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By land, air and sea: Hayden Griffith & the Phoenix Media machine

What is it about the Australian natural landscape that fuels our undying romance with it?

And what happens when you give a kid who loves nature a hi-tech gadget with eight-propellers and a high definition camera? Maybe a couple of epic vistas or a spectacular aura of fading light behind one of the many East coast mountain ranges presented in passing on one of your social media newsfeeds.


No, you get this.



That’s what you get. A series of belief bending aerials that celebrate the endlessly expansive fibres that thread into an undying fabric of correlative proportion – Mother Earth, you babe!


This is the work of Hayden Griffith of Phoenix Media. A finger swipe through his instagram feed is a blur of images that blend into hopscotch of those same insane textures and colours, each individual vision a redefinition of awesome.



With a degree in Zoology currently underway, Griffith has taken a pensively realistic view on the opportunities this chosen industry holds, deciding to fly a more creative and economically sustainable path. Unifying his two loves; Mother Nature and photography, Hayden created Phoenix Media, an “investment into the future [to] ultimately create a foundation for work in the environment and it’s conservation.”


Since Phoenix Media’s conception, Hayden has been churning out vision after vision of local and international landscapes in a manner that captures all the viscous textures and raw patterns nature hides in her scale. Aiding in this is an array of new and old technologies, one of which is a drone. This gadget of our time is what the sling was to David when he battled Goliath, offering a perspective that most media creators don’t – the bird’s eye view. The multi-propeller contraptions give an opportunity only paralleled by helicopters to capture vision in a vast and epic perspective, ultimately quantifying the true scale of some heaps, big stuff.

Alas, it is not as simple as buying a remote control drone, sticking a camera on it and going for a joy ride,

 “there is a phenomenal amount of technology involved in the equipment.. it’s not like your car where you get in and know it is going start and if it doesn’t you just go to the mechanic and they fix it,” concedes Griffith on the difficulties of the emerging technology.

“It’s still on the hobby side of the profession, it’s not yet a commercially trustworthy thing.”


The drone market is no walk in the park once you do get it working. Beyond diagnosing why it won’t fly, you have to be qualified to fly it (and make money while you’re doing it). Undertaking 5 hours of flight time is just the first step in a bureaucratic journey to get your wings, a journey Griffith has undertaken at the nose of a plane and under the strict regulatory guidance of CASA.


But there is more to the Phoenix Media ethos than an octocopter, some wicked video and a go get ‘em attitude. At the heart is a conservationist mission with a holistic approach to everything they undertake. As Hayden might tell you whilst hanging from a rope off the side of a cliff, where a decent chunk of his ethonomic sense comes from. The incredibly technical sport dictates an inherency to adapt and change perspective constantly, a lesson that Hayden has not only applied to his photography but also his business model.


“Being in a difficult place like when I climb, helps teach you a lot about stress management” says Hayden, “being under pressure in that environment and taking that indoors and applying it to business” Griffith says ruminating his holistic methodology.



With such a dynamic attitude and care for his craft, it is no far stretch of the imagination to think that Phoenix Media will be a visual media force in no time at all. And growing the business is set squarely in Griffith’s crosshairs.


All images are property of Phoenix Media.

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