Yet again, we find ourselves at the end of another year.  It has flown by, but it has still been a good year and we owe our thanks for that to our family, friends, colleagues and clients.

To sum up the year, we sat down with Ryan Thomas, the Aerialshots Founder and Chief-Drone-Pilot, to give us his view on this year’s highs and lows, and to tell us what is in store for 2018.

What was your highlight in 2017?

The highlight of this year was the job I did in the Seychelles.  The client needed aerial footage and photos of his private island and during the week-long trip, this is where I got to stay.  Few people get to experience such luxury and even fewer get to visit this particular island, so it was truly a once-in-a-lifetime job to get.  And the views were breath-taking!

What was the biggest lesson you learnt this year?

My biggest lesson was to learn not to rush.  Capturing aerial images is an art form and to produce the best work I can, I need to remember to take my time.

What was your proudest business moment?

We launched a client survey this year and have had amazing feedback.  I was really proud when I read how people loved our work and loved working with Aerialshots.  Reading these reviews gives me a great boost on down days and reminds me why I do my job.

How has the South Africa drone industry changed in 2017?

We saw two drone conference launch in South Africa this year.  Although I think the one Aerialshots attended only spoke to a small sector of the local drone industry, the fact that we are starting to see conferences popping up shows just how much the drone market is growing in this country.

Where do you see the global drone industry going in 2018?

The drone technology is continually evolving and developments we will see in 2018 are the maturation of professional drones with better built-in functions, such as flight avoidance.

But the hindrance to the technology will always be the regulations.  South Africa has the strictest regulations globally, but we are starting to see some other countries adopt more restrictive laws.  This, unfortunately, is not regulating drone use in general, but regulating businesses who use drones This is a problem for business development and job creation.

Drone developers need to look at regulations and advance the technology in such a way that it encourages more favourable laws.

What was the coolest piece of drone tech that was launched in 2017?

The coolest piece of drone tech at the moment is the DJI X7 camera.  It has a 35mm sensor and shoots in 6k RAW.  This matches any of the big heavy rigs and I expect it will become the new minimum for film work and big-budget shoots.

And that is it. 2017 is done and dusted!  Have a wonderful break and you will hear from us again in the new year.

Aerialshots is a full-service videography company specialising in drone footage and imagery. To find out more visit or contact