Dubuque Photographer Uses Drone Camera to Capture Portraits

By Katie Wiedemann, KCRG-TV9

DUBUQUE, Iowa - As she steps closer to her due date, there are certain moments Vanessa and Hayden Lee want to remember.

Vanessa said, “Just knowing it’s our first baby. I wanted something different and something to remember. “

It’s also a memorable moment for portrait photographer Dale Stierman. Along the banks of the Mississippi River, he’s doing his first maternity portrait shoot using his remote controlled drone.

Stierman said, “I think I speak for all photographers. There are times we’ve all looked at a picture and said, “I wish I had a 100 or 200 foot ladder.”

Stierman says he’s one of the first professional portrait photographers in the world to use a drone for his portraits. The remote controlled camera flies high to capture unique angles.

He sponsored by a company called Drone-fly. That company gave him the drone with hopes their brand recognition would take off.

“They want the exposure just like we do,” said Stierman.

Exposure, he’s getting. Stierman’s work appeared in the Huffington Post, Cosmopolitan Magazine and will appear on two network news programs.

Now brides- to- be from all over the country want Dale and his drone. The drone comes with an extra $400 price tag.

“Right now we’re locked down in New Jersey and New York,” said Stierman. “But the calls we’ve had to turn down because we are already booked have been from Houston, Sacramento, Sarasota, L.A.”

Stierman’s success isn’t coming without controversy.

Earlier this year the F.A.A. banned the use of drones for commercial use. A federal judge later ruled to over-turn that, citing first amendment rights.

“I always warn the people and let them know we are going to be taking a picture because I don’t want to invade anybody’s privacy at all,” said Stierman.

Stierman says he takes the F-A-A’s strict safety regulations very seriously.

“Ultimately my couple comes first and the images come second,” said Stierman.

He says he has to. He’s dealing with some of life’s most precious moments.

l Comments: (563) 583-9999; katie.wiedemann@kcrg.com

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