Brad Walls is a famous Australian air-photographer. He works in the sphere of art photography in a minimalist style. Walls`s works have already spread all over the world: he won first place in the «Sports» category and second in the «People» category at the Aerial Photography Awards 2020.
Brad, how did your way to photography start?
My mother had a camera and I occasionally played with it, but actually nothing serious happened until I bought the DJI Mavic Pro at the end of 2017. I also found myself experimenting with the post-production and design using Lightroom and Photoshop and even tried myself into 3D CAD software.
How did you find your special style? Do you remember your first photoshoot?
In the very beginning of any start it is always important to try different styles. As for myself, I relied on my experience as a product designer and I took the basic rules of design applying it to photos.
Speaking about my first actual photoshoot, it was the ice skaters shoot back in mid 2019. Before that, I shot mostly landscape photos, but quickly moved on from that.
What inspires you? Where do you take your ideas from?
I’m currently enjoying a series of conceptual artistic photographs from above. I have a large digital scrapbook on Pinterest, where I drop images or songs or anything that provides inspiration. And right now I am working on a futuro-project that was inspired by the art direction from the film «Blade Runner 2049».
How are you getting ready for your photo shoot?
Once I have an idea, I usually start my own Pinterest mood board for dropping all that is relevant on it. Then I move onto sketching and set design. One other important item includes hiring additional staff members to help execute the shoot, such as choreographers, make-up artists and costume designers.
Is post-processing important? What programs do you use?
Yes, it is very key to my work. I use Lightroom and Photoshop.
You've embraced synchronised swimming, gymnastics and ballet. What does sports mean to you?
Much of the art community will turn a blind eye towards sport. Perhaps it’s somewhat less «imaginative» to other forms, or it doesn’t fit into any idealistic movements. I’ve always strived to highlight the artistry of the sport. It is disciplined, formulaic and a perfectionist playground. Additionally the human body is a fascinating subject and I love bringing a different perspective to the table.
What difficulties do you face using the drone?
Mainly it is red tape. I'm very used to the process now, but it can be a big uphill battle to overcome to do a photo shoot. I hope that this changes over time with societal sentiment being more favourable towards drones.
Can you give advice for the beginners who have a passion for drone photography?
Patience and persistence are the keys. When starting out, shoot anything and everything. Once you have gained your footing, begin to hone in a particular niche in your work. Being the expert in a smaller subject will gain more success than being «good» at lots of different subjects. Specificity is also the key.
Brad, can you tell us about your most exciting photo shoot?
«The Water Geomaids» series was exciting to create. It was the first photo series that I heavily focused on pre-production sketches including collaboration with a choreographer. I learnt a lot through that period.
What are you working on now?
I'm currently in the planning phase of my second ballet series. I'm very excited after the first series was such a successful one. I've upped the production value and brought on a senior choreographer to help fulfil my vision of the shoot.