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From Helicopters To Drones – The Successful Aerial Photography Career

Fiona Lake
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I can get a better job out of my professional gear in a helicopter, but of course there’s a lot of things that you can’t do. Autonomy is the prime thing for me with drones, because I’ve been taking photos for more than 30 years from the air, an aerial view isn’t a novelty for me, but the autonomyu is.  And I absolutelyl love the freedom of being able to go anywhere, anytime getting a drone out and taking photos.”

– Fiona Lake

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THis Week’s Key Question

“How does one create a successful long-term career in aerial photography?”

This Week’s Guests

Fiona Lake is a professional photographer based in tropical North Queensland. Fiona has more than thirty years experience in agricultural photography, and has become Australia’s most well-known outback photographer. She specializes in agriculture and the world’s largest cattle stations, and has taken aerial photographs from helicopters since 1988. 

Her multi-faceted business includes books, exhibitions and farm tours as well as commercial photography. Less than 2% of Australia’s fully licensed drone pilots are women, and Fiona is one of them. She runs drone masterclasses across Australia and more recently, in the US. Her Rural Drone Academy covers everything a drone pilot needs to know to fly safely, legally, productively and enjoyably.  In 2018, Chicago-based ‘Women and Drones’ named her as a ‘Woman to Watch in UAS’, along with nine other women from seven different countries.   In 2020, she was winner of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalist’s Photography Award.  She has also been recognized by the Queensland Government as a Community Digital Champion and one of the 100 Faces of Small Business

What We Learn

In this edition of the Drone Radio Show, Fiona talks about helicopter and drone aerial photography, what to look for in a drone training program, and she offers insights into a variety of aerial photography questions, most importantly, how one can develop a successful, long-term career in photography. 

Mentioned Links



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