The Woman Who Drones: Insights from Aerial Content Creator Elena Buenrostro

Drone content marketing is revolutionizing content strategy and social advertising campaigns, events, and real estate — the Women Who Drone team is at the forefront of the movement.

Projected to be worth 13 billion dollars by 2020 (Inc.), the drone industry is utilized most right now by photographers (Business Insider), but just a handful of women stand, or rather, fly, in their ranks. The percentage of women who have remote pilot certificates, the kind required to fly drones that can take aerial videos and photos: a meager 4%.

One of these women, Elena Buenrostro, video producer, photographer, editor, licensed drone pilot and co-founder of, is looking to change that. Women Who Drone – her site and hashtag – is “a group of aerial content creators, drone pilot enthusiasts, hobbyists, or any female who wants to learn more about drones.” Buenrostro summarizes it, with pride: “We’re a community.”

“I noticed that there weren’t a lot of females flying drones,” says Buenrostro. “I have been flying for about a year and noticed a lot of women were reaching out to me and asking me questions.” Perhaps, she suggests, it’s a marketing issue. Drones have long been rightly seen by mainstream society as weapons of war, not tools for capturing and creating art, the sort of art that’s upending the content industry.

Buenrostro points out that because “there are about 60,000 certified drone pilots in the U.S. right now” and because drones are more accessible and affordable – for under $500 from some retailers – than ever before, businesses no longer need to rent helicopters to get the images they want. They can hire drone pilots to get aerial photos and videos for a drastically lower rate and get their work up on social media in a snap.

Given the immediate utility and imminent growth of the drone industry, Buenrostro wants to help women get into the game as quickly as possible. Women Who Drone has attracted contributions from around 20 women worldwide thanks in large part to Buenrostro’s Instagram hashtag, #womenwhodrone.

By following already established hashtags like #womenindrones, #femaledronepilots, #girlswhodrone, Buenrostro reached out on Instagram to female drone pilots and photographers from Europe, Australia, Iceland, Amsterdam, and of course, the U.S.

She asked them to use her hashtag and become part of the movement. And they have.

As her community grows, Buenrostro aspires to create educational and professional opportunities using the Women Who Drone support network she’s creating. Women Who Drone will soon offer beginning to advanced online courses on how to get started with your drone, aerial photography, and videography, as well as how to turn your drone into a money-making business.

“As a pilot, it’s really empowering to go out there and fly your drone. You feel like you have wings, in a way,” Buenrostro explains. “I know every time I fly I get this sense of empowerment, sense of freedom and adrenaline rush. You feel like you are literally up there.” If that isn’t something every woman I know, including myself, wants right now, I’m not sure what is.

If you’d like to be up there as well, here are a handful of tips from Elena:

1. On Using Aerial Video Content on Social Media to Increase Conversions: “We’re constantly posting aerial video and photos on all platforms and, as a result, there has been a lot of engagement with our content. People are simply fascinated with the idea of seeing the world from above because it wasn’t easily accessible prior to drones becoming very popular. Now, we have the ability to create content from a whole new perspective, which is creating a lot of traction and inspiring others to do the same or utilize this type of content for their own brand or business on social media.”

2. On Using Drones to Capture Aerial Video of High-End Real Estate Properties: “Utilizing a drone for real estate videography and photography can really give a buyer a whole new perspective of the property, not to mention video is much more favorable right now than photos.” (Editor’s note: We concur heartily with Ms. Buenrostro’s assessment.)  

3. On Staying Aware of Rules and Regs: “It’s always important to know what airspace you are flying in so that you are not flying in a restricted area. This can easily be looked up on an air map or using the DJI app if you are flying one of their products.

4. On Taking Photos With Your Drone: Utilize the Rule of Thirds — “Composition in photography is everything if you desire to capture the perfect shot. Don’t rely on being able to crop and rotate the image in Photoshop later to correct composition errors. In aerial photography, this will especially result in you losing those precious pixels. Instead, learn how to utilize the rule of thirds to get your shot straight the first time around and save you a headache later.”

Photo Credit: Merr Watson

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