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By Olivia Schneider

It is always a fun spectacle for college and university students to see the Google Maps car zipping around campus. Soon, students might be seeing drones flying around, too; not for Google’s use, but for the advertising of their higher-education institution.
Advertising photographer Pat O’Connor visited the Duffy Academic Center on Oct. 17 to take photos of the College’s news outlets, ‘SkyNews’ and ‘The Summit.’ He brought along his drone camera.

“I like it. In the fall it’s a great way to shoot scenic photos,” O’Connor said.

The drones started out as a toy for O’Connor, but he quickly incorporated them into his work.

“Helicopters are about $1,000 an hour to rent,” he said, and the drones have proved to be a cost-effective alternative, mimicking the effect a helicopter can have.

Before the President Barack Obama’s administration began popularizing the term ‘drone strike’ back in 2009, many people might have thought the devices were used for space missions or police investigations. But during the first five years of his presidency, President Obama launched over “390 covert drone strikes,” according to ‘The Bureau of Investigative Journalism.’

As President Obama’s “weapon of choice,” according to ‘The Huffington Post,’ the U.S. drone program has taken some heat lately, being criticized for creating a ‘war by drones.’

John Oliver, host of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight” examined the U.S. drone program and the effects it has in the Middle East during his Sept. 28 show.

“When children from other countries are telling us that we’ve made them fear the sky, it might be time to ask some hard questions,” he said.

Taking into consideration what Oliver and others have noted about the devices, O’Connor said he is careful when using his drone camera.

Located out of Central Massachusetts, the advertising photographer said sometimes the camera drones are misused, even in his line of work.

“You have to think about privacy,” he said. O’Connor listed insurance as another potential issue.

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