PFRE is the original online resource for real estate and interior photographers. Since 2006, it has been a community hub where like-minded professionals from around the world gather to share information with a common goal of improving their work and advancing their business. With thousands of articles, covering hundreds of topics, PFRE offers the most robust collection of educational material in our field. The history of real estate photography has been documented within these pages.
All Articles


Last call to register for PFRE Virtual Conference 2020. Use discount code: PFRE50 to save $50 at checkout. Event Stats: 25 + SpeakersOver 40 hours of contentRecorded and available for streaming until December 31st, 2020500 + Attendees from 19 different ...



The PFRE Community Forum is an online resource for discussing the art and business of Real Estate and Interior Photography.
Join The Discussion


View Now


For over a decade, photographers from around the world have participated in PFRE’s monthly photography contests, culminating in the year-end crowning of PFRE’s Photographer of the Year. With a new theme each month and commentary offered by some of the finest real estate & interior photographers anywhere, these contests offer a fun, competitive environment with rich learning opportunities. 

Contest Rules


View / Submit


View Archive


PFRE’s Annual Conference in Las Vegas provides real estate and interior photographers from around the world an opportunity to meet on an annual basis, to learn, share best practices and make connections. Many of the leading names in our field are selected to speak on topics aimed at improving our craft and advancing our business. It’s a comfortable, relaxed environment that is fun, easy to get to, and affordable.


PFRE Conference 2020

Register Now

Latest News

Last Call to Register for the PFRE Virtual Conference 2020 - Use Discount Code: PFRE50 to Save $50!

Last call to register for PFRE Virtual Conference 2020. Use discount c ...

Sneak Peek - PFRE Virtual Conference 2020

We are less than two weeks away from the PFRE Virtual Conference. Chec ...

Limited Early Bird Spots on Sale Now! PFRE Virtual Conference 2020

The roster of presenters is full, and the PFRE Virtual Conference is o ...

PFRE Virtual Conference 2020 Announcement: Presenter Line Up Part 2 of 2

*Early bird tickets go on sale September 28th* Here are the remaining ...



The PFRE podcast is focused on having meaningful conversations with world-class photographers, business professionals and industry leaders, with the goal to inform and inspire.
All Podcasts

Coming Soon...



PFRE prides itself on the depth and breadth of the information and professional development resources it makes available to our community. Our goal is to help real estate and interior photographers be successful while bringing the community together and elevating the industry as a whole.


Coming Soon...

FAA Admits That They Shouldn't Be Ordering People To Delete Drone Videos

In: ,
Published: 12/04/2015
By: larry


Gregory McNeal at reports that:

For more than a year, FAA officials have been engaged in a campaign of subtle threats and intimidation tactics that have persuaded many businesses to not use drone videos. This week, officials in Washington D.C. have finally weighed in on the legality of these tactics and in a published policy document have made clear that the intimidation tactics and take down orders must cease.

Previously, officials in various jurisdictions and across a range of use cases had been telling people that commercial use of drones was prohibited by FAA regulations, therefore, the use of drone videos was similarly prohibited by the FAA. On its face, the guidance amounted to intimidation tactics (undertaken mostly by FAA safety inspectors) and it was a clear violation of the First Amendment. Drone videos are not contraband, and the FAA has no authority to police what is posted to the internet, they only have the authority to enforce aviation regulations.

Read the whole article here.

Update April 12:  Also, another article on small UAVs worth reading is :  FAA Speeds Up Small Drone Exemptions. But Why Not Just Issue a Blanket Exemption?

8 comments on “FAA Admits That They Shouldn't Be Ordering People To Delete Drone Videos”

  1. More importantly is this quote from further down the article. Many still believe the FAA cannot enforce commercial ops. I won't be the one to find out.

    "What this means is that the FAA is likely to only pursue the operators of unmanned aircraft who fly for commercial purposes without authorization. This is good news for individuals like realtors, publishers, journalists, and others who might use commercially derived imagery. It was never lawful for the FAA to go after the end users who were not part of the non-approved operation, it’s nice to see them acknowledging that fact. "

  2. @Chet, I think that real estate agents might not be in the clear as they are typically the entity hiring a RCMA operator to take photos/video rather than purchasing stock imagery to use for specific listings.

  3. I think they can go after you for commercial use, because that is an infraction in and of itself. What they seem to be talking about here is the interesting fact that after footage or photographs are taken illegally, it is very possible the photographer/videographer can legally use them after the illegal act. Isn't that right? There was a case brought up in the other forum about a trespasser. He was found guilty of trespassing, but the photographs he took were then allowed to be used. I am not sure if that was a commercial use though. The photos/videos are treated independent of the trespassing act somehow.

  4. It appears that real estate photographers are still prohibited from taking drone videos because we most certainly would be compensated for doing so which would constitute "commercial use."
    I am curious as to how some photographers here get away with advertising and selling this service on their websites. It seems like they are just asking for trouble from the FAA. Please let me know if there is some secret to getting away with doing aerial drone videos for your realtor clients or are you just daring the FAA to fine you? I am interested in offering this service but don't need to be fined several thousand dollars for doing so. I know you can get a use permit from the FAA for a specific, one-time purpose but this would be a tremendous headache if you have to do it for each individual job not to mention that the FAA takes forever to approve it. I read about the problems Amazon was having just to "test" a drone. By the time the FAA approved the test, the drone was already obsolete.

  5. @Larry Fields - For the answer to your question I suggest that you look at the Federal drone law section of Peter Sachs Peter points out that:

    "There is no federal statute, and no other federal regulation (other than 91.13, that is) that is codified in our bodies of law, that specifically applies to drones and that is currently applicable to the general public."

    The FAA is just harassing UAV operators to buy themselves time while they create some enforceable law.

    There are some State laws now that apply to UAV operation.

  6. It is amazing to me to see just how many Realtors are continuing to post aerial drone footage throughout the country.
    Much of the Real Estate YouTube videos seem to have aerial footage. Sotheby's corp. HQ has made it clear that they are not to use drones until the regs are set into concrete in a year or two, however, if you look at their YouTube page MOST are ignoring the request:
    and Sotheby's is just one of many!

  7. This debate will never end! Like any debate, there are two sides both believing they are right! By inference, if an operator received a 333 exemption, then that operator is 'legal' to fly drones for commercial purposes, then it would be assumed that if you do not have a 333 exemption you are operating illegally.

    Stated another way, why issue these exemptionsm as Larry states above issued when “There is no federal statute, and no other federal regulation (other than 91.13, that is) that is codified in our bodies of law, that specifically applies to drones and that is currently applicable to the general public."? Seems the issuance of these exemptions are pointless doesn't it?

    So, until the FAA issues Part 107 of the FAR's, the debate will continue. You pick your side, and stand by your decision. Should you be the very unlucky one the FAA picks to test the waters of the regulations, regardless of the outcome, the expense will be far more than the revenue received for the operation of the drone for that commercial job. Do you want to be THAT ONE? I don't!

    By the way, I have ordered myself the new Phantom 3 Professional model, expecting delivery mid May. I fully intend to fly it for jobs, once the skies are clear, the visibility unlimited and the FAA has made the decision debate proof.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *