Business Owner, Drone Pilot,
Photographer and Editor
TRAINING AND FAA CERTIFICATION
In December 2016, I attended a two day training session conducted by Dart Drones. The first day focused on information regarding the FAA Airman Knowledge Test and the second day was hands on flying. Furthermore, three days later, I took and passed the FAA Airman Knowledge Test and received my UAS Remote Pilot Certificate. Especially relevant, the FAA certification is required by law for all commercial drone operations.
As a commercial UAV pilot, the FAA requires a recertification test every 2 years. Although loaded with lots of questions involving "Sectional Charts" aka maps with lots of details regarding airports, cell towers, no fly zones, etc. I am happy to report I passed the test on the first attempt in 2019.
At Sunset Moon, we utilize the most current state of the art equipment. For aerial projects we fly the DJI Phantom 4 Pro capable of shooting 20MP stills and 4K videos at 60 frames per second. In addition, we add filters to the camera based on environmental conditions to maximize the quality of the end product. For interior photography, we shoot with a Nikon D5300 with a Tokina wide angle lens, tripod and timer.
Throughout my life, I have always dabbled in photography…
In 2014 and 2015, my mom “sponsored” me to enter a local photography contest and I was elated when one of my landscape photographs each year was selected as an “Honorable Mention”. As I transitioned into digital photography, my mom, who also loved taking pictures, hung tightly to her “film” camera despite having a very nice point and shoot digital camera. There were so many occasions when we would call each other to make sure the other was seeing the amazing rainbow, the beautiful sunset or the awe-inspiring full moon.
In May of 2016...
During the same week that I sold my previous business, my mom was admitted to the hospital and passed away just a few days later. I was very close to my mom and in the months, that followed I had no direction for my life and most of all, my best friend, encourager and supporter was no longer here.
Through all the sadness and pain, my primary relief came when I would go out and photograph wildlife in my neighborhood. In late August, I decided to travel to Sedona, Arizona to take one-on-one photography lessons with Lou DeSerio, an amazing landscape photographer and a previous student of Ansel Adams; whose black and white landscape photographs from many of the National Parks had always captured my attention and admiration.
Around the same time I traveled to Sedona, Arizona in 2016, I recalled an article regarding the amazing future of the drone industry. I have always had an interest in remote control vehicles as a shared past-time with my dad. Thus, the idea of becoming a "drone" pilot who took photographs came into existence for me.
On January 31, 2017, I was outside my parent’s house and happened to look up and observe the very bright small moon surrounded by clouds lightly colored orange by the setting sun. I snapped a quick picture with my cell phone knowing “the best camera is the one you have with you”. Thus, the name “Sunset Moon” Aerial Photography was revealed and established to create a lifelong connection and positive remembrance of my amazing, caring and much missed mom.
Thank you for letting me share a small part of my journey called “Life”.