What do you do when life as you know it is thrown into turmoil and everything changes? That's exactly what happened to Jaimen Hudson; and he chose to soar. When chatting to Jaimen, we're struck by how polite, positive and just blummin' great he is. The self-proclaimed "quadriplegic with a quadcopter" certainly has far more to him than that.
Hi Jaimen! For those reading, tell us a little about yourself...
My name is Jaimen Hudson I am 27 years old and live in Esperance, Western Australia. I first started getting into photography at around the age of 10 when I learnt to dive. I wanted to capture the incredible things that I experienced underwater. Digital cameras hadn’t been out for long so the images weren’t incredible and I never really did anything with them. I would just upload them to my computer and then leave them there. It wasn’t until late 2014 that I began getting interested in drone photography. I had a motorbike accident in 2008 that rendered me a quadriplegic and unable to access the hobbies I used to enjoy like surfing, diving, skateboarding and motorbike riding. I was looking for a new hobby I could do from my wheelchair. Drones were a relatively new technology and I was wary of purchasing one as I wasn’t sure if I would be able to fly it due to my reduced hand function. Eventually though after watching many YouTube videos showing how the control worked, my family convinced me to get one and give it a shot and if it didn’t work out to just sell it. I purchased the DJI phantom 2 and coupled it with the GoPro Hero 3 camera. The first video I uploaded was a simple 360° panorama video of our close coast line. I haven’t looked back since. I taught myself how to edit videos and photos and now it is my go to activity.
How would you describe your work in 5 words?
Basically a coastal and wildlife aerial photographer.
And what are some of your passions that influence your style?
Honestly just my love of being outside and enjoying the sun. I want to encompass the lifestyle so many Australians are lucky enough to live and experience every day.
Do you have a favourite place to film?
My favourite locations to film are around my home time of Esperance. The beautiful white beaches and turquoise water make for a nice back drop. The most memorable places I have been lucky enough to film are The Great Australian Bight and around the Canadian Rockies. I spent 5 days down at the Bight documenting the annual Southern Right Whale migration for Green Peace. The rugged beauty and wildlife there is incredible! The Canadian trip was part of a visit to my girlfriend’s home county of Canada. We did a road trip through the Rockies to capture Lake Louise, Bow Glacier and some of the other incredible places. I had never experienced anything like it before. So much greenery and the sheer size of the lakes and mountains was incredible.
You've travelled to some amazing places - have you any trips or projects in the pipeline?
I am currently working on a documentary about my life and love for the ocean/wildlife with a company. I also have some filming I am working on for a lady that is producing a documentary for Netflix. I’m also focusing on keeping my online print store updated and have just received my first batch of 2018 calendars. Of course always doing it as a hobby first and foremost as well.
Sounds great! So, can you let us in on a secret - what is your preferred equipment to shoot on?
All my photography is captured using aerial platforms. My preferred rig is the DJI inspire 2 with X5S camera. I just love the crisp images it captures.
Is there anything you'd like viewers to take away from your work?
If it gives them an escape from the day-to-day routine when they look at a photo or video I capture or helps them plan their next adventure I’ll be absolutely stoked. Seeing and reading their reactions also inspires me greatly. It also makes me appreciate the things that I am lucky enough to experience every day and sometimes become complacent with and take for granted.
Who are some photographers that you admire and respect?
That’s a good question. To be honest I try not to follow too many photographers on social media as I want to continue trying to do my own thing and not be overly influenced by anybody’s style. I really enjoy the work Casey Neistat does with his VLOGS and film making.
Have you any tips or advice for someone wanting to get into filming or photography?
Just to make sure they get into it for the right reasons. Not because they want to try get likes on social media or popularity. If they are looking for a new hobby or are passionate about capturing the things they experience then absolutely take it up and be sure to enjoy the whole experience.
And finally, if you could shoot alongside one person, dead or alive, who would it be?
To work alongside David Attenborough would be absolutely incredible. To hang with Casey Neistat in New York for a week would be great too.