SKYDIVING VIDEO AND PICTURES Explained

People often have questions about getting video and photos of their skydive. Should I get it? Which video/picture package should I get? How does aerial photography work? Can I jump with my own gopro? We can answer all of these questions and offer some pro-tips on how to get a better skydiving video!

HOW DO WE CAPTURE THE MOMENT?

There are a couple of ways to take home and share your ultimate skydiving experience. Here’s some information on the different video and photo package options available.

HANDCAM:

The most basic and cost-effective option is for your instructor to wear a hand-mounted gopro camera to capture an up-close perspective. The benefit of this option is that you will get under-canopy footage that you are unable to capture with a videographer who is unattached. The downside is, you won’t get as much of the background view since the camera is very close. Also, your instructor is required to do “handles checks” during freefall for safety reasons so there will be a brief gap in footage while they do this. It’s important to note, smaller skydiving centers often only offer handcam video since an outside videographer would require one of the 4 spots available inside the smaller plane. It’s not a bad option if you’re on a budget, but not the best since it is video only. This means no new facebook profile pic.

Handcam Video

OUTSIDE VIDEO:

The best value for your money is to hire an “outside videographer”. This means you’ll have your very own, professional aerial videographer coming along on your jump. Often these videographers will have a higher quality camera than a gopro- we like the Sony FDR-X300. They will also have a “stills” camera that can capture high-resolution photos with a quality that will allow you to not only print photos, but enlarge them to poster size without the images becoming pixilated. The best part about outside video and photos is your videographer is unattached to you and able to fly all around you during the jump. So, you’ll get a 360 degree visual of you and the surrounding views. They are also usually able to capture you coming in for landing! The downside is, there won’t be any under-canopy footage. The parachute ride can only be captured up-close with an instructor’s hand-mounted camera since other parachutes are restricted from flying too close to you for safety reasons. 

Outside Video

EXTREME VIDEO & PHOTOS (HANDCAM + OUTSIDE VIDEO):

There is often a 3rd option that combines the hand-cam and outside video packages, which is totally awesome, but is generally very expensive and not within everyone’s budget. If it is in your budget, this is the ultimate way to capture every aspect of your jump!

Extreme Video

WHAT KIND OF SPECIAL EQUIPMENT IS NEEDED?

How does the videographer take pictures in freefall? Outside videographers wear helmet-mounted video and stills cameras. So, all that equipment is sitting atop their head! Maneuvering in freefall requires arms, legs and core to be engaged. So, how do they snap photos without using their hands? Videographers have a tongue-switch or a bite switch that goes from the camera into their mouth. They use their tongues to depress the button that controls the shutter! How crazy is that?

Special Skydiving Camera Equipment

WHAT SPECIAL SKILLS DOES AN AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHER NEED CAPTURE THE MOMENT?

The United States Parachute Association (USPA) requires all jumpers to have a minimum of 200 skydives before they can jump with camera equipment. So, if you were wondering why you can’t jump with your own gopro, this is why. Once a licensed skydiver is approved to jump with a camera, they start doing practice jumps until they gain the flying skills required to safely and expertly capture a tandem video. The hardest part is getting the timing and spacing right to stay with the tandem pair as they leave the plane. This takes practice, practice, practice. A videographer must also be able to adjust fall rate quickly to match the tandem pair. Each pair has a different exit weight and body position which can change their speed. A videographer must be a master at making quick adjustments to match the tandem pair’s every input. They must extend or retract their arms and legs to create more or less surface area to adjust to the needed speed.

Outside Video at Skydive Midwest

CAN 2 PEOPLE SHARE A VIDEOGRAPHER?

The USPA requires all tandem pairs to have both vertical and horizontal separation from other jumpers during freefall and under canopy for safety reasons. We don’t want mid-air collisions at 120mph. Due to the separation between groups, a videographer simply can’t be in 2 places at once. We can absolutely take some photos of you and a friend on the ground or in the airplane but one videographer can only capture one skydiving experience at a time.

TIPS FOR A BETTER VIDEO

 SAY CHEESE:

The easiest and most obvious thing you can do is SMILE. Smile your face off! It looks AMAZING in videos/pics when you can see the pure joy on someone’s face.  Avoid looking down at the ground. Your videographer is going to be on-level with you. If you are looking down, they’ll have a video of the top of your head, instead of your beautiful face. Keep your eyes on the horizon or focus on your camera man. Throw out some funny faces, blow kisses, give peace signs, thumbs up or other hand gestures!

Say Cheese to the Camera

LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION:

 If you have the option, choose a skydiving center in a location with a beautiful, unique or scenic view. City skylines, lake or ocean shorelines or mountain views can enhance your video and photos. Skydive Midwest is the only skydiving center that can boast views of Milwaukee and Chicago cityscapes as well as gorgeous Lake Michigan! 

Skydive Lake Michigan

DRESS FOR SUCCESS:

It’s really, really windy in freefall. Low cut tops and short shorts can cause wardrobe malfunctions that might make you afraid to show mom and dad your video. Any exposed skin can appear to be rippling in the wind, so if that’s not an aesthetic you want, consider long pants or long sleeves. Tie back or braid long hair or it will be EVERYWHERE and be a nightmare to brush afterwards. Imagine sticking your head out of a car window doing 120mph. It’s that kind of windy.

BE READY FOR YOUR CLOSEUP:

Be prepared for the videographer to ask you some basic interview questions. Most people tend to freeze up as soon as a camera is pointed at them so think about what you want to say. Why did you come out to jump? Are you nervous? Anything you want to say to the folks at home? Be prepared for a 2nd interview when you land. You’re going to be pumped up on adrenaline so this interview tends to flow from people pretty naturally, but try to remember who might see your video later on. We don’t mind if you use curse words, it’s your video, but mom, dad and grandma might!

Tandem Skydive Interview

If you’re still on the fence about purchasing a video or photo option, we can tell you no one ever regrets getting the video. The only regrets we ever hear are from people who didn’t get the video. You can save some money by purchasing a video package at the same time as your skydive. Our DEALS page offers discounts for prepaying in full for a tandem skydive + video/photos. There’s nothing like taking the excitement home for friends, family and let’s face it, all of social media to see.

 

Check out the video below to see live action examples of each of our video packages

READY to get the party started?

Book your ultimate aerial adventure today!