After a lot of work behind the scenes in recent months, PFK are proud to unveil our brand-new website. It's an exciting time for us, and our shiny…
After a lot of work behind the scenes in recent months, PFK are proud to unveil our brand-new website. It’s an exciting time for us, and our shiny new site is just a part of that.
Why the new site?
As technology moves forward and systems change, an old website can get slow and inefficient. To avoid this, a website should be updated every two to three years, which meant ours was due a makeover! When we reviewed our old website in the early stages of the revamp, customer feedback suggested that it wasn’t particularly user friendly or easy to navigate, so we took this opinion into consideration as we were keen to improve our clients’ experience when using our site. We also found that the age of the website was indeed slowing it down.
Our rebranding was introduced at the start of 2018, with new colours, fonts and logo. Our online presence is a massive part of our brand, so it was the perfect time for a new website with our new branding.
What is different?
The site branding has been updated to match our rebranding, and the design is also much more user friendly. The search function is now a lot easier to operate and everything else is a lot more information based, so you can find out much more than you could previously.
The ‘book a valuation’ button on our home page makes it even easier to arrange appointments online, which is a modern and useful alternative to ringing us up. Of course, we are still here at the end of the phone for anyone who would rather give us a call!
Each department now has their own mini-site – Estate Agency, Land Agency, Surveys, Planning Media Services and Investors. Each service having a separate area makes it much more straightforward for people to find exactly what they are looking for, while still having our services linked under the proverbial PFK umbrella.
The Investors’ site gives an insight into the corporate side, something our old website didn’t have at all. Using this to display things like information on shares, management frameworks and the year in review makes it easier for both current and potential investors to have essential information at their fingertips within seconds.
Who’s behind the change?
Over the last six months we have been closely working with Bert, an award winning, independently owned branding agency with studios in London, Madrid and Manchester. Each department has a representative who has worked alongside Bert to ensure the new website design works equally well for each different service we offer. From workshops in Manchester to meetings here in Penrith, our marketing team, department representatives and contacts at Bert have all been beavering away behind the scenes for a long time to get the new site off the ground and into the internet!
Behind the Scenes on a Drone Shoot, with Allen Williams
Here at PFK, we’re proud to have our very own in-house UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) pilot, Allen Williams, who provides us and others in Cumbria with fabulous media…
Behind the Scenes on a Drone Shoot, with Allen Williams
Here at PFK, we’re proud to have our very own in-house UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) pilot, Allen Williams, who provides us and others in Cumbria with fabulous media services. We sat down with him the other day and quizzed him on the ins and outs of a drone shoot, and all the other bits in between.
What things do you have to have in place before a drone shoot?
When a job comes in, the first thing to do is online research on the area to make sure it is legal and safe to fly. This involves a lot of searches on Google Images and Google Earth. I then check with the local ATC (Air Traffic Control) and also check if there have been any NOTAMS (Notice To Air Men) issued. These alert aircraft pilots of potential hazards along a flight route or at a location that could affect the safety of the flight.
How do you set up the drone shoot?
The first thing I do is a visual inspection of the drone to make sure there has been no damage in transit. I pay close attention to the delicate parts such as propellers, gimbal (which keeps the camera steady and level) and of course the camera.
Then I power up the drone to make sure all the vitals are working, such as the GPS lock, the IMU (inertial measurement unit) calibration and all the other sensors that aid the drone.
Once everything is fine, my spotter will have one final look around to make sure flight is safe. My spotter is usually the client, but sometimes a colleague will accompany me to a shoot and act as my spotter.
Then I will take off at low level to check all the controls are working as they should. You always remember your first commercial shoot, checking everything three times as the clients watches your every move!
How do you fly the drone?
The main flight controls, which are the yaw (which turns the drone on the spot), left-right, up-down and forward-backwards, are done via a handheld controller. All the other settings are done via an iPad, such as drone camera settings, gimbal settings and flight characteristics.
Sometimes the drone is flying one way and filming in another, so I have two live feeds on my iPad screen. One shows what the recording camera sees, and the other shows which way the drone is flying.
Do you have more than one drone?
Yes, I have two drones – which I have named Harry and Steve! I need two as they are used for different things. Harry, the main one, is better for general aerial photography and videography. Steve is a smaller drone, used for roof surveys as he can get into tight spaces.
How long does a typical drone shoot take?
I spend one to two hours in the office researching the area first. Then I will usually be on site for an hour if the client is just wanting still images, but video footage takes considerably longer. I then spend around one hour editing the images back in the office.
What type of drone shoots do you do?
As a licenced drone pilot, I do all sorts, from property photography, property film, aerial photography. I work alongside an award-winning wedding videographer and also conduct roof surveys for charted surveyors. There are a number of applications that drones can be used for! There is never a common drone shoot, as it can be different from day to day.
What is your favourite thing to shoot?
Weddings are my favourite shoots, as they are usually in stunning locations with breathtaking views, and these really add to the final wedding video I create. I love getting the opportunity to create an aerial film of someone’s special day.
Where is your favourite place to fly the drone?
Definitely anywhere with a view of the lakes! The Lake District is a beautiful place and I love photographing it from the sky.
How did you get into drone work?
From the age of 12 I was building and flying model aircrafts, and as technology evolved and cameras got smaller, I started attaching them to the undercarriage. Then I moved on to building multirotors (drones) which were able to carry larger payloads and were a lot more stable in flight than a traditional model helicopter.
I then started making drone film YouTube videos as a hobby, and started working commercially in 2013.
Do you have any advice for would be drone pilots?
It is an exciting profession to get into. If you enjoy photography and videography then being a UAV pilot is excellent. However, there are a lot of restrictions that the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) impose if you plan on using a drone commercially, which includes a flight exam and a written exam, and there is also a detailed operations manual that each commercial flight has to adhere to. But it’s well worth it!
Are drones safe?
The short answer is yes! If you’re following your operations manual there should be very little that can go wrong. Even in the unlikely event that the drone drops out of the sky, the damage is always limited as we never fly over built-up areas, roads, train lines or large groups of people.
Also, today’s drones are very sophisticated and have lots of built-in failsafes. These include sensors that can detect objects to prevent collisions, dual batteries just in case one fails, a return-to-home feature where, in the event of signal loss, the drone will fly back and land exactly where it took off from!
Check out the Allen Williams Media Services Instagram account @pfkmedia for stunning aerial photography and aerial videography of Cumbria and the Lake District, and exclusive behind the scenes clips.
Eden Animal Rescue are based in Newbiggin, near Temple Sowerby, and have been caring for animals since 1995. Each year the number of animals they take in gets higher, and…
Eden Animal Rescue are based in Newbiggin, near Temple Sowerby, and have been caring for animals since 1995. Each year the number of animals they take in gets higher, and their animals need you to help them be able to care for them, and find them new homes. PFK are supporting Eden Animal Rescue in the great work that they do, by funding an animal’s care until they find their new forever home. Nicola Hadfield and Harriet Simpson from PFK have been along to Eden Animal Rescue to catch up with Vicki and Jon who kindly showed them around, and we can introduce to you….
This is Ice, a most gorgeous Saluki Lurcher. He is a ten-month-old male, and has a super nature with people and other dogs.
Ice needs a new home……can you help? Whether renting or buying, PFK can help you find your new home too. Do get in touch for a friendly chat.
Eden Animal Rescue – 01931 716 114 PFK – 01768 862135
First Photo Credit: Jeff Ashton