By Billy Tuite —
Daniel Degallier is living the dream. He’s made a business out of flying remote-controlled drone helicopters, with cameras attached, and capturing photos and video from above. For him, the sky is quite literally the limit.
Degallier, a senior in Business Administration, started his T-16 Aerials company as a way to turn his long-time hobby of flying radio-controlled aircraft into an aerial photo and video service. The company, in Degallier’s words, “specializes in getting a unique perspective for people.”
“We are able to use our rigs to get some really cool views that neither traditional photographers nor full-scale aircraft can get,” Degallier noted.
Degallier’s photos have been featured in University of Wisconsin–Stout’s social media outlets, and he’s collaborated with other businesses and filmmakers to produce stunning video content. It’s hard to believe this all started with the simple idea of attaching a GoPro to one of his airplanes a few years ago.
“I saw an opportunity to really take it somewhere and have a lot of fun doing what I love,” Degallier said. “I started to notice a lot of interest from people who I showed my work to, and that nudged me to think people are willing to buy what I am doing.”
Degallier’s business isn’t quite as simple as flying a camera up in the air and taking snapshots. There’s actually plenty of thought that goes into the imagery he’s capturing.
“Composition for aerial shots gets pretty complex,” Degallier said. “I am essentially never holding the camera I am shooting with, and that makes it a little tricky. Most of the time the camera is always rolling or taking photos, to maximize what I get out of each flight.”
Those interested in trying their hand at aerial drone photography need only invest a little time into research and a few hundred dollars into the right equipment. Degallier warns, however, that flying the aircraft is the hardest part.
“Learning to fly is the biggest investment,” Degallier said. “I would suggest getting something without a camera first and learning how to fly that. Then add the camera, one step at a time.”
For the full portfolio of Degallier’s work, check out t16aerials.com.