March 5, 2018

How to take an awesome dronie


If you haven’t already heard, selfies are old news. The best new way to take pictures of yourself is with a drone!

Combine a drone with a selfie and you have a dronie, which is becoming an increasingly popular way for drone pilots to capture their surroundings while also including themselves in the drone video. It’s a great way to add perspective to a landscape, building, or wherever you choose to take your dronie from.

Some of the new drones on the market are being built with the dronie in mind. The Yuneec Breeze was designed with a selfie mode included. Some of DJI’s smaller drones like the DJI Spark also emphasize the ability to easily take a dronie. Truly, though, drones of any size — big or small — are capable of taking an epic dronie.

In fact, it’s not so much about the drone you use to take your dronie. There are plenty of other factors to consider.

Renee Lusano has been taking dronies since before they were cool. For the past few years, the California-based Lusano has brought her drone with her on her travels all around the world. That has resulted in dronies from amazing locations such as a glacier in Iceland,  a frozen ship in Russia, and a suspension bridge in Costa Rica, just to name a few.

Lusano’s collection of cool videos has even earned her the nickname “Queen of Dronies.” She now brings her DJI Mavic with her and is always scouting great locations for her next dronie.

In an interview for “The Drone Dish” on AirVūz, Lusano shared some of her tips for pilots who want to take the perfect dronie. While it may appear to be a simple shot to take, there’s more that goes into it than you might think. Planning out your shot can make a big difference.

Renee Lusano on "The Drone Dish"
Renee Lusano shared her tips for taking an epic dronie during an interview on “The Drone Dish” on AirVuz.com.

“It’s important with the dronie to think about your two shots: where you want to start and where you want to end, and what you want to reveal in your final shot,” Lusano said. “I think a lot of times, especially when I was starting out, I would think a lot about, ‘Wow, I’m on the top of a pyramid,’ or ‘I’m on the edge of a cliff and this would be a beautiful reveal.’

“But I wasn’t thinking about the close-up shot. A lot of times it was me just sitting there kind of awkwardly. I wasn’t smiling. I was concentrating really hard on flying my drone. So you have to think about how you look in the initial shot.”

Lusano adds that you should make sure there aren’t many distractions in the video such as other people or moving traffic. In most of her dronies, Lusano manages to find herself far any from any other people. That helps make the drone pilot the key focus of the dronie.

The movement of the drone is important, too, in a good dronie. Most dronies simply include the drone flying backwards to reveal more of a landscape. In doing so, Lusano says it’s essential to keep your flight smooth.

And while you might thing that a cool location will automatically mean a cool dronie, Lusano said that’s not necessarily the case.

“Composition is everything with a dronie. A lot of times, you may be in an incredible environment and think, ‘Wow, I’ll send the drone off and I’ll take one of these dronies and I’ll reveal where I am,'” she said. “But sometimes a beautiful place doesn’t make for an incredible drone shot. A lot of times, I’ll do a test flight first and fly my drone up and look around and see what looks good.”

Lusano’s work has been featured  in various publications and by the official Instagram account. She was also a finalist in the “Dronie” category of the 2017 Drone Video Awards.

If you’re a drone pilot who loves taking dronies but wants to up your game, or perhaps you’ve never taken one before, watch more of Renee’s epic dronies and get inspired to take an awesome one of your own!