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Lyft Aerial Receives FAA Approval And Announces Release Of Texas-Inspired Drone Film

Lyft Aerial of Austin Texas recently received a Section 333 exemption from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to legally fly their drones for commercial purposes. The exemption is rarely given and Lyft Aerial is one of only a few companies in the United States to receive the exemption. According to company founder Chris Bonnet, “This exemption is a very significant milestone for our young company, and it will allow us to take the firm to new heights, both literally and figuratively.”

The exemption allows Lyft Aerial to use their drones for a variety of commercial purposes including for educational/research purposes, real estate photography and videography, film and movie production, surveying, inspections and special events. “Clients are becoming increasingly aware of the power of drones to produce innovative images and video,” says partner Josh Barnett,“and we are on the cutting edge of this emerging industry.”

In fact, the company has several major corporations on their client list including Under Armour, King’s Hawaiian, Radisson, Siemens and Meridian Solar. Bonnet reports that he and his team have used drones to meet a variety of client needs. They have used the drones to photograph new high rises for real estate clients, document progress at construction sites, and produce marketing videos and commercials. They have also helped clients monitor flooding, and inspect important assets like wind turbines, solar panels and roofs. Bonnet even announced a new wedding package that will employ drones to create a unique photo and video chronicle of that special day.

In addition to the announcement about the FAA exemption, Bonnet also announced the upcoming release of the company’s new drone film called, “Texas, An Assortment of Beauty.” Bonnet and his team have been working on the film since January 2015, and are now ready to release it to the public. The company’s drones were sent all over the state of Texas to capture aerial views of the sites that make the Lone Star State truly unique.

Lyft Aerial, originally Austin Drone Photography, was founded in 2013 and specializes in aerial photography and videography. The company works with clients to produce high quality photographs, promotional videos, commercials and movies, using the latest technology available in the industry.

More information is available on the company website at Media inquiries can be directed to Chris Bonnet at 512.522.3951 or via email at The film can be viewed at The company also has a presence on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.


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West Texas (Texas Drone Journey Series)

This is Part 4 of the Texas Drone Journey series. 

There sure is a lot of Texas between us here in Central Texas and West Texas. We spent the last week in the West Texas and Panhandle regions working on a few projects, including, our drone film about Texas. We wanted to focus on Monahans Sandhills and Palo Duro Canyon and any unique scenery that we found throughout the backroads. We have a treat in today’s drone journey series blog, a short video montage below of some of the shots we got at these amazing places!

We originally set out to make a drone film about Texas with the intention to enter it into a few drone film festivals. Many of these film festivals have limits on how long the films can be, and most of them are under 5 minutes. We have shot so much footage during these trips, that we are looking into the possibility of turning this into something much bigger than just a short drone film. We have some great drone & ground footage, time lapses, interviews, actions shots and when you add all of this up, it’s clear that we have the footage and story needed to make a longer film.

We will continue our journey across Texas later this week to wrap up the footage needed for our Texas drone film. We will be venturing back out into West Texas, this time into Big Bend Country. We plan to have our short film finished with production by the end of July and released early August.

*Be sure to press HD on video above. Video above is 4k footage compressed down to 1080 and is best viewed in 1080 HD.*

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Wedding Drone Photography & Video Packages

We have received many requests for our services at weddings but we have yet to really take a nose dive into weddings. This is mainly because it wasn’t our specialty nor was it an industry that we thought we would be serving when we started Lyft Aerial. Since we have received so many requests, we have quietly been working with some great wedding vendors, venues, and couples over the last few months in order to figure out the best ways to utilize drones and our other services.

We are proud to announce that we are ready to take on any size wedding event. We offer drone engagement photos and video, day of event drone photos and video, video slideshows and complete wedding video productions where we will have cameras on the ground and drones in the air to capture every special moment. We can produce a wonderful wedding video from the proposal to the altar. Our crew is professional, courteous and sensitive to how significant your wedding truly is.

Your wedding is a special moment to remember and cherish. Make sure you can revisit that wonderful moment for the rest of your days. Share it with friends and family in the blink of an eye by sending the digital version we make available to you. Your wedding deserves to have the highest quality video production. Don’t let you’re wedding pass you by. Have something to remember it by!

We are offering great specials on our day of event video production and video slideshows. Check out an example of a video slideshow below:

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Under Armour Commercial

In march, we worked with Boom Box Group of Canada to film Under Armour’s Team UA Next video featuring Olympic gold medalist Natasha Hastings and UA Next athlete Jordon. We used the DJI Inspire drone to film indoors on day one due to rain. Day two provided much better weather, which allowed us to capture all the necessary track shots for the project.

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Corpus Christi Day Trip (Texas Drone Journey Series)

This is part 3 of the Texas Drone Journey series.

Hello everyone. The weather has been unpredictable over the last few weeks and this week is no exception. We had a real estate marketing video scheduled to be filmed in Corpus Christi on Monday. The forecast called for sun, and of course there were dark clouds and rain. Ha! The Realtor we are working with, Jodi, said that the rain was moving away from Corpus Christi so Kevin and I packed our gear and headed for the coast. We arrived to an immaculate property in a cove on Padre Island. It was a perfect house. Here is a 15 second montage we made for Jodi’s social media pages.

After we wrapped up, we headed for the beach to capture footage for our upcoming drone film about the beauty of Texas. So far we have been throughout the Texas Hill Country, Garner State Park, Caddo Lake and some other spots in East Texas. We have been itching to get down to the beach and were instantly excited when we got the real estate job. We love to multitask! We took our drone up from underneath the Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge. We used up a few batteries here capturing footage of the USS Lexington battleship, the Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge, and other neat viewpoints of Corpus Christi that only a drone could capture. After a little bit of a drive, we were able to find a more secluded beach where it was just us and the seagulls flying.

Until next time,

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Caddo Lake (Texas Drone Journey Series)

This is Part 2 of the Texas Drone Journey series. 

Wow! What an experience Caddo Lake is. Over the last month, we have been traveling the great state of Texas with our drones trying to find unique landscapes of Texas. We found a winner with Caddo Lake. Caddo Lake is the only natural lake in Texas and is only 6-12 feet deep at all times. After checking out a few pictures of the lake online, we knew we had to visit in person with our drones. Brandi and I embarked on the journey to Caddo Lake last weekend with only our tent and gear. We wind up rolling into Caddo Lake State Park late in the night and pitched our tent without being able to see much around us. Little did we know the surprise waiting for us in the morning. When we woke, we realized that we were no further than 150 feet water. We franticly threw all of our gear in the car and headed towards the water. Check out some of the photos Brandi snapped of our DJI Inspire flying that morning.

Caddo Lake is like no other place I have ever been. There were so many trees in the water and the early morning fog made for some great footage. Once we finished flying two batteries, we headed to a marina to rent a boat. Little did we know that Uncertain, Texas is a ghost town. Everything was shut down but one boat rental store. Come to find out, they only had two boats with a motor and both had already been rented. After driving 6 hours to capture Caddo Lake footage, we weren’t going to be denied. We wound up renting a boat without a motor and PADDLED. All in all we spent about 5 hours on the lake, taking off from the boat and landing on the boat. We captured some great shots for our film and had a lot of fun with the locals, who of course had never seen a drone.

Follow along with us on our journey. You can read about the next leg our of trip here.

Until next time,



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The Expedition Begins (Texas Drone Journey Series)

This is part 1 of the Texas Drone Series.

Hello everyone! The guys at Lyft Aerial have been planning a journey throughout the Lone Star State for the past few months and the time has arrived for us to begin the epic drone journey! Once we are finished with this journey, we hope to have We had originally planned to start off the trip with a 4 day trip of West Texas. We were heading South to Garner State Park, then down to Big Bend, and back north to the panhandle. Going on this trip was Josh and I. Kevin had to stay back to finish a project and was planning to meet up with us at a later stage of the trip. Josh and I left around 5 in the morning stopping along the way to capture the sunrise through a sweet valley. After about 5 hours of driving, we arrived at Garner State Park. This is the first time that either of us have ever been. It is too cool! There were people everywhere. We are going about this film with the idea of capturing very few humans. We are wanting to show the natural beauty of Texas. So Josh and I hiked to a more secluded area and starting prepping our drone for lift off. Within minutes, our DJI Inspire was up in the air flying feet from the famous Old Baldy Mountain. Being from Central Texas, the terrain around Garner State Park was nuts. Mountains and hills were in every direction. We finished up at Garner State Park and started hearing towards our next stop. We decided that we would pull over if we see anything unique that we would like to film and had been doing this the entire day thus far. Well, we find a beautiful creek that is completely shaded by trees that we had to film. We pull over and Josh gets the drone ready to fly. Everything is going fine and we capture the footage we set out to get. On the return flight home, our inspire barely nips a tiny branch and down goes our bird. It landed directly on the camera and snapped the gimbal. Talk about instant devastation. We had been incident free with our drones for months and we happen to crash one of our newly acquired drones on the first day of our West Texas trip. Other than the Inspire, we had brought a Phantom with us but we did not want to continue our trip with just the Phantom. On top of that, we had a 3 day gig right when we were supposed to return from our trip that would require a few Inspires so we decided it was best for us to return back to HQ and postpone the rest of the trip. We will surely find time over the next month or two to make this trip happen again.

To be continued…

Follow along on our journey. You can read about our next trip here.


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Lyft Aerial at SXSW

Lyft Aerial will be SXSW for the invite only Rachael Ray Feedback House event. We look forward to doing dronies with all the attendees! We will have a live feed broadcasting to a HUGE screen lifted up on a King’s Hawaiian food truck. HOW COOL IS THAT?! This food truck likes to get around too. It’s been to Hawaii, The Super Bowl, and now SXSW in this short year.  Save the date: March 19th-21st. Stay tuned to our social media pages to catch updates, pics and videos from the event.

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Austin Turkey Trot Drone Video 2014

What a turnout! Over 20,000 people showed up early Thanksgiving morning to participate in the 24th annual ThunderClouds Subs Turkey Trot in Austin, Texas. Check out our aerial drone video above.

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