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I flew my first drone with a camera attached today! Here’s a video of my test footage: What a blast!! I can see why these things are so popular. Besides the fantastic video quality, they’re a lot of fun to fly. Unfortunately, this baby isn’t mine… though now I want one. No, we’re giving this drone away to one lucky attendee at the Ultimate Money-Making Photo Workshop this weekend! We’ll send you updates about the things we’re learning here as the event gets underway. In the meantime, here are a few things to keep in mind if you think you’d like to fly your own drone:

  1. In most cases, you need a smartphone with Wi-Fi capability to control the camera on your drone. It clips onto the remote control and connects to the drone’s Wi-Fi network. If you’re not ok giving up your phone (i.e. you’re waiting for a phone call or your friend is using your phone to record a video of your first drone flight), you’ll need a spare to operate the machine.
  2. Wind — even small gusts — will throw your drone off its path a bit. Make sure to practice a lot before trying any crazy maneuvers around other people.
  3. This thing attracts attention! Within minutes, I had people asking me all sorts of questions. If you’d like to actually fly your drone instead of simply answer questions about it, you might pick a place to practice where there are little to no people.
  4. When you turn the quad copter to face the opposite direction, suddenly your controls are also backwards. Another reason why it’s good to practice.
  5. Insurance. Everybody sues for everything now, right? You might do your due diligence and research drone insurance online.   I’ve heard some homeowner’s policies cover drone accidents since they’re not considered aircraft. BUT, if you’re using your drone for commercial purposes, your homeowner’s insurance probably won’t cover it. So take a look around and maybe even call your insurance rep to see what’s covered.
  6. It’s SO FUN!!! I want one of these. I can think of so many cool uses, from flying it through the trees on my favorite hike… to filming ceremonies and picnics from above… to zooming along the streets… the possibilities are endless.

And, of course, my number-one tip is to practice, practice, practice. Drones are about $1,200 for a fancy one like the Phantom 2 Vision I’m using. But you can also pick up a little toy drone for under $40 from Amazon.com, and practice with that. The controller will be almost identical to the more expensive machines. I’m really glad I bought this little toy drone and got used to the controls before trying to fly the Phantom. It’s not strong enough to carry a camera, but it’s great for practice. Video is here and now, and the market is HUGE! YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world, after Google. Can you believe that? Tourism companies, hotels, large property owners, small homeowners, real-estate agents… and many, many other people need video footage and when you can offer them footage from above, you’re making yourself that much more attractive. Share on Facebook

[Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can turn your pictures into cash in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel. Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Selling Photos for Cash: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]

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