Today we’d like to introduce you to Craig Bertram.
Hi Craig, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I have been interested in photography and drones for many years, but it wasn’t until I traveled to Turkey that I decided to purchase a drone. I went to Turkey to visit archeological sites connected to the Bible. While there, I had many opportunities to watch and learn from a professional drone pilot. The photos and footage communicated our experience on the trip differently than I could ever imagine. I knew that I needed a drone (if I could convince my wife).
As a full-time pastor for many years, I know communication-based power in sharing an experience rather than just information. And adding photos or video footage of a business or workplace, development, house for sale, park, or attraction in your community allows you to share an experience of a site or location differently.
I developed Higher Ground Drone Productions because of my passion for sharing experiences. The name communicates two things: First, who I am as a person who believes in Jesus. I hope my faith, values, morals, and professional and personal life reflect the “Higher Ground” of the Christian Faith. Of course, that doesn’t mean that I expect to take footage of just churches or religious archeological sites, but it is who I am, even if it never comes up in conversation!
Secondly, I like the idea of “Higher Ground,” meaning the perspective that a drone provides. Even if it is just checking on the roof damage of an apartment building or monitoring the progress of a building site, the perspective allowed by a drone is incredible. Adding the beauty of the horizon, sunlight, the tops of trees, or getting a whole property in a picture will enable you to see and experience a location in a new way. Drone footage can also call attention to a highlight of a setting that maybe can’t be noticed from the ground.
In August of 2021, I became an FAA Certified and Licensed Drone Pilot. My drone is registered and is compliant with all requirements for the USA. I also am registered and EASA certified to fly in the EU legally. I have insurance as a drone operator.
I am married and live and work in the Wyoming & Forest Lake area (north metro of Twin Cities, Minnesota). I have four adult children who live in beautiful locations where I love to fly my drone; therefore, I am looking for any excuses to travel to Texas and Colorado. Also, if anyone wants to fund a drone trip to any international biblical sites, I am your guy!
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a smooth road?
Getting started as a drone operator has gone smoothly, but it has taken much longer than I anticipated. The FAA Part 107 License (required for any commercial drone use) was much more challenging than I thought and required actual studying!! I created a website and social media links, and a lot of work went into developing and managing these sites. Having gone through the process, I understand that getting followers, views, and potential jobs will take time and an ongoing effort. I live just north of the Twin Cities, and I imagine there is more of a market for drone footage and photos in a metro area (I am willing to travel within reason!). So starting has been much slower than I anticipated. I am glad I had no plans or dreams of quitting my day job!
As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar, what can you tell them about what you do?
I like to think of myself as having a good eye for photography, being creative, reliable, fast, and efficient. I stay current with technology and can offer footage and pictures in different formats (edited or raw files, a completed product, or individual files). My schedule is very flexible; I have lived in the north metro of the Twin Cities for many years, where I have raised my family and know my way around. I am happy to travel to different locations within reason.
Is something surprising that you feel even people who know you might not know about?
If I am not busy as a pastor, drinking coffee at Starbucks, or out flying my drone, my current obsession is watching YouTube videos of Customs and Border Patrol Agents. People are crazy!
- Basic rate is $200 per hour (one hour minimum).
- Website: https://www.highergrounddrone.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/highergrounddrone/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HigherGroundDrone
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/highergnddrone
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEr2gKvT-uduRTy6A4TLebA
All photo’s: Higher Ground Drone Productions