Professional photographer and videographer Joe Polillio sought formal education at Unmanned Vehicle University to enhance his skillset and set himself apart from the competition.

Joe Polillio uses Drones to Bring Aerial Photography to New HeightsMusic videos. Advertising campaigns. Editorial spreads. Professional photographer and videographer Joe Polillio does it all. But despite having more than 25 years of experience in the industry, his potential- up until now- has been somewhat limited.

His frustration began during the production of a music video. “We were standing on the beach, and I wanted to capture a 360-degree aerial shot of the location’s expansiveness, with the artist, the sand and the ocean,” he said. “But I knew that kind of shot was too expensive for the project’s budget. How could I have achieved this without renting some sort of aerial vehicle? It was impossible.”

That’s around the time that a Twitter post broadcasting a New York City drone seminar, hosted by Unmanned Vehicle University, caught Polillio’s eye. “Throughout my career, there have been certain camera angles that I wanted to pursue, but could not with the technology available to me,” Polillio said. “I knew it was time to delve into the new wave of opportunities that drones are offering photographers.”

Until the advent of drones in photography and videography applications, planes and helicopters were the primary method used to capture aerial imagery. Unfortunately, plane and helicopter rentals require hefty budgets. Drones, on the other hand, are affordable, easy-to-use, and deliver higher quality shots. “Even with a bigger budget, capturing images from a plane is still very restrictive,” he said. “Planes can only shoot from high angles. Drones allow photographers to shoot from high and low angles with much more control over the situation.”

On the ground, drones also have the potential to replace common tools used for filmmaking. To create smooth motion shots, professionals use a camera dolly, a specialized piece of filmmaking equipment that moves on a track with a camera and a camera assistant. Drones have the ability to replace dollies,