Time for a Q&A this one is with Scottish photographer Charlotte Cunningham, I have been following her on Instagram for a while. I suggest you do the same (link to insta below)
Please tell me about how you got into the drone industry?
Up until about 4 years ago I really didn’t know drones were something the general public could buy. As soon as I saw you could buy one for photography I knew I had to have one.
What do you fly?
I’m currently flying a Mavic Pro. It’s so good for portability, I can take it away to work or into the hills with no problems for space in my bag. I would love a bit of a better camera for it but very happy with it for now.
What was your first drone?
My first drone was a Phantom 2. It was good but as I couldn’t see what the camera was doing or choose when to take photos I found it a bit limiting photography wise. It was great for learning how to fly though. Had a few crashes with it and learnt quickly.
What do you love about Drones and the drone industry?
I love all the technology that is coming through. It’s amazing to see how far things have advanced just in such a short space of time.
What do you dislike about the drone industry?
I feel a bit removed from the industry itself so I don’t really see any of the bad points.
Tell us about your current day job and how that relates to drones?
I work offshore as an ROV (remotely operated vehicle) pilot technician. It’s like an underwater drone. Its not just about the flying. It’s a very technical job and I love that part of it too. I suppose it goes hand in hand with flying drones.
Does your job give you time to go out with the drone alot?
Yes it does. I work a few weeks at a time then have a few weeks off. It gives me a lot of freedom to get out and about. I also get a chance to take my drone with me on the boats I work on and get some pictures of those.
On social media you are famed for photos of Scottish Castles by drone – what was your favorite to do?
I love this question. I have never been referred to as ‘famed’ before – not sure id put it like that but I’ll take it 😁. I never tire of seeing a castle from the air for the first time. They always look so cool and sometimes it’s unexpected to see the shape of it. They’ve all been great but I suppose my favourite might be one I did recently called Gylen Castle. It’s on a little island just off Oban. You have to get a ferry and then walk 2 miles to it. There are no cars on the island. I went over with my friends, it was a beautiful day and we were the only ones there. It was just spectacular. I feel like it is one of the those hidden gems that very few people go to.
Your favorite project so far? Or most satisfying shot?
This is a difficult one! I’ve really enjoyed everything I’ve done so far. I love finding things on the map I think might be interesting. Sometimes it can be a struggle to get to them like a 2 hour bike ride or something like that – these are perhaps the most rewarding ones. Since starting to take my drone to work I’ve been able to get some quite interesting shots of the boats I work on. I think they’re my favourite at the moment.
What new technology would you like drones to feature in the future..what is on your wish list if you like, your dream drone?
As, for me, it’s all about the photography I’d like to see something as small and powerful as the Mavic Pro with a much better camera.
Do you see yourself as a role model for women in the drone industry?
Not really at all. There are so many women out there doing cool things with drones. The U.K. drone collective and Amelia Dronehart Facebook groups are full of women doing great things.
If there was anywhere you could you could fly your drone with NO legal restrictions where would it be and why? Your fantasy flight if you like.
This is a great question and one I’ve put a lot of thought into and I’m pretty sure my answer has changed about 100 times since I first read it! It’s probably totally geeky but since most places on the planet have been photographed from the air and the fact it’s probably got the strictest regulations I would love to fly at a busy airport like perhaps Sydney. Sydney just so I can go to Australia but really it’s more any busy airport would be cool. Flying about amongst the planes would be fun. You could get some good photos and video.
Thank you Charlotte for taking the time to do the Q&A, today 23rd August 2018 we may all get our wish for a better camera on a DJI mavic.