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Tips To Get Started With Drone Photography In India: An Interview With Akshay Kanade




You might have seen a bird’s eye view clip of the beautiful mountains of Ladakh and wondered how amazing it would be to capture that; well, you can do it too!
Drone shot of a green valley

Drone photography is a type of aerial photography that uses an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to capture images and videos from different angles and perspectives. It has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its ability to provide unique perspectives, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness. Drone photography can be used for a variety of purposes such as capturing landscapes, real estate properties, events, sports activities, and much more.

With drone photography, you can capture high-quality images from unique angles that are not possible with traditional cameras. Additionally, drones are able to reach places that would otherwise be inaccessible or too dangerous for humans to reach. Furthermore, drones offer increased speed and agility when compared to manned aircraft which makes them ideal for capturing fast-moving objects or events.

Drone photography seems really fun but how does one start it? What are the best tips to follow? What permissions are required? And what are the risk factors? To get answers to all these questions, we spoke to one of India’s finest drone photographers- Akshay Kanade, you can find him on Instagram as the_candyology. Akshay is based in Badlapur near Thane and has been doing drone photography for more than 3 years. He has covered approx. 600km with his drones. If you are planning to make a career in a drone photography, we have got some very useful tips for you:

Tips To Become A Drone Photographer

Get the Right Equipment to Get Started with Drone Photography

Drone photography is a great way to capture stunning aerial shots and videos. It’s becoming increasingly popular for both professionals and hobbyists, with the right equipment; anyone can get started. If you are a beginner, buy a basic drone worth max 60-70k from the Indian market. It is not suggested to buy a more expensive one because though it has good features, you might end up crashing it while learning to fly.

Akshay suggests buying a drone which has both vertical and landscape modes. Recording videos in vertical mode has become very common for posting on social media.
Drone shot of a stream flowing in between mountains

Investing in the right equipment will ensure that you get the most out of your drone photography experience!

Follow the Rules & Regulations for Flying a Drone in India

Flying a drone in India is subject to certain rules and regulations. It is important for drone operators to be aware of these before they take off in the air. The rules and regulations are set by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in order to ensure the safety of people, property, and aircraft. You’ll need to obtain a Unique Identification Number (UIN) and Permission for Aerial Work (PAW) from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for flying drones.

Take permission from the local police or from the property owner from where you are flying the drone. Avoid flying drones in restricted areas. It is important for drone operators to follow rules as non-compliance can lead to penalties or even criminal charges.

Get a License from DGCA

For flying a drone legally, you need to get a license from the Digital Sky portal of DGCA. To get the license, you’ll have to do a 7-day pilot course from any nearby DGCA-approved institution. Akshay describes the procedure as:
  1. Register in any DGCA-approved institution. The fee for the course is around 55-65k.
  2. For the first two days, you’ll get theory assignments and for the next two days, you’ll be getting computer drone classes.
  3. After that, you’ll be provided drones to fly, and the footage you record will be sent to DGCA. They will approve it and send a certificate for the same.
Then you’ll get your license after 15-20 days.

Akshay prefers to fly your drone for 2-3 months in cricket grounds, parks, etc. before going for the training. As you are investing a big amount to get the license, it is good to be prepared for it in advance.

Learn Basic Techniques & Skills to Take Professional Photos/Videos

Professional photography is an art form that requires a combination of technical skills and creative vision. Akshay explains how can you use your technical knowledge for flying drones.

If you are already familiar with ISO, shutter speed, aperture, and angle settings then you just need to learn how to fly a drone. As a beginner, use quick shot mode- automatic way for 15 days and then try manual settings. Try to cover basic shots at low heights and focus more on drone safety than the footage. Always check for the way back to home function before flying- If a signal is lost, the drone will automatically come back to the GPS spot.

Once you master the art of flying, you can start by capturing different angles and perspectives. From the same place, different shots can be taken that convey different meanings. With proper practice and dedication, you can develop your own unique style to capture stunning images that will stand out from the rest. Akshay says that being creative is very important as competition has increased especially because of social media. Also, skilled pilots and creative drone photographers will be in demand in the coming year, so you need to have a good portfolio.

Choose the Right Locations

Capturing stunning images and videos is a great way to capture memorable moments and keep them for years to come. But to do that, you need to choose the right locations. Whether it’s a scenic landscape or an urban cityscape, there are many factors that you need to consider when selecting the perfect location.

Before flying your drone, plan your shots carefully, considering factors like lighting, location and time of day. From weather conditions to the type of equipment, you need to choose the right location that can make all the difference in capturing stunning visuals. If you want to record a hyper lapse of a monument, you’ll have to find a less crowded area to get the best shot.


It is not enough to only click good pictures or record videos. Akshay says that to get the best results, it’s important to edit and post-process your images/videos. You can use editing software such as Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop to enhance the colors, contrast, and sharpness of your photos. For editing videos, you can use Adobe Premiere Pro. Buy a course from Udemy to learn to edit or watch tutorial videos for free on YouTube.

For posting content on social media as reels, your videos have to be color graded and look attractive. You won’t be famous if you just share raw videos. But you can surely upload your raw videos on stock footage sites like Indievisual.in (that’s us!) and make a good side-income.

The difference that color grading makes.

Indievisual.in is an India-centric stock footage website that accepts videos in different formats like 720p, 1080p, 4k, etc.

Risks and Challenges

It is better to take necessary precautions and Akshay lists some risk factors with his experience-
  1. Make sure your GPS is working; fly your drone only when all 10 satellites are connected or you might lose your device.
  2. In the summer season, don’t fly your drone if the temperature goes above 40-42`C. The batteries might explode or the drone might turn off due to excessive heat.
  3. Fly your drone with breaks in between, and let it cool down for some time.
  4. Don’t risk flying while it’s raining; the motherboard might get damaged.
  5. Buy drones that do not make too much noise, otherwise you might disturb your subject. Smaller drones under 250 g typically end up being noisy.
Akshay gave some useful information about drone brands in India. Recently, the government has announced China-made DJI drones as illegal -potentially to promote the “Make in India” movement. Now startups have started making drones of their own and they are making good progress. Local brands like Paras Aerospace and Multiplex Drone have started manufacturing drones for agricultural photography. DGCA-approved training institutions use and promote local brands. So before buying a drone, consider all factors and legalizations.

By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to capturing stunning aerial photos with your drone in India. Remember to always fly your drone responsibly and to respect the privacy of others. Happy flying!

Still have any doubts? We’re at hello@indievisual.in !

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