Description: This episode of "The Drone Dish" features Alex Kavanaugh, the founder of Drone Gear. Alex and Drone Gear have carved out a niche for themselves by providing some of the top product reviews in the drone community. Watch the episode to find out how Drone Gear got its start, and hear what Alex's favorite shoot was that he's done so far.
To see Alex's full reviews, check out the Drone Gear profile!
For more episodes and highlights from the world’s best drone pilots, check out the The Drone Dish main profile page!
And for more amazing aerial views from all of the world, check out AirVūz.com READ FULL TRANSCRIPT BELOW: Tyler: Joining us today on The Drone Dish is Alex Cavanaugh of Drone Gear. Alex, thanks for coming on the show. Alex Cavanaugh: How's it going, Tyler? Thanks for having me. Tyler: I like to ask all the pilots on the show, off the bat here, how did you get your start in the drone industry? Alex Cavanaugh: I started building houses with my family business and I started taking photos just with a simple Canon ground camera and then I started doing the social media. I'm like, "How can I get shots [00:00:30] of the houses from the air?" That was back in 2012. Then I started traveling in 2013 and brought me to America. Then I met someone and he showed me this drone reel. I was like, "What's a drone?" That's how it started for me, from a lot of photography and wanting to get other shots higher of the houses that we were building. Tyler: Your company, Drone Gear, is covered on a nice niche, doing a lot of product reviews of whether it's drones or drone [00:01:00] accessories. How did you get into that side of the drone profession? Alex Cavanaugh: I started an Instagram account first as a blog and a place for drone pilots to share pictures in 2014. That following just blew up. I was like, "I need to be offering something more than just sharing pictures," so then I started ... I think the year after, I started reviewing products. I started with small drones [00:01:30] and toy drones and some tutorial. People were like, "How do I do this," whether it was a firmware update or filter breakdown or a creative piece. I wanted to give something a little bit more than just having a drone sharing platform. Tyler: Before you did the reviews, you had a background as a drone pilot. How important is that to be a pilot before you're doing these reviews and really know the equipment and the gear you're talking about? Alex Cavanaugh: Having built one of the first custom rigs and knowing the ins and outs [00:02:00] of that and having not the best background in photography but ... I'd surround myself with people in video production and learned the ins and outs of how to operate a camera, so one thing led to another. Tyler: Obviously, a lot of people out there do product reviews and try to review different types of drones. Without giving away your secrets, what would you recommend for anyone who wants to try to do that kind of work and review drones and drone products? Alex Cavanaugh: Obviously, having experience helps. [00:02:30] The longer you've done it, the easier it becomes for me. When I first started, it was quite difficult being in from of camera, getting used to that but as time goes on, as you become a more experienced pilot, breaking down a product ... For me, it's easy now. I personally like to use a product for days before I just review it. A lot of people will sort of get a product and then review it inside a room or do an unboxing, which is great. Don't [00:03:00] get me wrong, those videos have their place, but I really like to go out and use it, abuse it, in a real life situation. Get to know it really well and then off the back of that, creative content and then using it in the field, then I go out and review it and be able to talk about it in depth. Tyler: One of the cool things you get to do is you get to review products before they're out on the market. What's the best part of being able to do that and getting a sneak peak at some of the cool drones out there? Alex Cavanaugh: [00:03:30] It's great. A lot of companies, obviously, trust in me now. They'll send products out, I'll get beta products as well. It's just really cool to get your hands on something before someone else. Plus the companies also want to know, is this any good? What could we do to improve it? Sometimes I'll have stuff for them to make better. Other times, it's a great product and it doesn't need changing. Tyler: I think you have a couple other people with you at Drone Gear. Tell me a little bit [00:04:00] about your staff and what everybody brings to the table. Alex Cavanaugh: Yeah, I've got a couple of guys on camera, Hugo and Adrian. Then, I've also got a few other friends that all make part of the collective. There's Ozzy from Fox Fury, who's been helping me with lighting. There's Mike Bishop, who is a DGI content contributor. He comes along and he's DGI contacts. I've worked with Trent Stiggard from Unique. [00:04:30] The Drone Gear collective ... It's very broad. I'd say it's between five and 10 people. Then, I've got all the other Drone Gear followers who, if they reach out to me, I'm always open to collaborating, shoot with them on videos. It's a big network. Tyler: Last thing here for you. What's been the favorite thing you've worked on since you started Drone Gear, whether it's a favorite product you've reviewed or any video you've shot as a pilot? What's been your favorite thing so far? Alex Cavanaugh: I've worked, and still work [00:05:00] for, a company called Drone Dudes, freelancing for them. I've shot with them on some amazing events. There's a conference called VidCon. I shot as the main pilot there a couple of years ago and flew one of the first VR cameras over thousands of people. Being trusted to fly over thousands of people ... It was very high stress, but at the same time, it was really, really rewarding. We did the largest cell phone wave, [00:05:30] which was really cool. Then, we were recording. It was streaming back to the back of the stage. It was a really high stress flight but working with companies, like Unique and Mike Bishop and all the peers in the industry ... It's a really great industry to be in. I'm really grateful for everyone in it. It's taken to me some really exotic locations. I'm really excited for what the future has. Tyler: [00:06:00] We're excited to have you as part of the Air Views community as well. We've enjoyed watching your work and we appreciate you coming on the Drone Dish today. Alex Cavanaugh: Thanks for having me, Tyler. It's great to be on Air Views and I look forward to bringing more reviews for everyone. If anybody has any product reviews they want me to shoot, send me a message. I'd love to get on it and work with the companies and do a nice review for everyone. Tyler: Absolutely. We'll send them your way. Thanks again, Alex.