Eagle Mountain, Utah
From a very young age, Mat was interested in “nerdy” things. He got his first camera from his grandpa when he was in elementary school. Playing Nintendo was always a pastime, and computers in the home became an even bigger influence. Mat’s family was the first on the block to have a computer in the home, starting with an Apple IIe, then DOS-based PC, Windows 3.1, and on. He got his very own computer at 16, which led to building his own PCs. Computers, technology, and gadgets would continue to be passions throughout Mat’s life, and he eventually found a career in software engineering.
In 2015 Mat was mesmerized when a friend posted videos soaring over the beaches of California using a Phantom 2 drone. Over the next year these videos continued to tempt him to purchase a drone for himself. He started small with a nano-quad. Then eventually received a larger, camera-equipped drone as a Christmas gift. Once he had a taste of what flying a real drone could be, he knew an upgrade had to be in his future. In the spring of 2016, he found a Phantom 3 Pro for a great price. The frustration from a two-week wait for delivery was only surpassed by the agonizing wait for the controller to charge. Once that bird was in the air, he was hooked.
Shortly after, he stumbled upon the Ask Drone U podcast and realized he could do more with his passion for flight. He took and passed the Part 107 certification the first day it was available, and was the second Part 107 pilot in all of Utah county. (The first beat him by 15 minutes.) This would mark the official launch of Mat’s business, Elevation Imaging. Mat started out doing as many DroneBase jobs he could find. This helped him gain experience with refining processes to make the low-paying DroneBase jobs worthwhile. Many emails and phone calls later, Mat started to land real estate jobs. Eventually, he turned his attention towards mapping, which let Mat lean into his more technical nature. He still enjoys the occasional real estate job, allowing him a creative outlet through his love for still photography.
At the first Drone U Fly-in in 2016, Mat won the “Investigative Dronin’” event and upon receiving the certificate was told he would be getting an invitation to the Drone U Elite program. This program would allow Mat to combine some of his favorite things: Training, working with and helping others, and, of course, flying drones. Since he began working with Drone U, Mat has helped many drone pilots, through one-on-one Flight Mastery trainings and in-person Mapping Boot Camps.