The 11 Best Drone Video Shots You Must Try

Here are 11 aerial video shots you need to know to use with your drone.

November 1st, 2017

Do you struggle to find the right type of shot with your drone? Has your creative tank run dry? Is flying a drone more difficult than when you drove a remote control car as a child? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are not alone.

Many budding videographers purchase a drone with the hope of shooting breathtaking aerial videos. The idea isn’t complicated, and most people have had a remote control device. But, after purchasing a drone, many of these same people quickly realize it’s not as easy as it looks.

Drones are a fantastic and now affordable tool you can use to capture video. But to use a drone to its full potential, there are 11 essential shots you need to know.

Before we jump into these techniques, let’s stop for an essential public service announcement.

Before mastering any technique with a drone, let me stress that you must fly your UAV safely and legally. Countries are implementing new laws for drones all of the time. You must be informed of what is and is not allowed before you take to the air. Get whatever is necessary: certified, insurance, or a license.

Alright, without any further ado, here are the 11 essential aerial shots you must know.

1. The pull-away

For this shot, set your frame in such a way where you are purposefully zoomed in on your subject. After you hit record, pull away from your subject with your drone, which will reveal the full scene.

2. The gentle rise

This shot is similar to the pull-away, but a little different.

With this shot, hover your drone directly above your subject and point your drone’s camera down. At this point, hit record and begin to slowly rise away from your subject while keeping your camera stationary and pointed directly down.

3. The drop

To accomplish this shot, you will need to find an element in nature with a steep drop-off, such as a waterfall, cliff, or a mountain. Or, if you can do this legally, find a building.

Now, start with your drone hovering above a tall object, and then slowly fly over the edge of the steep drop-off.

This technique is one of those shots you can accomplish only with a drone, and it’s spectacular to see when you pull it off well.

Always prioritize safety and legality when flying your drone
Always prioritize safety and legality when flying your drone

4. The panorama

The panorama is the easiest shot in this article and video.

For this shot, fly your drone high into the air, find a spectacular landscape, hit record, and then fly toward it.

It’s that easy, but your end video will be excellent.

5. The weave

This shot will most likely require a two-person team. One person will need to be in charge of flying the drone, and the other person will use the camera.

After you hit record, begin to weave your drone throughout the scene you have chosen to capture, which will allow your audience to follow you on the journey.

6. The look-down

This shot is similar to the gentle rise.

Basically, all you need to do is point your drone’s camera directly down, hit record, and then move your drone in any direction instead of just straight up.

7. The follow

Essential drone shot number seven is the follow.

To accurately use the follow, find a subject you can track. Your subject can be a person running, a winding road, or in our case, a babbling brook on a mountainside.

Let the winding subject be your flying guide and merely follow its path while recording.

8. The approach

This approach is similar to the panorama but much closer to the ground.

This essential shot makes your audience feel as though they are walking through a landscape, hovering gently above the ground.

9. The reveal

This shot is one of my favorites on this list.

For this shot, you will likely need a two-person team.

To accomplish the shot, hit record and start your scene with your drone flying forward and your camera looking down.

As your shot continues and your drone is flying forward, the camera slowly beings to tilt up and reveal the landscape that was partially obscured, which works tremendously well as an establishing shot.

UAVs allow you to capture unique shots like nothing else
UAVs allow you to capture unique shots like nothing else

10. The lateral

The lateral is a left or right, east and west shot.

Have your drone face forward to set up this shot, hit record, and then laterally move your drone back and forth.

11. The descent

The descent is similar to the gentle rise shot.

To accomplish this shot, position your drone as high as you are allowed, hit record, and then slowly descend on your scene.

This shot works well as an establishing shot, but, unlike the reveal, you can perform this shot by yourself.

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