After returning back home to my beautiful mountain town of Flagstaff from a sunny weekend in the City of Phoenix, I could’t wait to sit down and share my experience at this year’s Arizona Drone Fest awards.
Arizona Drone Fest is an aerial cinematography and photography festival/UAS expo held at Grand Canyon University each fall. I have attended the event since its inception – It is wonderful to see how the event continues to grow, year after year. I cannot say enough good things about the educational panels and networking opportunities I’ve experienced attending the past three (3) years.
The festival is one of the best in the state to recognize the top aerial experts. Award categories include Advertising, Arizona, First Responders, FPV, Industrial, Landscape, Narrative/Documentary, New Pilot, Showreel, and (my favorite!) Still Photography. The educational expo connects attendees with Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) industry specialists through panel discussions, lectures by keynote speakers, and workshops for both commercial and recreational drone pilots.
As a Still Photography Finalist and People’s Choice Winner this year(!), a HUGE thank you to the event board; judges; organizers; and especially all of the loved ones who attended the drone festival. Thank you to everyone that came to see my work screened, showed their support, and voted for my aerial image. As an attendee this (and every) year, I experience wonderful cinematography panels, meet professional contacts, and am thrilled by the expo events. It is always so much fun to see many friends and fellow Women Who Drone ambassadors!
Each year, the panels for the event occur in the Theology and Theatre buildings. A stunning event space on an open field between the buildings is where the expo and vendors arrange.
For 2023, the event had an additional category – the People’s Choice Award for Arizona aerial photography. Organizers printed these large posters for every photography entrant, allowing festival attendees to vote on their favorite via QR code! It is such a great way for attendees to get involved.
I loved catching-up with visitors as they viewed my image, telling the story behind the shot. Spending time with my longtime friend, Amanda, it was fun to cheer each other on! She had a beautiful image selected for the festival taken during one of our summer pool portrait sessions.
The Arizona Drone Fest awards are perfect for fellow Part 107 certified pilots and recreational pilots to attend. I truly enjoy every festival and the numerous opportunities to get more involved in the Arizona drone community. The continued variety in drone demonstrations, panels, and entries year after year is so thrilling to see.