A Calgary wedding photographer and videographer has used his creative eye to capture the city and its landmarks from views most of us have never seen.
Arshad Chaudhry, owner of Arshad Photography, has just released a drone documentary online called Why Calgary!
“This is a 99 per cent documentary based on drone shots and we want to show something unique,” said Chaudhry, who has been working as a professional photographer for 12 years.
The nearly seven-minute video was filmed over the months of August and September. Since the pandemic cancelled multiple weddings, Chaudhry used the downtime for the special project.
Chaudhry said the purpose of the video is to remind Calgarians, how beautiful the city is even during a crisis.
“Behind the scenes, the idea is hope. But I want to show the people, look how pretty our city is. After March when everything is under depression, businesses are under crisis…they look the city is still beautiful, go back, come back to work and do precautions, but we are still the same people.”
It wasn't easy to set up the project, Chaudhry says, adding it required multiple permits from the city to fly a drone. He said it took several weeks to get approval from the Calgary International Airport to use a drone to capture the Calgary Tower. His flight history was also scrutinized before he received permission.
Chaudhry said he hopes the video will be shared widely over social media to help promote the city.
According to Tourism Calgary, the city usually attracts 7.3 million visitors a year. Tourism is a $2.5 billion industry.
This year, the group is promoting the city to locals as more people have stayed closer to home.
“Sometimes we're so busy going somewhere for vacation, this year we really re-explored our own environment,” said Cindy Ady, Tourism Calgary CEO.
Ady said this summer, Calgarians even checked in to local hotels for a change of scenery. She expects people will continue to get outdoors.
“One of the things we've really seen in the ‘staycation’ that we've been offering, is people's return to nature, because they feel safe. So these beautiful pathway systems in the city have been heavily used, try and find or buy a bicycle anywhere right now and now we’re starting to see that transfer to winter.”
Ady said with one in 10 people making a living in the tourism industry in Calgary, its been crucial for people to support small businesses.
Chaudhry said his video is his way of giving back to the community.