The Border City – Mactools Visual

With art coming in many different forms, it was essential for us to target a photographer who captures stories through his lens. Mactools Visual has been wielding his camera like a sword through out his career. Working through out the city, he quickly put everyone on high alert of his unique vision and incredible talent.

With photography being an art, Mactools uses it to bring life to other forms of art. Whether he is trying to capture beauty or a performance, Mac has worked on a variety of different projects and subjects. Capturing dancers, musicians, models and much more Mac Tools has an unquestionable eye for photography. 

In our interview with Mac Tools he told us the story of how he picked up a camera and shed light on his experiences and growth in his field. Read the full interview with Mactools Visual below:

As a photographer, what type of preparation goes into getting the shot you want?

As a photographer, my mindset matters which helps with knowing what I want. The first thing I do is type the concept on my note pad and when I have a clear idea of what it is, I go to my favorite place” Pinterest” to see similar pictures, understanding these pictures matter a lot. Some photographers say Pinterest isn’t good for one’s creativity, but it’s the opposite for me. As it helps me in different ways like, serving as a photography style guide, understanding how certain pictures are taken, trying to guess what type of lenses were used, the lighting set-up, whether the lighting added to the story. Was it hard or diffused lighting? Was it natural or strobe light? All these questions go a long way and help shape me as a photographer because, I use all these questions as a template and add it to my style. After figuring out what I want, if it’s a client’s work, I use my cousin or friends to practice my set-up, except for when I do model collaborations. I also say a little prayer before every set-up.

How important is it to stay up to date with new lenses and styles of shooting?

New lenses are blessed and awesome, but with all honesty for the last 3 years of my career, my main lens has been the Nikon AF-S 50mm f/1.8G. I had a wedding which turned out to be frustrating when I had to move back a km to take group photos. From there I got the sigma 17-50 mm f/2.8 for Nikon and using these lenses I started to understand more about composition. One of my favourite photographers, Annie Leibovitz, says in one of her tutorials, “Try to use one lens till you know all that the lens can do”. I love this method so much because lenses are expensive, and you don’t want to buy a lens you don’t really need.

There is a thin line between keeping up with photography style and following the crowd for young photographers, especially if you don’t know what you want. There are lots of beautiful images being produced in the world today that have no meaning to them, which I’m guilty of too, but looking at social media today we see these pictures all looking similar and beautiful. To my own understanding, there’s a creative and technical aspect of photography. With these principles guiding me, I try not to follow the crowd. As problems generate, when your photographs are copy and paste of another image seen online and learnt nothing from that image. So, keeping up with shooting styles is good if you’re using it as a learning process.

What would you say you search for in a picture and what are some styles that you would say make you unique?

I’m so weird when in search of uniqueness in a photograph.  I love clean bold pictures that ignites something in me. Pictures that make me think and can be interpreted in different ways, are my favourite kind of photos because they push me to look up artists and research their thinking process. I follow a lot of photographers because of this, especially in Windsor, and reach out to some for collaborations, to see creative process. As a photographer I believe people love my work because of the clean, bold, colourful style I add to my art, most especially how they complement each other.

Why would you say you got into photography and is your interest still growing?

It all started when I took pictures of my siblings and friends on my phone. Every single time I did this, one thing I realized was how good they felt about the pictures, and that feeling of making them feel good about themselves motivated me to go into photography. I love taking pictures of people, adding value to an individual is one of the greatest feeling while doing this amazing job. I’m that type of photographer that always want to get feedbacks from clients to know where I can do better at my craft. Yes, my interest keeps growing day by day. I was born for this!

Can you tell us some of the most important things you’ve learned as a photographer?

One of the greatest lessons I’ve learnt as a photographer (which applies to me personally) is communication is key, as humans fill in the blanks of what’s missing. Secondly, you can’t change anyone but the only person you can change is you. Lastly, it’s interesting how people mirror what you do.

What are your favourite types of shoots and why?

I love fashion, beauty and street photography. I love street photography so much because of the story it tells. I love fashion and beauty photography because it showcases what I see in the world. If I had a storage system in me that stores how I see the world, it will be these categories, it also beings out a spark in a person that people never knew was in them. I took a picture of someone the other day and someone asked me, “How I made that person so beautiful?” and my answer was, “To be honest I did less work.” Abraham Lincoln once said” There are no bad pictures; that’s just how your face looks sometimes” all I did was create a perfect atmosphere and light where I believe they are most beautiful or handsome in and hope they like it.

What are some of the most difficult things you have to adapt to?

That will be mixing my art with business. Usually as an artist you start creating art for fun, then you get good at it, only for people to want your art for payments. I get nervous sometimes, because it gets me a little out of my comfort zone, and I start worrying about pleasing my clients, which is the most important thing. Sometimes I forget why I am hired by a client in the first place, to do what I do in my creative space, it took me a while to stop and start focusing whether a client likes this or not and do what I don’t normally. I think this brings balance in my work and helps in my growth as an artist.

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