The COVID-19 pandemic has changed us a lot — from our daily interactions to how we conduct businesses. Influencers have been undergoing a transformation themselves as they are grappling to find ways to proceed with their influencer campaigns. They have come up with innovative ways to express their creativity and keep their audience engaged during times when the world is at a standstill and under lockdown. Akil Henley is among the many influencers coming up with new ways to express his creativity to the world and stand out.
Akil Henley is a creator, influencer, and aerial drone photographer from New York City known as Traveldronelife. Throughout his career, Henley has been touring different world regions capturing eye-catching aerial shots that he shares on his social media pages. He has always admired nature and has always been fascinated by how everything we see before us has an even impressive perspective from the sky. He commonly cites his aerial drone shot of Barcelona that shows how the city is more magical from the sky, giving a new perspective on the city's architectural design.
In the six years that he has been in the industry, Henley has attracted global attention with some of his amazing works. He has got attention from around the world when popular Instagram pages such as the Eiffel Tower page and NYC page reposted his photographs. Several local Parisian periodicals contacted him in a request to use his works in their publications after his photo during French protests was reposted by the Eiffel Tower page. The attention also created a buzz on his various social media accounts, increasing his follower count from a mere couple hundred followers to well over 20,000 followers.
Since the global pandemic, Akil’s activities have been disrupted, derailing his progress. Akil reflects on the pandemic's effect as an influencer and shares how he has been forced to readjust together with other influencers. The most significant setback to him as a creative influencer was limiting movement during the lockdown. Akil began to work on creating his nFluencer app during the time when the world was shut down. With no prior coding knowledge and only relying on YouTube tutorials, he taught himself to code for iOS. The Influencer app is an influencer app he created that is excellent for anyone looking to edit photos with ease and create incredible stories or reels. The unique feature of the app is its ability to find a hashtag by taking an image and letting the app use its machine-learning algorithm to suggest the best hashtags for the image. The app now has a cult following with over 100k active users.
A lot of influencers can produce content safely from their homes by changing a few things. The major challenge remains the restricted movement and while new innovative ways have been devised by influencers, a freer setting will fuel their creativity more.
As more and more people are moving online to build their brand, there is an increase in demand for influencer services. This has led to many more people trying their hand in the influencer world by creating content in which they are experts.
Akil plans to add more breathtaking shots to his social media accounts, including his Instagram page, where he is known as Traveldronelife and is hoping that travel restrictions ease for photographers to once again venture outside and express their creativity.
Photography by: Akil Henley