safe place to take off and we take off and fly.”
If you want to take drone photos, Perry says it’s important to hire a professional with this sort of work. Drones act as a tool to help businesses become more efficient. From photographers using them to elevate themselves hundreds of feet up into the air to solar companies assessing panels.
“It’s an exciting industry because it’s so new that a lot of times we don’t know what drones can do,” says Perry. “Drones themselves don’t have all that much value but it's what you can do with the drone.”
More exciting plans are on the rise for Hudson Valley Drones. The company is doing more work for solar farms and has plans to open up an online store before the end of the year.
The store will sell drones, offer services and training, and assist people on projects. There are even tentative plans to create a brick and mortar location in the future. “We don’t have a location planned yet, but it will be somewhere in the Hudson Valley,” he says. “That might include sales, a location to sell drones, a training location, some other things with it as well.”