Everytime you see the amazing, sweeping landscape shots in movies and television; you know an aerial photographer had to take them. These highly talented individuals brave incredible altitudes or pilot advanced drones that allow them to capture the breathtaking, birds-eye shots that we take for granted.
Luke Bakhuizen is one of these adventurous spirits and has an impressive portfolio of past work having undertaken drone photography for Tourism Australia and Sony.
We asked Luke some questions about his background and experience with aerial photography.
How did you get started in photography and filmmaking?
My father was an artist, so I’ve always had an interest in art and photography. At the age of 13, I bought my first DSLR camera and used it to photograph everything from wildlife on my African safaris to my travels across Europe.
One of my biggest interests in life has always been aviation and along my journey to become a commercial pilot and paraglider pilot I used my camera to capture the views from above. This was long before drones and every image from above had a different perspective and a wow factor that engaged my following over social media and inspired me to pursue filmmaking and photography as a career.
Your most used equipment?
Apart from my camera and trusty action cameras my most used piece of equipment would be my DJI Mavic 2 Pro. The image and video quality pared with the compact travel size allows me to use it on almost any trip!
Your top travel destinations? Your travel essentials?
South Africa, Japan and Italy are some of the most picturesque and unique countries I have visited! Travel essentials? – Bose noise cancelling headphones, DJI Mavic 2 and my trusty paraglider.
How did you grow on social media and what are your tips?
I persisted to capture as many unique perspectives as possible, I love creating something that has never been seen or done before. Before I uploaded anything to my social channels I made sure that it had some sort of wow factor and I would be happy with the content on my profile for years to come. I had the approach of quality not quantity for my social channels and never uploaded something that I wasn’t 100% happy with, resulting in plenty of video and photo edits that have never been uploaded.
After tagging similar Instagram pages and relevant hashtags I started to get noticed and with the assistance of large profiles with millions of followers reposting my content such as @australia, @queensland I started to build a following.
My advice to others is, try to be unique, capture what you love, be a perfectionist and most of all persistent! You will start to get noticed and most of all enjoy what you do along the way.
How do you edit your content and how long does it take you?
I edit all my content on the Adobe CC apps; Lightroom and Premier. I enjoy the easy to use and well-built products Adobe creates. For photos I usually spend 30 mins – 1 hour playing around and for short 60 second Instagram videos, it can take anywhere from 1-2 days before I am happy with the final video. I know this is longer than most spend editing, but I am a perfectionist and keep adjusting things till I am 100% happy.
This normally takes forever and drives me crazy but in the end it pays off!
How have you managed to work with large brands like Tourism Australia and Sony?
I was contacted by Tourism Australia to produce content for them as they liked the style of the content they reposted of mine. I obtained the contract to promote Sony’s 4K action cam through my agency Born Bred Talent who have worked alongside me to reach out to relevant brands.