17-year-old Caolain Gammell, Milltownpass, Co.Westmeath of Westmeath Agri Photography sat down for an interview with Catherina Cunnane, editor of That's Farming.
How was your interest in machinery sparked? I didn't grow up on a farm but living around some pretty big contractors sparked my huge interest in machinery from a very young age.
Living beside a few big tillage fields, I was always out when there was something happening. One of my uncles used to work for a couple of contractors too and spending my weekends/summer holidays etc with him at silage and all the likes, got me really interested in the machinery and contracting side of agriculture.
Whilst waiting to get my tractor licence, I'd often spend my weekends and school holidays doing odd jobs and yard work for a local farmer. As soon as I turned 16, the licence was the first thing I went to get and then, I started working for a contractor. I've been with him the last 2 years now and I absolutely love the job.
When did your interest in videography begin?
In around the summer of 2015, I often thought about trying to make some videos of the local contractors around me as I was usually up with them whenever I was free, so I thought why not video what they're at? It would be something different/something interesting. It wasn't until April 2016 that I bought my first camera and then a few weeks later, I videoed Ollie Conroy's outfit lifting silage in Rochfortbridge.
Have you completed any photography or videography courses? I didn't take part in any kind of photography course at all - everything is self-thought and I've picked up some handy tips and tricks along the way from other photographers and videographers.
Where do you post your content? YouTube was where it all started for me. I then moved onto Facebook, Instagram and I've recently set up a Westmeath Agri Photography Snapchat account - all of my content is posted under the Westmeath Agri Photography name.
How many followers do you have on each of these platforms? I have over 2,300 YouTube subscribers, just over 6,500 likes on Facebook and in excess of 700 Instagram followers.
How long does it take to shoot your videos? It could take anywhere from a few hours to a day or two - it all depends on the situation I'm in and the weather!
It is a very big issue at times trying to record an outfit when the weather isn't on your side – there are always them odd breakdowns every now and then which hold the videoing up. Usually a good full day of videoing is good enough for me - I'd have plenty of time to capture loads of different angles and shots.
How long does it take to edit your videos? At the start I was quite slow editing – It would usually take me a couple of days to try and do it to a standard that I was satisfied with, but now since I'm at it, a good while I'd usually have a video put together in around 2-4 hours.
What has been the most successful video that you have ever posted?
The most popular video I posted to YouTube was a raw sound video of John Salley's John Deere 7530 Premium drawing maize in 2017 – it has over 79,000 views.
How many videos do you release weekly? I aim to post a video a week but that's not always possible. I'd usually end up with between 30-40 videos in a year.
What do you like most about the nature of the work that you do? It has to be getting out to see different outfits in action and the great people that you meet along the way.
What is challenging? It can be very challenging at times to plan these video shoots as the weather is always unreliable.
Has the success of Westmeath Agri Videos surpassed your expectations?
Definitely - Without a doubt, the channel has gone from strength-to-strength since the beginning. For something that started as a little hobby, it has grown to have the potential for a business.
What are your plans for the future? I would love to try make a DVD or something similar in the near future but for now, I'll stick to my weekly uploads and time will tell what the future holds.