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Yellowhouse Aerial: capturing Canadian imagery using drones

The top of Fortress Mountain Ski Resort. Inside Edmonton's Rogers Place and Commonwealth Stadium. Oh, the places you’ll go as a drone pilot.

Yellowhouse Aerial, based in Calgary, Alberta, focuses on commercial and film aerial cinematography, working in Calgary and the surrounding area. The team is lead by Arden Shibley, co-owner and lead pilot, and René Michaud, co-owner and director.

Founded in 2016, Yellowhouse Aerial caters to two types of clients: businesses that need to create videos in order to showcase a project or to advertise their business, and film crews looking to add aerial shots to their productions.

Aerial shot of Calgary and the Bow River: the team at Yellowhouse Aerial knows all of the good spots to shoot around Calgary. This photo required direct coordination with NAV CANADA, the organization tasked with ensuring the day-to-day safety of Canadian airspace. 

From humble beginnings to new heights

René and Arden started working together in 2011. Both having a photography background, they quickly realized they had a great partnership and that they wanted to explore the business opportunity of using drones to capture images and footage of the local landscapes.

Focused on growing the business, Arden used his existing connections in the film industry to identify leads of companies looking for talent to shoot aerial shots.

A DJI Inspire 2, one of the systems used by Yellowhouse Aerial to capture cinema-grade footage in varying conditions.

The home team advantage

Being a Calgary-based business means having the appropriate certification and knowledge of the good local areas to film.

Yellowhouse Aerial's Arden Shibley (left) and camera operator David Copithorne on the job, stopping for a photo in between takes.

Getting online with a .CA domain

As the business plan was being solidified, Arden created the website and used the domain name, showing off the Canadian pride of the business with an exclusively Canadian domain name. Knowing the value of building a domain name portfolio, he also registered the .com (which redirects to the .CA).

The company’s website features what services they have to offer, examples of their previous work, contact information and references – important on any website but especially as your building credibility and brand recognition as a grassroots business.

Something their clients look for when searching online for an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) is a portfolio of previous work. Yellowhouse Aerial uses their site to show off their impressive footage (including the reel below) to give potential new clients a glimpse of what they can do.

How else did Arden and René get the word out as they grew their business? They started vlogging regularly, and engaging on Facebook and Twitter with a basic message: to get people thinking of what problems they could solve by including top-notch aerials in their advertising or production. They launched their website in March 2017 and by November 2017 visits to the site quadrupled. They built up a portfolio which now includes a wide variety of subjects: from footage for Black Summer, an upcoming Netflix show, to the local Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer, to providing aerial shots in the movie Dead Again in Tombstone, featuring Danny Trejo, well-known for his role as ‘Machete’.

Their domain name is the hub for this local growing business. It’s printed on business cards and brochures.

Advice for fellow Canadian entrepreneurs

The entrepreneurship journey is filled many wins and valuable lessons learned along the way. When asked what advice they would give to new entrepreneurs looking to get online with their business, Arden said: “Be open to learning and also teaching others. Share what you do and what you learn.”

Great Canadian businesses, projects and ideas start with a .CA domain name – if you’re looking to get online, reserve your domain name today: