Gavin Pickford Interview
Recently featured as a top 25 best drone photographer, Gavin Pickford (@gavman.18) is an up and coming aerial talent located in South Africa. He uses a DJI Phantom 2 and GoPro mount to capture incredibly detailed and bright coastline pictures (that means we all have no excuses!) We’re big fans of his, and reached out to him for an email-based interview, which he was kind enough to grant immediately. The following paragraphs are excerpts from our correspondence…enjoy!
How did you get into aerial photography?
“A friend of mine had a drone and I flew it once and knew straight away I wanted to buy one. I was always fascinated with how the landscape looked from above, so I found a cheap Phantom 2 and got a loan GoPro and started flying.”
What motivates you to create? What excites you about using drones specifically?
“I’m a landscape photographer and I love how the landscape changes from place to place, and I was fascinated with how it would change from above. I enjoy seeing places I’ve been to before and how different they look from the sky.”
How is the drone community in South Africa? Is it easy to collaborate with others or are you more of a lone wolf?
“There is a growing community of drone pilots out here now, I have many friends who have bought drones and I think it’s quite easy to collaborate with them, I just live outside of Cape Town so I’m more of a lone wolf you could say, hahaha.”
What do you do differently from other drone photographers?
“I’m not really sure what,if anything, I do differently, haha, I just find interesting coastlines or patterns and shoot them. I always try frame the pic as I am flying to make it easy when I edit.”
Why do you think people are attracted to your work specifically?
“I think it comes down to editing as well, I think I have an appealing style of edit that attracts peoples eye to my account on Instagram. I try be very consistent with my edit and colours so that the whole account looks good, as well as each pic individually.”
Who/what are some of your inspirations?
“My main inspiration is Gab Scanu @gabscanu ,his account is killer, he is the reason I tried to keep my account looking the same on each pic, consistency is key. There are a few other guys from all over the world that I get inspiration from, my friend Shawn Ogulu @shawnogulu from Durban, Arran Witheford @arranwitheford from England, Tobias @airpixels from Iceland, and I’ve been following Dylan Schwartz @dylan.schwarz for years now, he takes some of the best aerial shots around America, plus there are a few more that inspire me.”
Do you set out to accomplish anything specific when you do a shoot?
“When I go and shoot I normally have an idea of what I want to capture from that location and sometimes I get more than I planned on, hahaha.”
Do you have any tips for anyone curious about getting into aerial photography?
“I’m not really sure what to say, hahaha. Look, I love seeing the world from a different perspective so all I can say is if that interests you too, then go buy a drone, but always be aware of the drone laws in your country, some are very strict, like here in South Africa, and be careful and responsible.”
Any big projects coming up that we can look forward to?
“I don’t really have any projects I am working on or planning, I really only fly as a hobby and to get content for my drone account on Instagram, which I started a year ago as a fun account, and it took off over the last few months.”
Many thanks to Gavin for a candid interview…such a nice guy! Best of luck to him in the future, we’re sure he’s destined to keep growing his craft.
You can connect with Gavin and learn more about his aerial photography work on social media: