Say no to DJI

I’m a drone pilot, addicted to flying, editing and producing drone content. It’s been 6 years and this week I’ve decided to sell all my DJI drones and stop using them. It is not easy to Say no to DJI. But it’s like Dumbledore says there will come a time when we have to decide to do what is right instead of what is easy.

Just do it. Why? Because I said so. And I know what I am talking about. Actually I don’t know anything you can’t read on the web. But I do know a-lot about flying drones. And DJI’s monopoly over our airspace. So here’s my story. And here is information to support it. Down below at the link

What the drone lady knew

The information they gather is extremely precise – I have no idea how much I’ve handed over to the the Chinese Government. I feel like a traitor. Because the Chinese Government don’t mean well towards the USA. And they just took over the $85 Billion military Christmas gift Joe Biden left in Afghanistan. And are pushing their military authority as far as they can. They are not at ‘war’ with us in any obvious way. But even the simplest mind amongst us knows China’s intentions are not peaceful.

In 2016 she was so proud to get her FAA Part 107 license. And flying drones became a serious addiction. DJI were the first company I and everyone else began to use. GoPro started something with the Karma and I loved it. Since the controller was made so well, the GoPro’s that were carried on it were regular Hero7’s and it all seemed to be going the right direction with two drone companies in that space.

But we all realised something was wrong when the awesomeness of the ‘free market economy’ in the drone space was squashed and seemed to die in it’s infancy.

What alternatives were there? Has it ever been possible to say NO to DJI?

Back Ground. Real Estate Agents and Marketing companies all began to want drone footage. In 2016 it was on fire. I jumped in deep and successfully. Never looked back. Florida Keys Drone Pros was born and started to rock the area.


The worst thing is you know it is wrong. Giving all your information to the Chinese company Dai Jing Innovations and you know they have to give over everything to the Chinese Government. And who then have access to all this footage you’ve made. I felt like I was being a spy for the Chinese Government. I always knew when I was forced to do the first ‘unlock geo zone’ that this whole drones in the USA being controlled by a company a foraging company and government, was WRONG on two main levels.

  1. EVENT – representatives of Florida government and news entities doing a drone shoot of a big haul out of debris from Hurricane Irma.
  2. GOAL – to launch the drone and film the haul out. I have an ‘unlock authorisation’ from China, already. But the unlock application was not working. I had to talk to someone in China, via email, of course, to get the thing unlocked and allow me to fly over the site of the trailer being pulled up out of the canal at Key By The Sea near marathon International Airport.
  3. EVIDENCE – the representative was interested in what I was doing and asked why it was not able to get closer. I explained the Chinese have control of our airspace to the point that they can put a geo-fence that restricts the movement of the drone to the millimetre.
  4. CONCLUSION – after that frustrating experience where we finally got the drone flying in the right area, I realised it was NOT ok to use drones made in China, that could gather this much information from citizens and entities within the USA. For starters the personal information exchanged in order to get the drone flying is absolutely reasonable if it is a US company. But to give Chinese sovereignty in the USA by handing over my drivers license, all my personal information is just not acceptable. It should not be required. But I did it because it is hard not to Say no to DJI when there is little alternative.
  5. AWAKENING – Not long after my first year of flying, NOAA & FWC stopped using drones to map and track for research. I only heard this from a friend who had been using my skills to monitor re-growth of an area of critical concern in the Dagny Johnson State Park.

Fast forward to 2021 and I just ordered my first EXO drone. I have NO expectations of this learning curve being simple, or easy or intuitive. Simply because I’ve been through DJI’s convoluted systems. And believe me they are convoluted.

I’ve learned, from years of practice not to expect streamlined user experiences. I stay with it because I love making drone footage and flying drones. I love the licensing and the FAA knowledge tests and being one of a handful of drone women making a living with this shit.

But the end of my relationship with Da Jiang Innovations starts now. Simply because I don’t trust a company with those kinds of feelers inside our country.




Chinese-Made Drones in US Are Spying on Us. Congress Must Put an End to This.

Charlotte Y. Santomero  John Venable  / April 15, 2021

Cybersecurity experts have found that drones made by the Chinese manufacturer DJI—a popular brand in the United States—have collected private information from users without their permission or knowledge. Pictured: A DJI Inspire 1 quadcopter drone. (Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)


Charlotte Y. Santomero

Charlotte Santomero is a recent history and Russian graduate from UCLA and a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation, where she focuses on cybersecurity.

John Venable

John Venable, who served 25 years in the Air Force, is a senior research fellow for defense policy at The Heritage Foundation.

It’s a basic concept of national security: Don’t invite a hostile nation to imbed its gifts into the innermost sanctums of your society. 

That was true long before the Trojans wheeled the Greek’s gift of a horse into the city of Troy some 3,000 years ago, and it is no less true today. Still, like so many lessons from history, we are learning it again with Chinese drones.

Unmanned aircraft systems, better known simply as “drones,” are used much more commonly throughout the U.S. than one might expect, and are now essential assets for the military, law enforcement, emergency services, infrastructure, and especially agriculture.

In the last few days of the Trump administration, the president signed an executive order designed to prevent U.S. taxpayer dollars from being used to procure drone technology that is produced by foreign adversaries. The president was essentially saying, “Don’t give our enemies the keys to our kingdom, and if you already have, take them back.”

And yet, the Biden administration may disregard the magnitude of this threat and move to revoke that executive order and its commonsense approach to security.

In recent years, the number and type of drones flown by the government, industry, and the general populace have exploded, growing from 2.5 million to 7 million in just the last five years.

When combined with the accompanying advances in camera and other sensor technology, the amount of information drones can amass has grown exponentially. These systems can now collect and transmit terabytes of data, including images of people, buildings, and critical infrastructure that are caught in those frames, tagging the locations of everything they capture with the incredible fidelity of GPS.

The issue lies not so much in the information the drones collect, but in the fact that images and data collected by well-meaning Americans can then be transmitted unknowingly to hostile entities and governments. This introduces a large and largely unknown security risk.

The vast majority of drones owned and operated in the United States are manufactured by Chinese corporations, the largest of which is Da-Jiang Innovations, or DJI, as it is more commonly known in North America. Many of those drones are being employed by federal, state, and local agencies and departments in and around some of the most critical activities and infrastructure we possess.

It is important to remember that all companies in China are required by law to give the Chinese Communist Party access to all of their information, despite any disingenuous protests to the contrary. That means that Chinese technology is anything but secure, and its employment by government agencies presents a risk to our national security.

One ominous example is DJI’s gift of 100 Chinese-made drones to law enforcement and emergency service agencies throughout the U.S. to monitor social distancing and public interactions during the COVID-19 outbreak. This overtly generous gift placed those drones in our heartland, and they are now being employed in ways that are eerily similar to the way they are flown in the totalitarian state of China—all the while collecting terabytes of images and data.

And there is little question where the data and images collected by those DJI drones and their supporting systems are going.

Last year, two different cybersecurity firms, one American and one French, reverse-engineered DJI applications. Both firms found that the apps collected an individual’s private information without their permission or knowledge and transmitted that data back to the developers in China. 

The connective tissue between those Chinese developers and the Chinese Communist Party, coupled with that government’s duplicity, present an insidious threat—one that elements of our government have thus far received with open arms.  

This goes beyond the concept of a Trojan horse in that the Chinese have wooed U.S. government entities into doing their collection for them. It is the equivalent of banks asking known thieves to design and build their vaults. For the sake of the security and continued prosperity of this nation, the link must be broken.

President Joe Biden should not just endorse the Trump administration’s executive order on drones, but should also encourage Congress to include its provisions of that order in the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act. This is wake-up call for America, and we can’t afford to miss it.

Have an opinion about this article? To sound off, please email and we will consider publishing your remarks in our regular “We Hear You” feature.  

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Nada Khalaf-Jones photography and film maker

Hi I’m Nada Khalaf-Jones. I am a female a mother a career scuba instructor and journalist – live in the Florida Keys and make a living as an independent photography and film maker, drone pilot and creative content editor.

I have days that I so totally struggle to believe in myself. But I always take that self doubt and make it into content. Or go run a 5K.

business, real estate and wedding films from key west to key largo

I’m found photographing in nature, constantly. I can be wherever you are. Book $125 portrait 30 minute packages for September 1 – December 2021. We love to film our sessions, and edit so fast you’ll have shared the film before the photos are even edited.

WEDDING CHICKS – not the other guys! Everyone needs a ‘seal of approval’ I got mine. By putting me on their website it exposes me to multiple clients: brides and grooms. Wedding Chicks has me verified as a pro at what I do. This removes the fear factor somewhat. And since they’ve verified I’m a vendor with great credentials it helps sort out the information too.

Wedding Chicks Think This Looks Fabulous!

Searching for Nada Khalaf-Jones Photography does not happen alot. But Florida Keys wedding photographer or family photographer – I have a chance of popping up.

So I have been working on promoting what I do, locally, via the Key Largo Chamber of Commerce and The Islamorada Chamber of Commerce. As well as my own social media accounts.

We Immediately Share Good Photography & Film Work

Drone Photography & Drone Video

As a professional journalist and scuba instructor turned photographer and film maker (drone too) I know you personally are all film makers and photographers.
So why not harness that everyone is goid at this edge? Giving my clients help with their skills to learn to do it themselves. I think there is plenty more creating we can do if we work smart and stay creatively flexible. And team up. Crowd sourced weddings are my new drive.

Crowd Sourced Films – Social Sharing Film Work

We’re excited about this. These social films should also interest family portrait, seniors and other business photographic clients too.

Behind the scenes is sooooo hot right now. BTS they call it. So, why not give that option to clients. And I personally want to make it all more affordable for the brides and grooms. Since money is always a challenge to come by.

Wedding Photographer & Wedding Film Maker

Wedding Chicks Think You Look Good!

Wedding film wedding photography – we do consider them both to be equally beautiful and effective!

Wedding film – when the front row of the wedding party guests are all holding their phones in portrait mode filming at 4K60fps what can you say? Except GO FOR IT! Let me help you:)

Crowd Sourced Wedding Film

YES! To Crowd Sourced Wedding Films!?

We offer the option for guests who want to film to use our tripod and phone mount.

$125 to rent the kit – includes the tripod, standard sized smart phone mount which can be angled – a shade. Set to 4K60FPS. Most are stabilized so shake is reduced.

Why? Well that way your guests can relax and enjoy while the phone does the work.

WHY NOT? I see no limits here.

$275 to rent the GoPro & SD Card kit – includes the tripod, the mount which can be angled – a shade and a 32GB SD Card you take with you. Set to 4K60FPS or slower motion like 120FPS

Why? Well that way your guests can capture you in GoPro’s super sharp and ultra wide angle look! They are uber stabilized too! Shake is minimal.

Social Content Film, Photo, 1 Blog

Social Content Film, Photo, 1 Blog

FILM 60 / 15 / 5 seconds

We Take Up To 4 Hours – We Get In Your Business. We SEO research you. We produce your 1 minute full film, 5 second film, 15 second film.

These are your Social Content Films. DONE

PHOTO 25 Branding / Product / Behind The Scenes

We shoot photo. Either during, same day following film shoot or we take your product to our studio. We Hashtag & Keyword you. We brand, and deliver finished product.

These are your Social Content Photos. DONE


BLOG for your wordpress and/or google my business website.

We did your SEO RESEARCH, we did some hashtag and some keyword research.

Now we mix the Social Content Film, Photo, Blog with the SEO, HASHTAGS, KEYWORDS


We are former journalists. We write blogs all the time. We write a blog post for you. We add your hashtags and keywords and optimize the images.

We make your content ready, shape, quality, resolution, licensed music – for social sharing.


Digital delivery within 10 days. Delivered by downloadable link. Stored securely for 10 yrs. Edits charged at fixed hourly rate.

GO STRAIGHT TO THE TOP – START BY USING ONE single social media platform: IG, FB, LINKEDIN, Gettr, Snapchat, TikTok, GoogleMyBusiness, Youtube, Pinterest.

ONCE YOU SEE THE ENGAGEMENT & HOPEFULLY THE CONVERSIONS – it takes your effort to do regular posting over many months.

SOCIAL CONTENT FILM, PHOTO across many platforms? You want content for a second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth social media platform?

Book Below – email or…check out our social presence and connect there:) always nice to get new likes and followers.


The cost of shooting and editing for the different social media platforms depends on which one.

GOAL – Converting leads! Establishing brand.


60 second 5 second 15 second branded story/film, 25 photos. 10 year secure gallery of downloads.

nada jones – create a wedding invite

Presenting a short blog by Nada Jones Weddings and Skybornvisual Films.

make your own postal & social wedding invite

Wedding drone film is so perfect for that amazing beginning we are all after! Our fave shot is this ‘pull back’ – check out more wedding shots at the film channel

Nada Jones Weddings on Vimeo

See this on PINTEREST

1) Gathering – Photographs You Can Make

Make the photos. Not a photographer? Oh yeah? Android & Apple iPhones are great for their smart portrait effects. Film clips too. Grab a sunset snippet or photo of some birthday flowers, bubbly and flowers, a mail box save it on your ‘notes’ on your iPhone.

Edit in Adobe Spark. Go thru a short list of shots you like. Make sure the coolers vibe together. Mail boxes are my new fave thing to photograph. SO I included them to imply ‘rsvp’ u are being invited’

Also the type and font and graphics in adobe spark makes it super clear what you are sending people. Also Adobe’s ‘gifs’ are great for flowers, weddings, birthdays, all calendar holidays.

Add the elements together in Adobe Spark and start mixing.

Simple. The ‘Korbel’ engagement photo shoot in Key largo cost the couple $275 for 3 hours. I kept a few photos, because I knew the colour would work. And, Korbel even loved it so much they shared on their Instagram account.

Then I found the mail box during a recent real estate photo shoot and film production. I mean who does not like antiqued copper with that oxidised look. It was the perfect background to put bright flowers onto to send the message.

Finally the wedding veil – tangle! I was a, not very good, second shooter at a wedding at Playa Largo, Key Largo. Improved quite a bit since then, I hope. But you can make your own, grab a gauzy piece of material and have a friend or sibling be the ‘bride’ and ‘groom’ This shot also looks fabulous in the middle of a busy road, city or at the mall. Get close up. Make sure you have light. How could you not use that? So. There you have it. Do it simple.

this wedding was at Playa Largo Resort, Key Largo – wedding veil’s easy to replicate.

2) Share With Adobe Spark, US POSTAL SERVICE

SHARE YOUR DESIGN INVITE BY EMAIL OR TEXT – so easy with web or app version of Adobe Spark. First duplicate and make different versions of your design, let’s say you want Pinterest size, Instagram story or post size, Linkedin Header or profile? You can do all that. Once you have your design complete. Then share directly from Adobe Spark’s creative dashboard or download tp your desktop or phone.

Share or save as a photo, gifs, text, colours, and hundreds of layouts in multiple formats and sizes – as a .png, .jpg. .mp4 they are trying (beta testing) and adding new formats all the time.

share a photo of your invite or design

share a mini film animation

share a design with photo, text and a 15 second video

send that by text or email

SHARE YOUR INVITE BY MAIL Using US Postal Stamps 2021

buy the ‘love’ stamp here

film for your birthday, wedding, real estate sale

Wedding Drone Film – You Need It!

Monstera Tropical Bouquet?

Wedding Flowers are so popular no matter what size wedding. There have been 100’s of different bouquets clutched by beautifully attired brides and grooms over this last year. Faves are definitely the Monstera Tropical Bouquet.

Behance – Creativity Without Compromise

Where all the Adobe Portfolio content goes. Nada makes photography and film endlessly. Like a constantly flowing creative stream she is well versed in content creation

Creativity & Content to market real estate investments, yacht sales, showcase vacation rentals, intimate or large weddings, engagements.

We love to share the story in epic wide action shots and up-close and personal details. Whether it is cinematic story or documentary. We are there.

Sadly. She is totally overwhelmed by the vast amounts and infinitely varied colors and shades of them on planet earth.

This creative totally understands why Vincent Van Gogh cut off his ear. Having spent 32 days trying to get the right color yellow. She feels for his pain.

Creativity Without Compromise

visit the creative space

We Make Films From Key West to Key Largo

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