Tell us your story. How did you get started in the drone industry and when did that happen?
I actually find it funny as to how I started my drone journey... My kids and I bought my husband a drone (MJX Bugs 2) on Father's Day 2018. After flying it himself ever so briefly, he asked me if I wanted to fly it. Both of us read the manual and even watched youtube videos on how to fly this drone, but never had experience or full knowledge. Knowing that the drone's technology was limited, it wasn't enough to stop me from trying to fly it. I had taken the drone outside on a windy day, and could not control the drone as it drifted with the wind and lost its signal range. Ever since then, it took me months to gather my confidence back and I actually never had planned to fly again. Months later, incredible landscape shots captured from above, had caught my eye. On instagram and youtube, footages and shots of incredible places, inspired me to try flying again. Seeing shots from Sydney's North and Eastern Coastline, as well as places I never had thought to go to in my own state, got me motivated in creating a little bucket list of locations I must venture and explore. I've always been so passionate about photography, but had never thought technology would have taken my passion to the next level. Fortunately, my phone had an idea of what I wanted, and had pop ups advertising DJI's new drone at that time. In February 2018, I got my hands on the Mavic Air and that is when I officially started flying. Having all DJI's safety features, more knowledge and awareness made me more confident as a novice drone pilot. I've also made friends along this journey, meeting to fly and share insights, had honestly, made this experience enjoyable and rewarding. Recently, my partner had gifted me the DJI Mavic Pro 2 and we're looking to capture and produce beautiful images and videos together. It is definitely unreal to see how far the drone industry has come, and I cannot wait to explore some more of this incredible world!
Tell us about your company/work/organization and your position.
I'm currently working in the field of health, working as Disability Support Practitioner at Cerebral Palsy Alliance aiming to improve the lives of people with Disability. I'm also in training to be a paramedic set to graduate next year in 2019, and had never thought that my life of drones can create another path for me. As a side job to being a mother, full-time work and studies, I do photography sessions and tours. I am also excited as I'm currently in the works of launching my website and online store for aerial prints.
What kind of drone(s) do you fly and what's your favorite thing about it?
Currently, I fly the Mavic Pro 2 and the Mavic Air. As my first drone, the Mavic Air was a brilliant flying machine and it taught me how to fly confidently. It was light and compact, and the quality of images it had produced was really great. The Mavic Pro 2 produces much more detailed pictures with its housed 20 megapixel sensor camera is easily the reason why I love it. The smart modes and motion sensors is also my favourite thing about the Mavic Pro 2. Not only does it have side sensors, but they also added top and bottom sensors to assist in tight spaces and upward movement. The smart modes are also a serious addition to capturing more cinematically.
Have you learned any valuable lessons being in the drone industry you can share with our female drone community?
1. The best time to capture stunning high-quality shots is during the golden hour of sunrise and sunset. Take advantage of the natural soft lighting, highlights and shadows, and you get that warmth glow
2. Don't forget to apply the rule of thirds to ensure that your shots are well-balanced and perfectly composed.
3. ND filters help minimise exposure while preserving quality and colour as much as possible. I used Polar Pro ND Filters.
4. Remember to shoot in RAW which allows you to make more than just basic adjustments.
5. Utilise google earth to identify potential locations. 6. Never stop exploring!
What is your most memorable drone flight?
My most memorable drone flight was in Bali capturing those magnificent coastline formations on Nusa Penida Island, beautiful architectures (Handara Gate), beaches and rice terraces. My tour guide/driver had seen me fly and was so keen in trying it. I gave him a run down of what he needed to know, and with guidance, he took off like a pro, manoeuvring the Mavic Pro 2 so cinematically! I was so proud of the quality of his drone footage and the edit and showcased his aerial work. Bali has so much to offer, and what I loved most was the people in it. :)
What would you say to women and girls about the drone industry to spark their interest in getting involved?
Drone photography is on the rise, and it currently stands a male dominated industry. The popularity of mesmerising aerial photography continues to grow and so does the many opportunities. My new goal is to inspire and motivate other women to get involved in the drone industry and show the world a window for more female-driven content. Female droners are rare, but I know that women have so much talent to offer to this world.
What excites you most about more women joining the drone industry?
I believe that women in the drone industry are incredibly talented and they frequently offer support to one another. Some women who I've met and became friends with along this drone journey are Charlene Nunn (fellow WWD Ambassador), Thavy Tra and Elizabeth Lassithiotakis (to name a few), are incredibly talented women from Sydney, Australia that continuously produce breathtaking content. We fly together and constantly learn from each other. These women give me confidence and inspiration. I also believe that the more women who join the industry, means that we help to eradicate public perception and create equal opportunities for both men and women.
Is there anything else you would like our readers to know about you?
Remember to always enjoy what you do, find new perspectives, challenge your creativity and continuously grow! :)
I'm Emjeii Beattie, 28 year old drone enthusiast from Sydney, Australia.
Follower her work on Instagram: @emjeiiamira