It’s no secret that Australia has a booming drone industry, and nowhere is this more evident than in the Australian drone community. Indeed, Australia is home to a large community of drone operators. One such individual is Sébastien Bachellereau.
He is a passionate drone photographer and videographer, a husband, and a dad to two children (Lila, who is five, and Adrien, who is two years old). He owns SBDRONESESSIONS based in Sydney. Recently he received the award for first place at the Visions International Photo Awards in the seascapes category with his photo titled Ocean Lover, which you can see below.
In our conversation with him, we found out more about his work, the drone community in Australia, his plans and vision for the future, and more.
Sébastien’s Beginnings with Drone Photography
TDW: In your own words, who is Sébastien Bachellereau?
SB: I’m 35 years old and I’m originally from France. I moved to Australia ten years ago and now live with my own family in Sydney.
I used to work in 5* Hotels in Europe and in Australia. I’m in love with horse riding and I did a couple of competitions myself when I was younger. Now my big passion is flying my drone and capturing the ocean and natural landscapes and using surfers as subjects in an artistic way.
My journey flying drone started in early 2020.
TDW: That’s amazing. Did your journey of being a photographer start with drones or have you tried regular photography besides drone photography?
SB: Since I was a kid, I was always the one taking photos and videos around.
Now I am taking photos with my drone only and I want to keep it as is. Drone photography is what I do and what I love.
What He Does and How He Does It
TDW: Which drone did you start with and are you still using it?
SB: My wife bought me my first drone for Christmas a few years ago; it was a cheap drone. I remember that it was so hard to fly, I crushed it so many times and I even lost it once (laughs). After all that, I said to myself, ‘That’s it, I’m not going to fly a drone ever again.’
But then, 2 years later, I saw the Mavic Air, bought it and everything started to change.
TDW: Cool choice. Still, after a drone pilot takes their photos, they go through a process of editing before they’re uploaded online or sold. So, is photo editing an important part of the presentation of your work?
SB: Definitely! Photo and video editing is an extremely important aspect of my photography and videography. It gives me the ability to enhance the colors and play with light. I am using Adobe Lightroom Classic to edit all my photos.
TDW: Great to hear. We saw plenty of water drone photos on your Instagram, which we love. So, do you have a favorite location? And where would you like to take photos with your drone in the world?
SB: So many places (laughs). I love capturing the ocean and natural landscapes, with a focus on shades of blue which is my main inspiration. Plus, it’s my favorite color. The frequent focus of my photos are surfers. I am inspired by a combination of their movement, posture, and the colors of their board and wetsuit.
I’m very lucky to live in Sydney and in Australia, in general, as I have access to so many stunning beaches, all with a different vibe.
When it comes to favorite locations, I would say Tamarama Beach. Why? Because of the scenery, the color of the water and its location. You can also find a lot of marine life there. Like sharks, seals, rays, dolphins, turtles…
What else, I haven’t been traveling for leisure with my drone in Australia yet, and I can’t wait for it. Australia has so much to offer.
For a worldwide location my first destination would be Europe, starting with France, of course (laughs).
About the Australian Drone Community and the Country’s Relationship with Drones…
TDW: What do you think about the role of drones in the promotion of countries? Can they help with that?
SB: I believe it’s a must to promote a location now. Drone photography and videography offer a different perspective on the world and people love that.
TDW: That’s true. And Australia as a country has an advanced drone ecosystem that can be used for its promotion. As a member of the Australian drone community, what’s your opinion regarding the current drone industry in your country? What do you think about the drone laws and regulations?
SB: The drone industry is growing and it’s very promising in Australia. More and more industries are starting to use drones such as agriculture, defense, health industries, and more. I’m a fan of technology, in general, and I think that the use of drones (while using them respectfully) is amazing. Naturally, this has to be regulated. So, drone laws and regulations are a must. The Australian drone community is growing – there are so many people flying drones, which makes it vital.
TDW: And how well do Australians accept drones and the Australian drone community? How do they usually react when they see a drone?
SB: So far, I have never had any complaints. When people approach me, the first thing they say is, “Are there any sharks out there?” or “Wow, so cool, I love drones.” I’m very respectful of people’s privacy.
TDW: For all those who want to travel to Australia – is it easy for them to take their drones with them?
SB: Yes, It’s easy to get your drone on a plane. You just need to make sure that your batteries are charged under 30% and placed in your hand luggage. Your drone should ideally be in a case for protection and safety. When you land somewhere in Australia, you need to follow the map which indicates where you can or cannot fly. Please visit the CASA (Civil Aviation Safety Authority) website for more details.
Tips and Sébastien’s Next Steps
TDW: What’s next for you? What are your plans?
SB: I want to grow my business and work full time for it. That is my goal.
TDW: Awesome! We support that. Are you familiar with drone racing? Have you thought about doing it?
SB: No I’m not but I’ve seen a lot of videos on IG and saw the new DJI FPV drone. I would love to try.
TDW: And before we wrap up, do you have any special tips and tricks to share with our readers that you’ve learned in the Australian drone community?
SB: I would say that if you are passionate about flying drones and doing so professionally, you should do all that you can to learn and practice. Also, I highly recommend saving and purchasing a good-quality drone as this makes a world of difference. Obtaining a drone license is also very beneficial and will open more doors for you. In addition to this, if you want to create artistic drone photos, I recommend taking a photography course. There are so many options for this – for instance, I studied online.
We, at The Drones World, thank Sébastien for the amazing chat and the time he devoted to answering all our questions. Make sure to check out his work on his website, as well as on his profiles on Facebook and Instagram.
Once the travel restrictions are lifted, we can’t wait to have a cup of coffee with Sébastien and continue our in-depth discussion about drones by the marvelous waves of Tamarama Beach.
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