Astoria resident Mark DiConzo has turned his hobby as an aerial photographer into a profession.
As a producer, choreographer and actor DiConzo spends a lot of time traveling the country and has found a unique way to capture the places he visits. He began flying small drones in his hotel rooms when he was traveling for various tours and regional performance work.
His interest in drones stemmed from his previous experience with aerial videography. After producing a film that required him to hire an expensive videographer, DiConzo thought it would be more cost-effective to learn how to fly drones himself.
“I crashed a few, lost a few, but never stopped perfecting the art of flying, and so as I finally gained proficiency flying one I’d graduate to a larger, more expensive one,” he said.
DiConzo spent four months “intensely researching the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) guidelines” and applied for a commercial operators exception license. Six months later, he officially became a commercial aerial photographer.
DiConzo has shot dozens of videos under the moniker Beautiful Demon Photography including videos and photographs he took in Astoria capturing sunsets near Astoria Park. He always makes sure his locations fall within FAA guidelines and takes test shots before visiting the places with his drone.
“The real fun is capturing the world as I explore it, for my own purposes [and] setting up unique and gorgeous photographs of landscapes, buildings, and anything that I find would make for an amazing picture from above,” DiConzo said.
His work captures the deserts of Arizona, the waters of Florida and other natural landscapes across the country. He has shot a segment for Shady Theatrics, a company that does red carpet footage for the Tony’s and corporate and celebrity flash mobs, Scottsdale Public Art in Arizona and MacArthur Beach State Park in Florida.
DiConzo also shoots his own dance choreography and will soon shoot dancers across rooftops in New York City with a compact spotlight for drones that has yet to hit the market.
Check out some of DiConzo’s photos and video work below: