You’ve never seen Cleveland quite like this before.
From high above, Cleveland Aerial Media’s photos of Public Square, Key Tower, Progressive Field and other landmarks offer unbelievable angles and beautiful vistas — all made possible by a 2 1/2-pound white, plastic drone.
“We were inspired by the bird’s-eye view pictures,” says Michael Hach, who co-founded the company with lifelong friend Matt Vilevac. “There’s nothing in Cleveland like that right now.”
While at Cleveland State University, the North Olmsted natives studied graphic and Web design, fiddling with photo technology, until they stumbled upon a cheaper way to do aerial photography.
“We want to get this new perspective on everything we can around here, to be able to give that to people,” says Vilevac. “Making it into fine art would be nice.”
Cleveland Aerial Media has taken off, fueled by the popularity of its @AerialCleveland Twitter account. Though winter weather has made flying difficult, the pair has still amassed more than 50 flights using two Phantom quadcopters. With four propellers for stability, an easy-to-use remote control and live video streaming to an iPhone, the drone allows Hach and Vilevac to snag incredible frames, all with their feet on the ground.
“There’s always one person who comes up to us and is really intrigued by this little flying machine with a camera attached,” says Hach. “They all think it’s awesome.”
Cleveland Aerial Media has booked shoots for everything from farms to weddings, and there’s talk of film work on the horizon. “It’s fun,” says Hach. “It’s addicting. You get this rush when you do it.”
by Sheehan Hannan