The Viewfinder

Review of Commercial Drone Workshop

09 May 2023 10:43 AM | Kathleen Kinser, CPP (Administrator)

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, NO it’s a DRONE

A review of Michael Reiland - PPA Merit Program: Commercial Drone Photography by MIchael Crawley

I started out the day knowing just a few of the basics of flying drones and commercial drone photography and left trying to keep myself from running out and buying a new toy.  Michael’s passion of photography and drones brought life to this merit workshop and the day FLEW by.  

We started the day indoors with a presentation, and Michael showed us how he got into the world of drones and a few of his failures and crashes.   But just like Michael, he didn’t give up on his flying dreams, and he show us how he has built a successful business flying drones for many of his commercial clients. 

From how he grew his business, we moved into the most intimidating, at least for me, part of flying commercially, earning your part FAA 107 License. 

This is one of the many things that has kept me from purchasing a drone and using it to make money.   Michael quickly put us all at ease as he discussed the test and licensing procedure.  He shared several great classes, books and apps to prep for the test, as well as briefly touching on each of the five sections found on the test.  I definitely have a much better idea on how to start studying now.

Lunch found us at Carl’s BBQ where we enjoyed great food and continue chatting about all the things, we learned that morning.   After lunch things began to FLY, or at least Michael and his drone did.  As we launched the drone into the air behind Carl’s, we began the practical part of the workshop.  We lifted off and photographed two buildings in the area, did a drone group shot and made several videos as well.  Michael covered the basics of safe drone flying, how to avoid running into objects during flight and how he would proceed through a typical commercial project capturing both images and videos.  From there we checked out a park and a golf course trying different things during each flight.  We ended the day back at the office watching and doing a few brief edits to the several videos and photos that we captured during the afternoon.  Michael demonstrated putting together a panorama picture in Lightroom, showing us a sky swap, and discussed his process for putting together videos.  

Time really did FLY by on Saturday and before we knew it, we were out of time for the day.  Michael provided us a drop box link so that we could review our notes, watch the videos and see some of the fabulous images from the day. 

What an OUTSTANDING day.   If you are at all interested in getting into drone photography, I recommend that you take this workshop in the future.  



  • 09 May 2023 9:18 PM | Robert Guillemette
    Mr. Reiland is an awesome photographer and a very simple person. He is always willing to help or teach someone if they ask him and at the same time he is always learning himself. This article proves that.
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