By Cristi McKee | Photo: Aerial Tallahassee/The Workmans
June 15, 2020 marks the 5th anniversary for Aerial Tallahassee, a community photography project that explores Tallahassee “from the sky.” Aerial Tallahassee, run by Tallahassee-based commercial photographers, Alex and Chelsea Workman, is known for its stunning bird’s eye view shots of spots all around the city. From capturing and posting aerial photos of Doak Campbell Stadium, to Cascades Park, the Centre of Tallahassee, St. Marks Wildlife Refuge, and more, Aerial Tallahassee has made quite an impact on the Capital City in the last 5 years.
In 2015, the husband and wife creative team found themselves in a city that they didn’t know or love yet, and wanted to make the best of the situation. Here, Aerial Tallahassee began. “We started this project so we could learn to love where we live and we have continued it because we want others to learn to love where they live (or visit),” they explained. With backgrounds in photography, they wanted to show their family and friends what their new city looked like from a different perspective, and Alex convinced Chelsea to let him purchase a drone. The rest was history. Launching the Instagram account Aerial Tallahassee, they posted their first drone photo on June 15, 2015 with the hashtag #AerialTallahassee, and the project “quickly became a way for The Workmans to help tell the story of their new city from the sky.”
The project works to highlight Tallahassee in all seasons and throughout all of its changes—and to document it for years to come. “Our city is constantly changing,” they noted, “Whether it’s buildings or people or seasons of life, we live in a very transient community, so it’s an opportunity to not only learn about what Tallahassee is now, but see it grow and expand over time. You have people coming for school, work, Legislative session, all who are experiencing Tallahassee in particular moments or seasons of time and we want to help document the story of our city.”
Aerial Tallahassee has created a platform that has allowed the creative team to reach people from all over, but also helped the two form “a greater appreciation for our community and the people in it.” It has also allowed them a space to highlight unity and diversity in the community. “There’s so much more that unites us than divides us and we are living in a time where Tallahassee is changing faster than it ever has before. We have a rare platform to be able to reach all races, genders, and socioeconomic statuses because our audience is Tallahassee and Tallahassee is a diverse and transient community,” they said.
Today, Aerial Tallahassee is bigger and better than ever. Having been highlighted by the Tallahassee Innovation District, Florida State University, Cuttlesoft, and Drone Law Today, among others, Aerial Tallahassee has garnered thousands of viewers and supporters in Tallahassee and abroad.
Community involvement is also something that is near to the Workmans’ hearts as participants of The Village Square, the Tallahassee Marathon, Night to Shine, the Hang Tough Foundation, and more. “We have met so many incredible people over the last 5 years. We can look at just about every relationship we have in our community and they are all directly or indirectly connected to Aerial Tallahassee,” they said.
As for the future of Aerial Tallahassee, the Workmans are not sure where the project will be 5 years down the road. “We started the project not knowing that it would grow into the platform it is today. It’s been something that has changed and grown over time and each day, we learn more new things about our community, and moving forward, we hope to help people learn more about our city,” they said. “We believe perspective is everything and we are able to offer a different perspective to a place that is familiar and unfamiliar, but is home to so many incredible people. Looking back, you can see how much the city has grown and looking forward, we’ll be able to continue showcasing that progress.”