When Ben Childers first started learning about drone technology as a junior at Corbin High School he never imagined that it would change the course of his life, but now the 22-year-old University of Kentucky law student is approaching his fourth year as owner of his very own aerial imagery business, Ben Childers Photography, LLC.
“My parents got me a drone for Christmas,” Childers said of his initial experience with one of the machines. “I enjoyed messing with it, taking pictures and videos around the house. Then I took it down to Cumberland Falls, and one of the videos that I took there got something like 180 thousand views. I decided then that I would keep doing it, and just started making more and more videos.”
Childers said it wasn’t long before he began getting requests from people wanting him to use his drone to get aerial footage of houses and properties. “They were paying me to do it,” he explained. “So in 2017 I formally made it into an LLC (limited liability corporation).”
“From there, business has skyrocketed. Now I’m doing hundreds of jobs a year all over the state.”
A good chunk of Childers’ business currently comes from real estate agencies hoping to entice potential buyers with professional-grade photos and videos of the various properties that they have up for sale. Aside from that, Childers and his crew will provide aerial photography services to coordinators of special events, construction project managers and anyone looking for some breathtaking scenic shots, among other needs.
Assisting Childers in running the business is editor Andrew Kennedy and fellow photographers Dalton Upchurch and Jonathan Ewing. The fact that the operation has gone from a one-man show just a few short years ago to now requiring four people is a testament to just how in demand these aerial photography services are right now.
It’s not as easy as just buying a drone and starting to shoot photos and video with it, though. In order for Childers to do what he does legally he is required by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) to hold a special license, and that license must be renewed every two years. In addition to that, he must remain mindful of the many rules and regulations associated with flying a drone commercially, as well as maintaining adequate insurance coverage and staying on top of the latest trends and industry standards.
As with any other business, there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes of a drone photography service to make it work. Childers is excited about what the future holds, however, saying, “I plan to continue doing this. I want to keep expanding, and continue to serve our clients with the best in aerial imagery.”
For more information on Ben Childers Photography, LLC visit them online on www.benchildersphotography.com.