Pine View’s 50th anniversary celebration would not be complete without a new aerial photo to hang in the front office. With the entire school forming the phrase “PV 50,” the special photo this year was taken by alumnus Jonathan Warren. Warren currently owns his own business, Suncoast Aerials, which specializes in drone photography, and he himself operated the drone during the school photo.
The business started nearly three years ago after Warren went on a road trip from Alaska to San Diego, Calif. in 2016 and documented his journey through drone footage. During this trip, Warren found his passion and began his business that same year. “I thought, ‘people love the drone whenever I bring it out, and I love flying it, so why not make my passion of flying into my own business?” he said. At the time, drones were a relatively new phenomenon.
Warren’s love for flying goes back to when he was still a student at Pine View after he moved from Manchester, England during seventh grade. “I used to fly remote control helicopters and airplanes out on the field [at Pine View], but drones were not even out yet. I didn’t know I was going to have a business, but I knew I liked to fly things,” he said.
During his time in high school at Pine View, Warren took the class TV Production with Mark Goebel, who still teaches at Pine View today, and remembers filming many different videos on campus.
Once Warren graduated from Pine View in 2010, he majored in Information Systems Management and Marketing at the University of Florida, with a minor in Entrepreneurship. As a drone operator and CEO of his own business, Warren has shot an array of different activities and events with his drones. “I have done weddings, boat shows, I have inspected cell towers for Verizon and AT&T. I have done roof inspections after hurricanes,” Warren said.
As drones become cheaper and more accessible, Warren plans to expand his business by hiring more pilots and showing how unique his company is. “Whenever I show people the drones, and the pictures and videos I take with them, people’s mouths just drop open. Many people are not aware just how much drones are capable of,” Warren said.
As for Pine View, Warren notes the primary differences from his time on campus to today being the addition of portables, as well as the new security fences on campus. “Pine View was fantastic to me, having that independence has helped me so much as a business owner,” Warren said.
Check out Warrens live video here