We had the good fortune of connecting with Mandy Austin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mandy, we’d love for you to start things off by telling us something about your industry that we and others not in the industry might be unaware of?
How much time you put in behind the scenes, for sure! Let’s just say my husband is a patient man. With all the admin/editing work there is between setting up every individual photoshoot, new creative ideas, networking, marketing, creating documents…the list goes on. But I truly love connecting with people, So it hardly seems like work at all. But does take time.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I capture children and families with grace! I love genuine expressions, silly jokes and getting to know my families. I’ve always been drawn toward kids. Hell, my first job was at Chuck-E-Cheese. And yes I played the mouse. But I gravitated towards Children Photography very early on. I started at the Sears Portrait Studio where I was quickly promoted, ran several studios and ended holding the District Trainer title after 8 years with them. When my old boss pulled me to a company that photographed in the local hospitals. Newborn BABIES?? Yes please! I held the District Trainer and Hospital Coordinator with that company for the next 4 years until my son was born. I then decided to stay at home with him and my other children, while growing my own photography style. Because of my sons NICU stay and surgeries needed at Children’s Hospital Colorado, I also began volunteering there. Volunteering photography to the NICU babies so they didn’t have those memories missed. I’ve been very fortunate to have captured with/for so many families. And mesh together all of my photography experience into what it is today. So now I’m finally shooting for myself, with Parachute, and I love every minute of it.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Actually my best girlfriends were just in town, and we had a great time! We went down to Canon City to visit the Holy Cross Winery. Super cute winery with vineyard and wine flights for days. They aren’t from here, so the mountains are always appealing. So we drove through the mountains down to Rye, CO where the Bishops Castle is. It’s usually not crowded, so that’s totally more my scene. Those two things were a day trip. Then of course we went up to Boulder to visit Celestial Seasonings and do their tour. All the teas! Gosh, I wish we would have stopped to eat in Boulder. There are so many awesome spots there. Good eats!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Wow, to narrow that down to one is tough! But I keep coming back to my shift. I’ve been behind the lens since the year 2000, but in 2012 though I found my power. My shift. Motherhood. My son Cullan and his eventful birth really gave me purpose. And finally my passion with photography as a whole. That’s when I shifted and really focused on growing as a photographer. So dedication? Would have to go to my family. My son inspired me, my husband, family and dear friends supported me…and I’m still growing!
Mandy Austin with Parachute Family Photography