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HelicopterAerial Photography and Video › How soon to promote - Advice???
11-11-2005 03:02 PM  12 years agoPost 1
wesb1999

rrApprentice

Athens, Texas

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Hey all... I've been inching towards AP for hire and have spent just over a year learning, planning and practicing (then repeating it all over and over). If I stay on schedule I'll start accepting AP jobs in February 2006 and by May will be in full operation. Slow and steady... Many of you have been doing this for a while and I have the greatest respect for your efforts and hard work (I've learned so much from your posts). Not asking for trade secrets, just opinions...

I am wanting to start introducing myself and AP services to local photographers as well as video production company's (local cable and TV stations) and newspapers. I feel we could all work together - I could enhance their offerings and they would enhance mine (for example: producing a commercial or video presentation). Remote AP in my area is new and competition for the service isn't readily available. How soon do you think is too soon to start promoting - not soliciting jobs, just promoting the concept and service? My thought is that once I have a basic portfolio to show start spreading the word.

Nothing big - just start making friends with the businesses that offer similar services and hopefully get across to them that I'm not competition but a new tool for their product list. Again - based on your AP experiences how soon is too soon?

Wes

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11-11-2005 03:56 PM  12 years agoPost 2
Load Factor

rrApprentice

Colleyville, Texas

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Wes,

Here is my 2¢ worth.

If you are confident enough in AP, and only you know that, get out there and expose yourself. Once your out you will probably pick up some jobs and that just adds to the Portfolio. This business is an everyday learning experience....I guess what I'm saying is don't think you have to learn it all to give a good product. I would think a years worth of practice AP should produce good pictures....good enough to sell and build a client base. Your pictures will always get better with time.

Now...that sad, video is a liitle different story in the aspect of being able to fly slow and super smooth to produce good video footage.
It's all about practice....practice.....and more practice.

It sounds to me like your ready! Jump out there and get some work! In your case I don't think its to soon to promote!

Good Luck, and Fly Safe!

Tanner

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11-13-2005 01:26 PM  12 years agoPost 3
wesb1999

rrApprentice

Athens, Texas

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Thanks, Tanner. I was going to start introducing myself and product in December but if others had bad experiences by showing their head too early I wanted to avoid that pitfall. Sounds like its good to go...

Wes

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11-13-2005 04:05 PM  12 years agoPost 4
ReadyHeli

rrVeteran

Jupiter, FL

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GET GL Insurance!!!

This is how my AP business failed. I lost my GL policy here in Florida, and could not bid commercial jobs without proof of insurance.

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11-13-2005 08:40 PM  12 years agoPost 5
wwellman

rrApprentice

Marlborough, Ma.

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No one is even supposed to be using the air band 72 mhz for commercial use anyhow it is designated "hobby use only" by the FCC.

So it is essentially impossible for anyone to actually have valid insurance

Since when does an insurance company care or know what frequency we are using. When I got my GL insurance they didn't ask what frequency I was flying on. All they wanted was to see the equipment and my companys DBA papers, and of course, the premium up front.

Walter

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11-13-2005 09:37 PM  12 years agoPost 6
wesb1999

rrApprentice

Athens, Texas

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Good advice on insurance. I'm definitely getting the GL (already part of the plan). I'm too chicken to operate without it anyway. Too risky...

Wes

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11-14-2005 12:35 AM  12 years agoPost 7
Flingwing Pilot

rrApprentice

Centerville, Georgia USA

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Promotion and Marketing

Read the thread "Marketing Your Photography" and start selling as soon as you get some reasonably good photography. I just printed over 100 8 X 12 photographs this afternoon to begin selling tomorrow.

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11-14-2005 12:42 AM  12 years agoPost 8
Flingwing Pilot

rrApprentice

Centerville, Georgia USA

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Insurance Pitfalls

The insurance company will write the policy whether you meet the proper regulatory requirements or not. They just may deny coverage when you most need it and they will refuse to pay on a technicality. Do you want to take that risk? If you do, why insure at all. In Georgia, I have never had a client ask to see my insurance policy before or after I bid on a job.

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11-14-2005 03:12 AM  12 years agoPost 9
ReadyHeli

rrVeteran

Jupiter, FL

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22swift, you have been a member for almost three years but only ten posts? yet you know so much about the insurance industry and ap?

please impart with us some more knowledge...

j/k.

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11-14-2005 03:21 AM  12 years agoPost 10
CRJBenny

rrApprentice

Pocatello, ID

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I started an LLC (Limited Liability Company) just in case I ran into coverage problems that I couldnt fix with the insurance company. I dont know if that would totally protect me but its probably worth the time and money.

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11-14-2005 03:25 AM  12 years agoPost 11
ReadyHeli

rrVeteran

Jupiter, FL

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i have an llc too. its not going to save you from a cival lawsuit.

whats worse, lets say you dork your rig, your out your total investment, lets say 4k+, for a 200 dollar shoot. add in a personal injury or property damage, and you are royally hosed.

i cant understand why so many people still do commerical ap work without insurance...it only takes one of us to make OMG headlines to ruin it for everyone...

ok, im off my soapbox now,

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11-14-2005 04:01 AM  12 years agoPost 12
MPA

rrElite Veteran

Australia

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please impart with us some more knowledge...
Not a lot to it JG
Basically, fraud (insurance fraud that is) is an indictable (dont drop the soap) offence, in most countries including the USA.

rvv.com.au

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11-14-2005 08:31 PM  12 years agoPost 13
CRJBenny

rrApprentice

Pocatello, ID

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Whats fraudulent about getting a policy labeled "Aerial photography from a radio controlled helicopter" and using a radio controlled helicopter? They might worry if you did something stupid!
To tie into the original subject I would promote when you are confident you have answered all of these questions that allways become hot topics. Good luck!

Ben Cardon
cardonaerialimaging.com

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11-14-2005 11:19 PM  12 years agoPost 14
MPA

rrElite Veteran

Australia

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Having a policy wont break the law, but claiming on it will.
Non disclosure isnt a defence against insurance fraud.

So have it, show it to get work, just dont use it.

rvv.com.au

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11-15-2005 01:28 AM  12 years agoPost 15
ReadyHeli

rrVeteran

Jupiter, FL

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MPA you are both right and wrong.

First and formost, there is not and never has been a true AP GL policy exclusively for rc helis ANYWHERE in the US. Granted, people have 1mil aggregate policys (B&C non AAA rated companies) on their business, which do AP, however I have yet to see a claim get processed and paid.

If I am wrong and someone has flown their heli over someones house or property and has damaged it, and was compensated for their rig, and the total property damage, please provide update.

In terms of "making a claim is illegal", not sure whats going on "down under", but here in the USA, only making a illegitimate claim against a policy which actually has coverage is illegal. If you were to make a claim against your current policy and there is not coverage, the insurance company will just laugh at you and tell you, "too bad, so sad" and see you down the road.

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11-15-2005 01:51 AM  12 years agoPost 16
wesb1999

rrApprentice

Athens, Texas

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

Thanks for all the interesting feedback. I've started talking to local photographers and they're very open adding my service to their offerings. Thanks for the advice and encouragement. Oh, and yes, I've read the thread "Marketing Your Photography" several times and am using it daily. It's been a big help!!!

I'm just curious - those of you stating it's illegal for one to use the 72MHz band for commercial services (like AP&V)... could you let me know the exact FCC rule or document that outlines this. Seems the whole premise is that "it is illegal to use the 72.xx frequency in a commercial operation". Is this correct? Do I read this right? If so I expect it should be easy to find the restrictions on the FCC's site but I'm having a lot of difficulty nailing it down. All I've found is this:

§ 95.213 (R/C Rule 13) May I be paid to use my R/C station?
(a) You may not accept direct or indirect payment for transmitting with
an R/C station.
(b) You may use an R/C station to help you provide a service, and be paid for that service, as long as you are paid only for the service and not for the actual use of the R/C station.

That excerpt is located here, FCC Reg - Part 95 - Personal Radio Services, on page 547.

Wes

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11-15-2005 02:08 AM  12 years agoPost 17
ReadyHeli

rrVeteran

Jupiter, FL

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I have an amateur radio license, and studied a lot of theory about this topic...I beleive that as long as youa re willing to accept interference and do not cause interference within the band you are within the limits of the law...trust me, uncle sam has enough goin on their plate with howard stern, cell phone phreaking, and pirate radio to go out and triangulate a rc ap business that moves locations every job...

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11-15-2005 02:18 AM  12 years agoPost 18
wesb1999

rrApprentice

Athens, Texas

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

I tend to agree with you, JG. I think the FCC isn't really interested in what we do. I was just curious about what the actual law states. Our opinions are fine and all but if the crap hit the fan then a law, rule or some legal doc is what matters when your arguing about whether or not a GL policy is legal or based on fraud.

I'd just like to know what law states It's illegal to use R/C to make money. That's all Good point if it's true - something we all should be aware of. But if not... well...

Kinda hoping ole' 22swift would chime in...

Wes

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11-15-2005 02:46 AM  12 years agoPost 19
arrio

rrApprentice

Newport News, VA

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(b) You may use an R/C station to help you provide a service, and be paid for that service, as long as you are paid only for the service and not for the actual use of the R/C station.
I believe this is the crux of the whole thing. The RC station is just a tool for the service being provided, which is photography. Like a pole, tripod or crane. We are being paid for the photography not the RC transmitter. The aerial platform and RC station is just a prop that aids in providing the photography service.
Well, that's my story,... and I'm sticking to it.

(edit) and another thought . Just what do you think is being used by high end AP companies like HeliCam? RC transmitters of course!

Now if someone says "I want to pay you to use your transmitter and thats it." Well, then you may have an issue.

"fly it like you hate it"
Alfred (arrio) Riopel "more toys than time"

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11-15-2005 11:33 PM  12 years agoPost 20
MPA

rrElite Veteran

Australia

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

MPA you are both right and wrong.
So which is the wrong part and which is the right part ?

rvv.com.au

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