DJI Aerial Photography Academy is a fun yet intensive one-day class designed to give valuable insight to attendees wanting to create top quality, compelling, marketable aerial drone photography.

This is a drone class that is not as much about how to fly, but rather why we fly – to gain a new perspective of the world around us, to integrate this technology into our workplace, and to share amazing drone photographs with the world.

Whether you are an enthusiast or are pursuing aerial imaging as a career, this class will teach you in a single day what normally would take years of practice to figure out.  The curriculum is generally advanced-beginner to intermediate-level.  Even the newbie will walk away with all the knowledge they need to get started. Experienced aerial photography instructors Randy Jay Braun & Stacy Garlington will share this wisdom in an upbeat classroom presentation in your city soon!

This 48-city tour is officially authorized by DJI – the world’s leader in consumer and commercial drones.

Your Instructors: Randy Jay Braun & Stacy Garlington

Globally Recognized Instructors in Drone Photography

Randy Braun & Stacy Garlington are pioneers in aerial photography. Both worked with DJI  during the formative years of the company, leading up the “Aerial Still-Photography Development Team.” With extensive backgrounds in both the drone and photography industries, they have harnessed and packaged the skills of successful drone photography. Together, they will bring this valuable information to you conveniently in your own city.

During the past couple of years, Randy and Stacy have taught aerial photography classes at the world’s preeminent photo industry conferences and delivered keynote presentations, webinars, and lectures worldwide. These events include:

  • Adobe MAX Conference
  • Photoshop World Conference
  • Imaging USA Conference
  • WPPI Conference
  • Photokina Tradeshow
  • PhotoPlus Expo
  • Web Summit – Dublin, Ireland
  • TedxYouth, Austin, TX
  • EAA Airventure, Oshkosh, WI
  • Professional Photographers of America
  • Consumer Electronics Show (CES)
  • Santa Fe Photographic Workshops, NM
  • DJI Corporate Headquarters Marketing Office, Shenzhen, China
  • DJI Flagship Store – Shenzhen, China
  • SXSW, Austin, TX
  • American Society of Home inspectors Annual Conference
  • National Association of Realtors Annual Conference
  • University of Kathmandu Engineering, Nepal
  • National Association of Broadcasting (NAB)
  • Adobe Education Summit

Upcoming Dates & Cities:

We will talk a bit about flight techniques and how DJI drone systems work, but this is not a how-to-fly class. The discussion will surround proven photography techniques, with an edge toward earning a few dollars with your drone.

This seminar is for you because you already have a drone or are planning to purchase one soon – yet aerial photography is challenging to you. You feel lost by the process and your images do not have the visual impact or “wow” effect of photos that you have seen by other aerial photographers. We will fix that.

For the best learning experience, it is suggested that you explore Adobe Lightroom prior to this class (Adobe Lightroom free trial version is available). Workshop fees range from $159 for early registration, to $189.

In this class you will:

  • Understand the basics of the drone industry; the rules, the gear, the potential for you.
  • Take command of your flying camera.
  • Process your aerials in Adobe Lightroom for that “SHAZAAM! ZAP! POW!” effect.
  • Hook the viewers by tugging on their emotions.
  • Monetize your passion – earn money as an addicted drone flyer.

☑ 08/28/2017 Monday – Chicago, IL

☑ 09/13/2017 Wednesday – Dallas, TX 

☑ 09/15/2017 Friday – Houston, TX

☐ 09/18/2017 Monday – San Antonio, TX – Purchase Tickets

☐ 09/20/2017 Wednesday – Austin, TX – Purchase Tickets (Filling quickly)

☐ 10/23/2017 Monday – San Diego, CA – Purchase Tickets

☐ 10/25/2017 Wednesday – Orange County, CA (Santa Ana) – Purchase Tickets

☐ 10/27/2017 Friday – Los Angeles, CA  (Universal City) – Purchase Tickets (Class size limited to 35)

☐ 10/30/2017 Monday – Las Vegas, NV – Purchase Tickets

☐ 11/03/2017 Thursday – Salt Lake City, UT – Purchase Tickets

☐ 11/06/2017 Monday – Denver, CO. – Purchase Tickets


Stay tuned for an expanded list. We will be in your area soon!

What our students are saying:

I believe you could walk into of this class with no knowledge as to drones or photography and walk out a competent drone photographer. Just make sure you’re taking notes fast enough! 😉

Leah F.

Madison, WI

Randy and Stacy, this was a fantastic course for introduction to the many aspects of drone use and for how to make your photos great. I would recommend this for the novice and advanced users. There is something for everyone.

Nick S.

Columbus, OH

Randy and Stacy were phenomenal!

Sidney F.

Indianapolis, IN

This course covered loads of drone photography tips, helpful for experienced photographers or beginners.

Josiah W.

Indianapolis, IN

I walked away inspired and purchased a second drone a couple days after the workshop.

Cheri G.

Minneapolis, MN

A tag-team knowledgeable in the past, present, and future possibilities of drone flight; willing to share expertise in the part of drone photography.

David C.

Des Moines, IA

The event was more than a class, it was a group of passionate individuals talking about a common love for drones and photography. I am very grateful for the opportunity!

Brittany L.

Indianapolis, IN

Since both facilitators are experienced drone pilots they offered great insights into using the drone as a flying camera to capture shots from the client’s perspective versus just taking aerial shots.
Sharon R.


There are many drone pilots who need help when it comes to maximizing their aerial photography and learning how to take over more manual creative control. Based on what we heard from students, the academy was the perfect opportunity to learn (and hone) skills.

The Digital Circuit Magazine

I went to this class looking to hear a professional view on how they got an image and what they did with the image after shooting… I came away with exactly what I wanted and needed. Nice job…. Thanks!

Shawn H.

Madison, WI

Thank you Randy and Stacy for putting on a great class. I have been a photographer for over 30 years and the information you presented will greatly help my drone photography.

Frank S.

Columbus, OH

I must admit, I didn’t expect to receive this much knowledge, within a one day conference. I would attend again, if the tour came back to Indianapolis!

Matthew L.

Indianapolis, IN

Instructors were awesome, course is a must-have, hope they come back soon.

Christian K.

Indianapolis, IN

Randy and Stacy are exactly what the drone hobbyist or professional need.

Robert B.

St. Louis, Mo

This class doesn’t just focus on drones, nor does it just focus on photography. I think Garlington and Braun strike a good balance in the curriculum here, with the first half of the class focusing on the history, capability, and importance of drone technology and the second half focusing on all things photography.

Drone 360 Magazine

Class Schedule & Syllabus:

Morning Session:

9:30 – Doors open. Sign-in. Meet-n-greet.

10:00-11:00Brief Introduction to Drones  Who Are Randy & Stacy? •Birth of an Industry •Why Now? •What Makes a Drone Fly? • Mind-Blowing Features • Imagine! •Placing a Camera in 3D Space •Drones in the USA •Where will Drones be in Two More Years? • How do Drones stack up in the Grand Scheme of Things? •Public Perception & Etiquette

11:00-12:30 – Flying Cameras Are in Your Future: Are You Ready? •Drones in Surrounding Industries •Flying Commercially and the FAA •Size-up Your Competition •Drone Equipment Recommendations for Your Business •Integrate Drones into Your Work •Pricing Strategies & How to Charge for Drone Services •What will You Shoot? •What to Shoot When there is “Nothing to Shoot”. •About Stock Photography •Mapping, Modeling, Measuring •Best Apps •From Above & Below

12:30 – 1:30 – Lunch Break – on your own

Afternoon Session:

1:30-2:30 – Setting-up and Using Your Aerial Camera •DJIGo & DJIGo4 App •Photography Basic Concepts •Exposure Triangle & Histogram •General Menu Set-up & Preparing to Shoot •Advanced Camera Menus •Shooting Strategy & Making Your Aerial Photographs •When to Shoot •How High? •Drone Camera Views •Sizzling Hot Tips for Aerial Photography •Don’t Forget Your Photography Skills Just Because You Are Flying!

2:30-4:30 – Processing and Finishing Techniques for Aerial Images •Before & After Samples •Goals for Your Processing •Emotional Involvement and Hooking Your Viewer • Transform your Raw Image into Art •Adobe Lightroom Live Processing Workflow •Straighten and Square Buildings •De-Haze & Clarify •Make Amazing Water •Sharpen and Soften •Squish & Un-squash •Light Beams •Painting With Light• Custom Vignette •Perpendicular Objects •Simple Panoramas •Simple Adobe Photoshop Fixes •Avoiding Chunky Water •Warping for Magical Landscapes•Tilt-Shift Effect •Tiny Planet Effect •High Dynamic Range Processing

4:30-5:00 – Open Discussion •Questions •Industry Insights •One-on-one chat •Wrap

Frequently Asked Questions:

Should I bring my drone?

As photographers, Randy and Stacy bring a drone wherever they go, because one never knows when that golden opportunity for a great aerial photograph will arise. For this class, however, you will not need to bring your drone. We will have our personal line-up on display.

What drone brands and models will be used as examples?

All samples, examples, and discussion will be based on DJI brand drones, especially the Phantom, Inspire, and Mavic product lines.

Will we learn how to fly a drone?

As you know, flying has become so simple that a newbie can self-learn in half a day. This class is not intended to teach drone flying skills. We will discuss flying somewhat, as it pertains to photography, but this is a classroom-style setting and we will not fly in the room.

Do I need to bring a computer?

It is preferred that you do bring your laptop computer or tablet pre-loaded with Adobe Lightroom software. Be aware that most of our venues have no electrical outlets available, so charge up! A full one or two hour section of class time will be spent discussing computer processing with Adobe Lightroom, while dipping our toes into the possibilities of Adobe Photoshop as well. You can install a free trial copy of Adobe Lightroom prior to the class, if necessary.

Prior to class day, we will email you a folder of sample photos which we ask that you please download to your laptop and keep on your desktop for easy access during class.

All class notes will be printed in a 64-page workbook that you will receive upon arrival. There is space for some hand-written notes on each page in the workbook.

How do we get directions to the class location?

When you register for this seminar, you will be emailed a bar-coded ticket, along with a receipt and instructions on how to get to the seminar.

Will we have one-on-one time with the instructors?

There will be opportunity to meet and speak with both Randy and Stacy one-on-one during the day. This is important to them and you! Also, thirty minutes at the end of the day will be reserved for a Q & A session.

Will we learn video skills in addition to photography?

We focus on aerial still-photography skills and business. Video is not our expertise, but we can help you with the basics.

If I need to cancel, will I get my money back?
Yes. Please email at least 48 hours prior to the event for a refund.
What should I bring?

Bring a clear head. There is lots to learn and absorb during this intensive class day. Also bring a couple bottled waters, coffee, snacks, and a pen/pencil. You will have a table to sit at, and can store your daypack or belongings underneath.

What should I wear?

Comfortable and casual clothing. Randy prefers barefeet, actually, but he will refrain from such behavior.

Can I pay at the door?

Advanced online registration is required. If a friend urgently wants to join you at the last minute, give us a shout at and we will let you know if any seats are remaining.

Where can I learn more about the sponsoring companies?

Companies we Trust Like Family: