Drone, Aerial Photography, Education

Hopkins School 360

Funny how things work out sometimes. Last Fall I was approached by the communications department at the Hopkins School to capture aerial photography and video of their beautiful campus in New Haven using a drone. I was working full-time as a photojournalist at the Hartford Courant, where I had been on staff since 1999. I had to turn down the opportunity as management at the newspaper thought there may be a conflict of interest (that is open for a later discussion).

“Hopkins Grammar School was founded in 1660

in a one-room building on the New Haven Green.

The school settled in its present location

on a hill overlooking the city in 1926.”

As fortune would have it, the Courant, and its parent – Tribune Publishing – offered a VSIP, or Voluntary Separation Incentive Package, in November 2018. I had been looking for an exit from the news industry for a few years and wanted to pursue my new passion, sUAV, or more commonly known, drones. I became a Part 107 Certified drone pilot the first day the FAA offered the new program in August of 2016. I introduced the use of drones to the Courant’s newsroom for coverage of breaking news, business and feature stories. It opened a whole new platform for the newspaper to reach viewers of the web and in print. My last day, after nearly 25 years, at the Courant was November 30, 2018.

Fast forward to Spring 2019. I received a phone call out of the blue in the beginning of May from John Galayda, a former fellow photojournalist that made his escape from the news industry about a decade earlier. He was looking for a drone operator to capture some aerial photography and video of a school that he would be taking a job at shortly. He explained that this school would be celebrating their 300th anniversary next year and they were working on a project to help promote the school and their accomplishments over the years. Then he told me the name of the school – The Hopkins School…

CT Drone Photography & Video Services

Lastly, none of this would have been possible if it weren’t for Peter Sachs. I met Peter probably about 5 years ago at the LOB in Hartford where we were going to be speaking before a legislative committee on the new drone laws being proposed by the FAA and how it would affect the state. Peter is also on the security team at Hopkins and recommended me to the communications department in the first place. Now the circle is complete… 


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