About Robert Hoops
I’m Robert, an award-winning photographer, cinematographer, and FAA certified drone pilot.
I was a creative kid. As a child I spent hours in my room drawing my own comics or taking artsy fartsy photos of my action figures on disposable cameras. In high school, I rode the line between artist and theatre kid. I could draw and paint very well form a very young age, but in high school I discovered my love for theatre; I became passionate about writing plays and bringing a creative idea to life in the physical realm that was the stage. It felt powerful to transform myself or someone else in that space to convey a creative idea. I didn’t know it then, but this would influence my approach to photography as an adult.
After a brief stint in art school, I went to college to study theatre. As a student I became a successful playwright; I loved the process of drawing up concept sketches for characters, sets, and costumes and seeing my ideas come to life as I directed actors on stage. After earning my degree, I struggled with my career immediately out of college. I didn’t take that leap of faith to work in theatre full time. I worked in technology by day and helped indie film makers or created art as a hobby by night.
After a few years, I began dreaming up ways to bring my drawings and ideas to life in new ways. I began to work with photographers in setting up conceptual photoshoots based on my concepts; much like theatre, using people and the space they inhabit to create art became a deeply satisfying passion. Over the next couple of years, I taught myself the fundamentals of digital photography. Now nearly a decade later, I’ve won an award or two here and there, and my skill as a photographer and cinematographer leveraged my career transition from working in tech support to working in digital marketing as a content creator and brand strategist.
I earned my Remote Pilot Certification from the FAA at the request of my marketing director at the time. I was working as a social media manager and the department had purchased an old drone before the FAA passed the commercial pilot law. Earning that certificate and freeing up an entirely new canvas to explore- the skies- became my proudest adult accomplishment.
My very first drone video went viral. How did I do this? By setting myself apart. Oh, and playing lots of videogames. Just, so, so many videogames. Let me explain.
When I earned my pilot’s license, I immediately fell in love with the ability to capture images anywhere I could imagine- hundreds of feet in the air, hovering over water, up close and personal with some of Kansas City’s most iconic landmarks, and so on. I wasn’t satisfied with simply flying high to get the typical bird’s eye view. My passion became skillfully flying through risky obstacles to capture details of places and things that would otherwise be inaccessible.
When the Missouri River flooded just weeks after earning my license, I cut my teeth in flying around things like submerged power lines, tree branches, and light poles to capture the smaller details; the real human elements of the disaster. I felt that intimate shots of flooded playgrounds and basketball goals were more compelling than an impersonal landscape shot hundreds of feet in the air away from the damage. This perspective struck a chord with viewers, and my first edited video was picked up by international news providers and broadcast on The Weather Channel.
I’ve continued to approach drone photography and cinematography this way– with the eye of an artist and the skill of a kid who’d grown up playing a ton of videogames. See? I told you I’d explain.
With me, you can expect the same with your projects. Creative angles. Dynamic flight maneuvers. Memorable details. Rock solid video editing. Award winning photography. You want your project to be memorable. To compel. To stand out. That’s why I’m here. Let’s talk.
AWARDS AND CREDENTIALS:
The Pitch’s Best of KC Nominee: 2020- Best Photographer (Artistic), 2016- Best Photographer for Hire
The Webby Awards Honoree: 2019- General Website Redesign (Visual Content)
The Missouri School Public Relations Association: 2016- Best Video Over 10 Minutes
RAW Kansas City: 2013- Best Indie Photographer in KC, People’s Choice Award
I’m certified by the FAA to fly drones commercially.
BRAND AND SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGEMENT:
I'm a seasoned digital marketing and social media/brand manager, and I've been copywriting for nonprofits for years. I breathe life in to brands and organizations by writing with a distinctive brand voice and engaging personality. Furthermore, I create on-brand visual content optimized for each social platform that adheres to a strict, instantly recognizable visual aesthetic.
Brands and organizations I've managed social or contributed copywriting/content for include NorthPoint Development, Park University, S.D. Strong Distilling, SocialHeart, RiverNorth District KC, The North Kansas City School District, and Cancervive KC.
Brands I've worked with through my role as a social media manager include The Kansas City Chiefs, The U.S. Military, The National World War I Museum and Memorial, The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, and 96.5 The Buzz.
Other stuff about me: I love Kansas City, wellness is super important to me, I’m a pop culture junkie, my jam is neopsychedelic rock, and I’m a family man with two literal majestic archangels disguised as children.
Find me on Instagram at @roberthoopskc for visual art and lifestyle content, and @hoopsphoto for photography/drone stuff.