Member in Focus | Iain Mackenzie

South African born photographer Iain Mackenzie has lived in the UAE for just under 10 years with his wife Janine and three children. His day to day job as an Air Traffic Controller and ATC Examiner at Dubai Approach, and needed a creative outlet, which is why he started photography. As he says "to keep myself sane, I take photographs and jump out of aeroplanes". 

Iain is an Associate Photographer and Mentor at Headshot Crew, and has recently qualified as a Phase One Certified Professional.


1. What sparked your interest in photography?

I’ve always enjoyed photography, but as I got older I found that I needed a creative outlet. So I took something that was a very enjoyable hobby and expanded on it.


2. When did you start shooting?

I first started shooting for others in 2011. Before that it was mostly travel photography and landscape photography for my own enjoyment.


3. How often do you shoot?

Usually about twice a week


4. Why do you love photography?

With ATC being so technical and stressful, photography allows me the freedom to express my art and creativity. That being said, photography can be pretty technical and stressful as well……although I do get to teach the craft, which is a pretty awesome thing in itself!


5. What gear do you own?

Nikon D800

70-200mm f/2.8

24-70mm f/2.8 VR

105mm f/2.8 Micro

24mm f/3.5 PCE

Nikon SB910’s

Feisol CT3472LV Tripod with Arca-Swiss P0 Ballhead

Westcott Flex Kit

Profoto D1’s/B1’s and Modifiers

Eizo CX271

G-Technology G-Raid Studio and G-Dock Ev drives

Various C-stands and other stands

Epson 3800

X-Rite i1 Pro

Fujifilm x100s

GoPro Silver

HurleyGear Pro Boards


6. Other than your camera, what piece of equipment couldn’t you live without?

Wow..only one? Well, I would have to say my Tether Tools tethering kit. I almost always shoot tethered and really couldn’t do without it.


7. Who are your biggest influences as a photographer?

In no specific order:

Gregory Heisler

Peter Hurley

Zack Arias

Joe McNally


8. What’s your best advice for someone starting out?

Read all you can….study the work of those who have gone before you. Find something that resonates with you, then build on that.

Ask questions - the only dumb question is the one you don’t ask.

You’re going to make mistakes – don’t let that get you down. We all make mistakes, just learn from them and add that knowledge to your box of tricks


9. Where can we see your work?



Other exhibitions


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