Austin's intuitive passion for innovation began early. “Even as a kid I was incessantly starting things—from business ideas to new ways of fixing people’s computers.”
As an 8-year-old, Austin began in Photoshop in eventually spent thousands of hours building websites and tinkering with the earliest versions of Flash on his trusty 1998 Bondi Blue iMac he bought with savings from months of mowing lawns and working on neighbor’s computers. Fifteen Macs later, Austin still loves to explore, invent, and tirelessly test all things tech.
After picking up his first camera as a sophomore in college, Austin’s eye for capturing the splendor of Creation, along with his proclivity as an early-adopter has taken him on a fascinating journey to every corner of the globe.
His work has been widely published in both corporate to non-profit worlds, from National Geographic and the Travel Channel, to Samaritan’s Purse and the Global Poverty Project. Over the years, Austin’s wide range of experience has enabled him to organize and teach workshops worldwide on how to leverage photography & storytelling to dignify people, build communities and promote changes.
Austin’s skill set is best described as a Gladwell-esque concoction of creator, storyteller, educator, consultant, entrepreneur, technician, thought leader, and behind-the-scenes maven . . . the proverbial “square peg” artist in the “round hole” world of professional nomenclature.
However—and perhaps in spite of—his dexterity in a number of fields, the native Kansan is ultimately compelled by an unrelenting passion to equip and empower the people around him to dream bigger and create better.
Austin’s belief in this magic—the kind that is sparked within intentional, collaborative community--birthed the vision for his latest entrepreneurial pursuit: WELD, a curated collective of freelance artists who work and create together. WELD’s flagship studio is located in Dallas, Texas, with an up-and-coming Nashville collaborative workspace opening at the beginning of 2015.
"Austin Mann is mastering the balance between obsessive “attention to detail” and an uncanny sensitivity to those around him… Any time spent with Austin is worth the investment!” Paul Bowen – Canon Explorer of Light
on the web
"My story is really two-fold. The first part begins with my father who has been in the visual media realm for the last 35 years. In ’93, he put Photoshop and a scanner in front of me. I was eight years old and working in Photoshop before most people had computers. I have to tip my hat to my Dad for sharing his equipment with me at such a young age…"
This time in my life was a peak of creativity, full of experimentation, failing, trying again, failing again, changing settings, working the light, studying the work of fotogs around the world on sites like deviantART, finding ways into restricted rooms/rooftops on campus just to get the angle I wanted… and really just doing anything it took to create the image I had in mind, despite the limited tools I had.
National Geographic Traveler