Pilot Spotlight: Interview with Athanasia Lykoudi


Company: Inva+Sla Location: Athens, Greece

Tell us about yourself.

I am a web and motion designer working in advertising, in Greece. I am passionate about technology and all things digital. My soft spot for photography and videography became even more prominent when I started flying drones in 2016. I like to mix all my skills to create work that I feel happy with.

What inspired you to begin flying drones and what made you want to enter the industry as a drone pilot?

It all started with a toy drone that my husband gave me as a gift, because he knew I really like gadgets. This featured a small camera, barely able to shoot anything of value. This gave me the incentive to try something more advanced, because I saw the potential this could have in terms of photography. I loved the new perspective and imagined being able to produce unique work through drones.

What were you doing before you started flying drones and what made you make the transition?

I have been working with video for many years already, but never really had the chance to shoot my own stuff. Drones seemed like a very nice opportunity to get into the game of shooting photos and video and become better at my job through understanding other people’s work. Turned out that I really loved flying and was eager to learn everything around it.

What drones are you currently flying and what drone accessories do you love?

I am currently flying the DJI Mavic 2 Pro and the Phantom 4 Pro. I never go anywhere without Polar Pro filters and one of the best extras I have is the DJI CrystalSky monitor. CrystalSky has really helped with the Phantom 4 Pro mainly, because it could handle decoding video so much better than my phone at the time. Apart from being a very bright monitor, it also doubled as a portable device I could use to review and backup footage when I could not bring a laptop with me. This happened in my trip to Greenland, and it was a lifesaver.

What is your favorite feature on your drone and why?

Waypoints. Hands down, waypoints is the best way to automate the camera movement when you want those really smooth cinematic shots.

What drone images are you proud of and why?

I am mostly proud of the imagery shot on the mountains of Western Greece. We decided to have a trip to the less tourist-friendly places in Greece. There were barely any places to rent or eat at, and we had to sustain ourselves by packing extra, but the view was so rewarding. Part of what makes drone flying worth it is exploration. We discovered quite a few places like that, which we wouldn’t have known otherwise.

Have you learned any valuable lessons from being in the drone industry that you can share with our female drone community?

Study and work for your passion, and it will reward you. Also, keep in mind that you don’t have to obsess over other people’s opinions. Do it because it makes you happy, not to appeal to other people. Beauty is subjective, and creativity is gender agnostic.

Whether it's from a creative, commercial or humanitarian perspective, tell us about your most memorable drone flight you have piloted thus far.

Flying in Greenland is something I will never forget. It was the most difficult place to fly a drone, and it required a lot of skill and patience to keep control of my quadcopter. There is strong magnetic interference near the poles, which causes all kinds of errors, mainly regarding the compass. I flew exclusively in ATTI mode and made sure to be as calm as possible while operating the drone.

What would you say to women and girls about the drone industry to spark their interest in getting involved?

There are so many uses when you get started with drones. You might find a new way to use them and create new kind of business. Feels like we have scratched the surface in a world of possibilities.

What excites you most about more women joining the drone industry?

Changing the stereotypes. I think that stereotypes we have grown up with have a lot to do with forming our interests when we are young. When more women decide to join this industry, they shift the balance of preference and opinions of young women. They make them see this industry is open to everyone.

Do you have any drone tips & tricks you can share with our audience?

Scout your locations and plan your shots. This way you will be more efficient when you get flying and not waste any batteries just observing the landscape.

What's the best way for our readers to get in touch with you?

Send a message to m.me/invasla

Is there anything else you would like our readers to know about you?

My work is available at http://invasla.gr

Athanasia is primarily a web and motion designer. Aerial filmmaking was a hobby turned part time profession. Along with her husband, she has formed Inva+Sla, a creative duo that specializes in aerial cinematography and photography. They have won many local and international awards with their work and are now a DJI content partners.

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