Hovershotz Aerial Drone Photography are a vibrant, friendly CAA approved drone operator based in Cumbria. We use the latest professional drones providing broadcast quality video in up to 5.2K (in CinemaDNG & Apple ProRes codecs) and breathtaking images up to 20 mega pixels. We have over 4 years experience and offer very competitive pricing. Our pilot is BNUC-S qualified and also holds a diploma in photography & videography.

Hovershotz specialise in working with film crews in the Lake District providing drone filming. We also provide aerial drone photography and video services to a wide range of industries. Our drones and cameras are all of professional quality (such as the DJI Inspire 2). We have CAA permission (PFCO) to operate day or night. Our equipment is adapted to work in the Lake District – able to operate across the Lake District terrain and inclement weather. We operate a waterproof drone with hydrophobic lenses, meaning we are the only drone company who can operate 24/7 in any weather in the Lake District. Our chief pilot is an experienced Lake District fell walker and able to hike with the drone & equipment to the required location & film the optimum Lake District aerial drone shots.

We know the Lake District intimately and are based in the Lake District, which gives us the advantage of being able to liaise easily with the major Lake District landowners –  The Forestry Commision, The National Trust, The National Park Authority & United Utilities to gain the necessary permissions to film with drones on or over their land. We can help with location scouting & permissions in the Lake District & Cumbria.

History

We formed in 2014 when we spotted a gap in the market for a professional aerial drone company in the Lake District that could both fly and operate a camera equally as well (unlike Hovershotz, very few drone operators are qualified as both drone pilots and aerial photographers). We gained BNUC-S flying qualifications, hold a diploma in photography and videography and gained a CAA PFCO (permission for commercial operation). We are constantly upgrading our drones to ensure we have the latest models to, so clients get the best possible footage.

Hovershotz are the leading & probably the most experienced aerial drone photography company based in Cumbria and operating within the English Lake District and have been operating since 2014.

Hovershotz specialise in aerial drone services (this could be filming video, stills photography, inspections or surveys) , utilising the latest state of the art professional unmanned aerial platforms (drones). We operate across the North of England (Cumbria, Lancashire, Yorkshire, County Durham) and South West Scotland. Our pilots are fully BNUC-S qualified and are also trained camera operators.

Our specialities:

  •  Aerial photography in Cumbria
  •  Drone photography in Cumbria
  •  Aerial  video & filming in the Lake District
  • Drone video & filming in the Lake District
  •  Aerial drone inspections
  •  Infrared thermal surveys
  • Aerial drone filming specialists in the Lake District
  • White label drone operator
  • Freelance drone operator
  • Commercial drone operator
  • Hovershotz are one of only a handful of drone operators, licenced to carry out any of these specialities in the UK during the day and at night

Hovershotz are able to help with location scouting for any aerial drone filming or photography projects within Cumbria, Lancashire & the Lake District.

Hovershotz are one of the few UK drone operators who are experienced and comfortable in operating and filming over water & at night. We also operate a water proof drone and can operate in all weathers day or night.

Hovershotz are an official drone supplier & contractor for the BBC (supplier No 1161710), ITV & ITN (supplier No 117136090). We are also registered on the National Trust Procatis portal.

Hovershotz offer an aerial drone pilot and drone hire service, across Cumbria and the Lake District – we fly fly the drone and you operate the camera.

Full commercial drone operator service across the North West.

© Hovershotz Aerial Drone Photography and Inspections Cumbria 2018

 

Hovershotz flying a drone andy wills kendal
Hovershotz conducting a safety check prior to drone flight andy wills kendal cumbria
Andy Wills, pilot of Hovershotz setting up a DJI S900 spreading wings hexacopter

Our Team

Andy Wills

Pilot

Andy has been flying and building remote control aircraft for over 30 years and holds the prestigious BNUC-S pilots qualification and is only one of a few drone pilots in the UK licenced to fly at night, which makes Andy one of the most skilled & experienced pilots in the UK. Before qualifying as an unmanned aerial vehicle pilot, Andy worked in the UK aerospace sector for 20 years, helping clients improve engineering efficiencies. Clients included (Airbus, BAE Systems, GKN Aerospace, Ministry of Defence, Rolls Royce and military drone contractor QinetiQ), during this period, Andy was fully security vetted and CRB checked. Andy is also a keen photographer and holds diplomas in both photography & videography.  Andy has the ability to both fly the drone and operate the camera simultaneously. Andy is also in demand from other drone operators who hire his services to operate their drone mounted cameras for complex photo and video shoots, as very few drone operators are also professional photographers or cameramen.

Andy is also available to hire, as a professional freelance drone pilot.

When not flying drones, Andy serves his local Lake District community, as an Oncall Firefighter for Cumbria Fire & Rescue Service.

Camera Operators

Operators

All our equipment can also be configured to allow the control of the camera and gimbal by a dedicated camera operator. For complex work (particularly sports videography or filming in challenging locations), Hovershotz can call upon the support of a number of camera operators (geography dependent).

This is of particular importance to ensure the subject being filmed remains correctly framed and in focus, leaving the pilot to ensure the drone is being flown smoothly and safely. This helps to capture the desired footage with the minimum of takes.

We offer a service to professional photographers, who need to photograph from the air but are prevented from doing so commercially, as they don’t have permission to do so by the CAA. Hovershotz fly the drone while the photographer operates the camera (most camera settings can be adjusted from the ground while the camera is in the sky). This service also applies to videographers & filmmakers – we fly the drone and you operate the video camera. We are happy to subcontract or work under your business name.

Bradley Wills

Observer, camera operator & video editor

In certain situations (such as monitoring the sky for military activities, crowds and spectators or safe night operation -it is necessary to employ the services of an observer) Hovershotz can call upon the services of a BNUC-S process observer.

It is the role of the observer to monitor the environment and warn the flight team of any ground or air incursions, the observer will also manage fail safe and emergency procedures.

It is essential to use an observer when operating a drone at night as part of our CAA approved night flying procedures.

It is also a requirement to use an observer and spotters for when Hovershotz are operating extended visual line of sight (EVLOS).

For a particularly challenging job (such as operating within a military aircraft training zone), the observer may enlist the support of several spotters to ensure safe flying, spotters will monitor ground and airspace for incursions and report back to the observer.

Our Equipment

Hovershotz only use the latest professional equipment to ensure the best possible results. We always bring at least two aircraft with us, so that we are able to complete any jobs, just in case of any technical issues.

Or main drone is a DJI Inspire 2 with X5s and able to shoot video in either CinemaDNG & Apple ProRes  5.2K broadcast quality – this is the defacto cinematic drone solution for film professionals. This can record onto the DJI CinieSSD solid state hard drive.

For general use, we also operate two DJI Inspire 1 professional quadcopters that are quick to deploy (these carry the professional Zenmuse X5 micro four thirds DSLR camera system. Unlike most drones, we can fit different lenses (including zoom), which gives us the ability to capture the perfect footage. We have a variety of lenses and filters – Olympus M.Zuiko digital ED 12mm f/2.0, DJI MFT 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, Olympus M.Zuiko ED f1.8 45mm and Olympus M.Zuiko ED 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ. For infrastructure surveys and inspections we are to only drone company within Cumbria and the Lake District who operate the Panasonic Lumix Vario 45-175mm power super zoom lens. For indoor filming we use a lightweight Parrot Anafi with a 4k 20 megapixel camera.

For thermal infrared work Hovershotz operate the DJI XT thermal infrared camera system.

For land based filming we have the Lumix GH4 and DJI Osmo at our disposal, with a variety of lens options.

It also rains a lot in the Lake District- rain is the number one enemy for drone filming – the electronics in a drone hates water, plus rain gets on the lens ruining shots. To some degree we have adapted our drones and developed filming & flying techniques (such as flying backwards with special lens coatings) to mitigate for poor weather conditions. We have also adapted one of our drones to protect the electronics from the effects of rain  by waterproofing it by nano technology. We would always recommend postponing any filming if the weather is poor (the simple fact is when the weather is bad the footage and photographs is just not as good as if shot on a good day mainly due to rain on the lens), however we recognise that sometimes this is not possible.

We operate from a rugged off road 4WD crew vehicle with video screens for viewing footage live, which features 240V power and 4G wifi. This enables us to operate in the field for extended periods (we can recharge the aircraft’s batteries and edit video and forward work to the client whilst on site).