Pilot Spotlight: Interview with WWD Ambassador Jody Johnson
Tell us your story. How did you get started in the drone industry and when did that happen?
I have been flying drones since 2011 or so however once I saw my friends video post on Facebook (in 2013) with a camera mounted drone, I knew at that moment that I "needed" to have one. He was kind enough to direct me to DJI where I purchased my first camera drone which was the Phantom 2 Vision Plus.
Tell us about your company/work/organization and your position.
My favorite thing to do with my drones is to capture memorable scenes from above. To me, it is like capturing an entire even as a whole story. With that said, I fly for fun and teach others to do the same. I created my name "GlideByJJ" so that people can follow my videos on social media.
What kind of drone(s) do you fly and what's your favorite thing about it?
DJI all the way! I have the Phantom 2, Phantom 3 Pro, Inspire 1 and Mavic Air. I like the Air for the portability, the Phantom 3 Pro because I am very use to the controls and it handles like a dream, and the inspire because it is cool to watch soaring through the air and can withstand a bit of wind better than the others.
Have you learned any valuable lessons being in the drone industry you can share with our female drone community?
I have learned that it is beneficial to educate others as to how drones work and to be very open when approached in public by curious by standers. I am always happy to share my screen provided I can safely do so. It is always great to see the surprised and amazed look of someone's face when they see the beauty from above for the first time. It also helps them to realize there is little detail seen from a drone when it comes to identifying people regarding privacy concerns.
Whether its from a creative, commercial or humanitarian perspective, tell us about your most memorable drone flight you have piloted thus far.
My most memorial flight was near the demolition site of a psychiatric hospital called Greystone Park in June 2015. I was flying around taking it all in when the project supervisor came out to ask me about my drone. Not too excited to most people, however the fact that we now live together with our children makes this my most memorable flight.
What would you say to women and girls about the drone industry to spark their interest in getting involved?
I would suggest to anyone who is interested in getting into drones or the drone industry to learn the rules first. Female or male, it is so important to know what is legal when flying. Unfortunately some people have negative impressions on drones, however if we all do our part to fly responsibly and help others along the way we can get an overall more positive vibe going.
What excites you most about more women joining the drone industry?
I am happy to see more and more women entering the drone world. When I just started flying 4-5 years ago all of the meet ups were made up of men. Anytime I had my drone in the air and there was a man by me, strangers would walk up and start asking him questions rather than thinking to ask me (the drone pilot). It finally seems like people are starting to realize that there are women who not only fly drones, but are pretty good at it ;) I believe my editor and I were the only all female team to win the NYCDFF. There is still a lot of men but it's inspiring to see how many women have since made names for themselves in the industry.
Is there anything else you would like our readers to know about you?
I simply enjoy flying and creating in my own way. It thrills me to put my stories together how I see them and to take photos that make me feel good. Not everyone wants to see a rowboat stuck on the edge of a still lake and a waterfall but to me, that's (my) art.
My name is Jody Johnson. I started flying (DJI) camera mounted drones in early 2014. I have always been a bit of a tech nerd and wear the name proudly. I have enjoyed filming local happenings, new construction, old demolition etc. My excitement for taking aerial photos has given me something new to feel passionate about.
I am grateful to all those who have found and followed me on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and other social media platforms. I truly appreciate all of the kind comments and look forward to posting more unique angles to my pages.