Capturing Fall Foliage by Drone: Tips for Wedding Videographers in New England

@christorychannel Leaves are falling. Drones are flying. #fyp #drone #foiliage ♬ Scene D’Amour – Bernard Herrmann

Fall is the most popular seasons for weddings here in Vermont. As a wedding videographer, I’m always looking for creative ways to capture the beautiful colors of the changing leaves in my wedding videos. Using a drone has become an invaluable tool for getting breathtaking aerial footage.  It’s overused at this point, but leave your drone home at your peril.

I recently filmed a wedding at the beautiful Crofter’s Green venue in Montgomery, Vermont. It was peak foliage season in late September and the grounds were awash with vibrant red, orange, and yellow leaves. During the couple’s portrait session, I sent my DJI Mini Mavic 2 Pro drone up to get an epic overhead view of the couple with the fall color as their backdrop.

The drone footage was amazing but did require some careful editing to get the look I wanted. Here are a few tips I’ve learned for working with drone footage:

  • Shoot in 4K or higher resolution if possible for maximum flexibility in post-production. This allows you to zoom and pan over the aerial shots without losing image quality.
  • Use ND filters to get the ideal shutter speed and prevent jello effect from drone vibration. This makes the video smoother.
  • Pay attention to direction of light and time of day for best color saturation. Early morning or late afternoon is ideal.
  • Try moving the drone very slowly or hovering in place for long steady shots of the landscape. This prevents too much distracting motion.
  • Mix in drone shots carefully with ground footage. Use for transitions between scenes or as establishing shots. Too much drone footage can be disorienting.
  • Color grade the footage to enhance fall colors. Boost saturation and vibrance subtly during editing.
  • Add classic, cinematic soundtrack to complement the visuals. I like to use Bernard Hermann scores for a sweeping, orchestral feel.

 Let me know if you have any other questions about incorporating drone videography into your wedding films!

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