Meet Professional Drone Cinematographer Ime Umoh
I'm a Licensed Drone Operator based out of Baltimore, MD, and I started my drone journey in 2018 after leaving my 9-5 as a Project Manager at Meta. Since then, I've flown drones in over 22 countries and have filmed travel content in over 32 countries around the world! I love traveling, changing perspectives with drones, and building purpose-driven and creative communities.
I am proud to have been nominated as the Best Travel Photographer by Travel Noire, and I've been fortunate enough to shoot Burna Boy and Cardi B in Lagos, Nigeria!
I'm very fortunate to be able to walk away from a 9-5 in pursuit of my passion. It's been a journey, but I'm grateful I gave myself permission to take that leap of faith in 2018. Since then, I've been able to combine my two passions of creativity and helping people into a new purpose-driven career. And it all started with drones!
“Skydio completely changed the game.”
I've been flying manual drones since 2018. As someone new to drones at that time, I remember being incredibly nervous every single time I took off. I was so worried about crashing that it really affected my ability to just go out, shoot, have fun and work on my craft. I could see the shots in my head - but it was incredibly challenging to bring them to life.
Skydio completely changed the game for me as a creative, drone pilot, and storyteller. With Skydio's award-winning autonomous technology, from Day 1, my Skydio took away the pressure and anxiety of hitting obstacles and empowered me to explore my creative imagination in ways I never thought possible.
My Creative Studio, Push the Button, is based out of Baltimore, MD but video production projects take me all over the world. So I was really excited to see how Skydio would help me capture Ghana, Nigeria, Jamaica, Zimbabwe, and Zambia once I looked at my production schedule for the year.
My Skydio 2+ did not disappoint, not only was I able to use it to create cinematic content for non-profits like Let Girls Read, Run, Grow (Zimbabwe) and The Start Wright Foundation (Ghana). I was able to use my Skydio 2+ to capture my own travel stories that I often share on my Instagram page to inspire other travelers - @imeumoh_
Leaving Meta to Travel Solo
After I left Meta and started traveling solo in 2018, it was just me and my drone. I didn't have a second shooter or crew to really help me tell my story the way that I wanted to. When I travel with my Skydio 2+, it's almost like having a portable production crew. Using Skydio Skills like Orbit, Motion Tracking and KeyFrame allows me to stretch my creative imagination, tell meaningful stories and inspire others to get out, travel, and see the world. I love being able to show the beauty of where I am and I think it's important for BPIOC's to be represented in travel content and in the drone industry.
A Special Shot to Capture a Special Moment
One of my first KeyFrame shots was from Accra, Ghana! When I had a chance to visit the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, it was my first time at the park and I wanted to share a unique perspective.
I used my Skydio 2+ to plan the flight path starting at the top of the Mausoleum and flying backward, eventually revealing me walking and looking up at Kwame Nkrumah's statue.
“Capturing this incredibly important memorial while using Skydio's Autonomous technology just shows how far we've come and also what the future holds for creative storytellers and explorers.”
That was a really special shot and moment for many reasons. As a Creative and first-generation Nigerian-American, I'm always trying to find ways to inspire the diaspora to explore the world and share stories.
Capturing this incredibly important memorial while using Skydio's Autonomous technology just shows how far we've come and also what the future holds for creative storytellers and explorers.
A Surreal Experience
It's more than a drone, it's the most dynamic storytelling tool you can invest in. It's a creative storytelling tool that makes the impossible, possible!
“It's more than a drone, it's the most dynamic storytelling tool you can invest in.”
KeyFrame - is easily my favorite Skydio Skill! When this feature first launched, I thought about all of the landscapes, shots, and stories that I could now tell without having to worry about getting them wrong. Skydio's KeyFrame helps me bring my visions to life and allows me to accurately design flight paths to produce high-quality, cinematic footage that makes anyone think "how did he do that?!".
I love that part.
It's the smartest drone - hands down!
With the addition of Dynamic Gimbal Roll, I can now create mind-bending FPV shots without going through a long learning curve of learning how to operate an FPV.
Tips and Tricks to Make the Most of Your Drone Experience
Safety First! While it's important to get great shots - it's even more important to fly safely - Always follow local rules, regulations, and FAA guidelines, and fly your drone in line of sight at all times.
“The best thing about Skydio is that safety is built into the technology. Features like 360 obstacle avoidance really suppress the drone anxiety that many new pilots may experience.”
The best thing about Skydio is that safety is built into the technology. Features like 360 obstacle avoidance really suppress the drone anxiety that many new pilots may experience.
If you're looking to get the most value out of your Skydio 2+, get ND Filters. While shooting on Auto is great - having control over your exposure will really level-up your aerial content.
What Works Best for Your Story
Explore all the features and choose what works best for *your* story. Whether KeyFrame, Panorama, Orbit, or Motion-Tracking, Skydio Skills are there to make anyone look like a seasoned aerial cinematographer. Find which works best for you and the story you're trying to tell!
Use the mobile app to get your content out, quickly. Skydio's app allows you to download your clips directly to your phone. And even take high-quality screen grabs! If you're always on the go (like me) you'll love being able to quickly edit your content on the go!
Join the Skydio Community! I get so much inspiration from Skydio's Featured Flyer series and other Skydio creatives. I was lucky enough to be at the 2022 Skydio Summit, and I'm so happy to meet and create other creatives from around the world.
Skydio is for Everyone
Skydio has taught me that this drone *is* for everyone. Whether you love dirtbikes, off-roading or you simply want to show off your local neighborhood - Skydio can help you tell your story. Its unique ability to turn any level drone pilot into a world-class aerial cinematographer is mind-blowing.
Whether you've been flying for years or you're new to content creation, Skydio is the most dynamic creative tool to have in 2023. And the best is yet to come! My biggest tip - is just to be yourself (and let Skydio do the work for you!)
As a creative professional, I'm always looking for ways to grow my business and drones have always been at the center. Whether it's teaching students about Aerial Cinematography in Zimbabwe or producing videos for purpose-driven brands and non-profits - I can look at Skydio as a Creative AND Business Tool to scale my business. It's the best of both worlds!
Growing a Business Around Skydio
I've been really focused on the consumer/creative side of Skydio, but I'm most excited to learn about the Enterprise applications like Skydio 3D Scan™ that can add another vertical to my drone business. The fact that I can use my Skydio 2+ to grow as a business makes me really excited to learn more and share my knowledge with the next generation of Drone Entrepreneurs. As a Part 107 Pilot and business owner, I'm excited to explore more ways to grow my business around Skydio in the future.
The Black Drone Community
I want to shout out to the greater Black Drone Community, all over the world!
There is an enormous lack of diversity in drones, and as a result, the marketing and content underperform when highlighting BPIOC pilots. But even with those challenges, BPIOC drone communities are ever-growing.
I'm so inspired by drone creatives and drone entrepreneurs like Eno Umoh Global Air Drone Academy , Ashley Cooper Droneversity, and Shellie Baxter, founder of Our Genetic Legacy, a non-profit that seeks to create a new generation of BIPOC female innovators in the field of digital historic preservation and drone technology. And Idara Otu, founder of Let Girls Read, Run, Grow, an organization that works to support the development of African adolescent girls through education, athletics and entrepreneurship.
Earlier this summer, I joined Idara and Eno in Zimbabwe and taught 150 student-athletes on how to build drones and pitch their business drone ideas. The future is bright! And I'm really happy to take part in such purpose-driven initiatives using drones.
Learn more about Skydio drones or purchase Skydio 2+ today and join our active community of Skydians on social by sharing your videos/photos and tagging #Skydio/ #SkydioFeaturedFlyer on Instagram.
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