Austin MacKay - Winnipeg, Canada.

Winnipeg Sunset. From Here and Away
I have always been a big believer that it’s the person taking the photo, not the camera. So use whatever camera you have, whether it’s your phone or your point and shoot, whatever, just go out and shoot. Explore.
— Austin MacKay

Hello, and thanks for taking the time to share your work with us. Tell us about yourself!

My name is Austin; I grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba and have been living here my entire life. I picked up my parents Canon Point and Shoot when I was 8, and never put it down. I learned that it could shoot video and began to create short films. When I got to Grant Park High School, I started working with a teacher who mentored me in filmmaking. Photography derived from my love of filmmaking and I continue to strive to make it my career.

portrait. Marlo Edwards

What is it about photography that continues to drive you and inspire you. Why have you chosen photography as a creative outlet?

What continues to drive my love for photography, are people. The most important thing that filmmaking has taught me is that the “subject” is crucial. Everyone is their own character, and being able to capture people portraying who they really are continues to drive me to take pictures. To be completely honest, I chose photography because creating short films did not fit into my schedule. However, I still craved wanting to tell a story; so I switched mediums. Photography allows me to work on my storytelling through one single image; to portray a message in a single frame. That continuously drives my inspiration for photography.

prairie. Winnipeg. From Here and Away

 Tell us about your favourite photography moment. (This could be the process of your getting your favourite shot, or an entire trip you took… whatever!) 

I cannot recall a specific moment, but I do recall similar moments. The times where you go out to shoot and what you capture is beyond what you ever thought you would see. Like going out to catch a normal sunset but the sky ends up looking magical, colours illuminating through the clouds. Or when you go for a drive and witness Northern Lights that are the brighter than you have ever seen. The best photography moments are the unexpected ones. Like when you hang out with a friend and just start shooting some pictures, and then you develop an idea and play around with it some more. The greatest is when you look at the image on the camera right after you take it, and you say to yourself “this is the one,” those are my favourite moments because you haven’t had the chance to look at it on a computer, or edit it. When the picture in its natural state turns out better than I expected, my heart drops. Easily one of the best feelings you get from taking a picture.

 Any favourite photographers or people you generally look up to?

 I look up to a lot of photographers, but there are so many new ones that I find everyday that have such talent. @meetjulian has always been a favourite of mine, with the beautiful and distinct tone palette that he has. @bdorts is amazingly talented and has such an amazing eye for capturing the Pacific Northwest. @hannes_becker who is unspeakably talented overall. @chivexp is one of my favourite cinematographers and is also an amazing photographer. The way he is able to compose a shot rattles my mind. @chuck is one of my favourite portrait photographers. The way he is able to capture the beauty of people in their most natural state makes me envious of his work. Of course, @josephvisser I have always seen as one of my favourite Winnipeg photographers. He style is so unique, and his framing of a shot is always remarkable. The blog he put together is incredible too, so…

From Here and Away

Any special projects on the go? (Anything outside of photography is also welcome)

 At the moment, school takes up all of my free time. I wish I had more projects on the go, but I still try and do as much screenwriting when I can. Outside the time I spend on photography, I write short film screenplays and I am hoping to develop a few this summer and enter them into some film festivals around the world.

 Favourite place to travel/shoot?

My favourite place to travel to is Riding Mountain National Park. I have been going there my entire life, and it will always hold a large place in my heart. Manitoba is very flat overall, but something about Riding Mountain is different. The natural beauty of the town, the history, and of course, every sunset looks just a little more amazing out there.

Winnipeg. Micah Visser. From Here and Away

 What gear do you use?

 I use a Canon 6D body. For lenses, I shoot with a Canon 24-105, a Sigma 10-20mm and my favourite lens, a Canon 50mm. The 50mm is such a special lens, so versatile, and it is easily my go to lens in any situation.

A lot of people tell me they want to go out and take pictures but don’t have a nice enough camera. In all honesty, I just got my 6D this past year and before that I was using a t3i. I have always been a big believer that it’s the person taking the photo, not the camera. So use whatever camera you have, whether it’s your phone or your point and shoot, whatever, just go out and shoot. Explore.

 Instagram: TheAustinMacKay


Winnipeg. Sunset. From Here And Away. 

Winnipeg. Sunset. From Here And Away.