DJI and National Geographic are partnering for an aerial photo contest — but photographers may not even need to own a drone to enter. The My Mavic Contest runs through October 31 on Instagram, but unlike other aerial photography contests, DJI is offering free two-week rentals of the Mavic Pro to randomly selected applicants.
The contest runs on Instagram — all photographers have to do is tag their shared photo with #MyMavicContest and #NatGeoTravel to enter. DJI says amateur and professional photographers alike are welcome to enter, as are first-time pilots. The contest is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada.
First-time pilots will have a bit easier time entering, thanks to DJI’s free drone rental program that runs through the end of the contest. The free rental offers two weeks with the DJI Mavic Pro. Because the rentals are free, demand is expected to be high, and DJI will randomly select from applicants who fill out the online form. The drones will be rented from local DJI stores.
National Geographic photo editors will select a short list of images from all the entries, with the top five winners to be announced on November 13. Each of the five winners will receive their own Mavic Pro to keep.
“We are very excited to work with National Geographic to help more people experience the fun of aerial technology and give them a different perspective of the world from above,” said Danny Zheng, vice president of marketing at DJI. “In addition to engaging photographers, the photo contest and rental program is a great way to encourage travelers and outdoor enthusiasts to unleash their creativity and expand the infinite possibilities of aerial photography.”
Several drone photography competitions give away new drone packages to the winners, but the drone rental program answers a sort of “chicken or egg” question — how do you win a drone in an aerial photo contest if you don’t yet have a way to take an aerial photo? The new contest and rental program could allow photographers who don’t yet own a drone the chance to win one to keep for good.
The Mavic Pro is one of DJI’s easiest drones to use for first-time fliers and also sports folding arms for more portability. It retails for just under $1,000.