A Lifestyle photographer in Austin lives and works in a city whose unofficial slogan is “Keep Austin Weird.” First known as Waterloo, the state capital is home to the last remaining moonlight towers in the country, the unique and now-endangered Barton Springs salamander endemic to the historic Barton Springs Pool in the heart of downtown, as well as the largest bat population in North America. In recent years, an influx of technology companies and workers have pivoted the “Live Music Capital of the World” towards being the “new” Silicon Valley. Yet Austin is still home to many oddities, like the Cathedral of Junk, and public figures, like hometown hero Mathew McConaughey, who continue to keep lifestyles a bit unexpected.
At Wonderful Machine, we define Lifestyle photography as imagery that depicts an idealized, aspirational version of real life, usually showing happy, “attractive” people in nice clothing doing fun things in beautiful places. Austinites check all of those boxes, and any day in Austin can feel like a day on a set. Recreating those moments in isolation is more difficult than it might seem. The Lifestyle photographers gathered here seamlessly reproduce those captivating moments for commercial and editorial clients alike.
Cass Klepac is a Lifestyle photographer in Austin whose focus is on artful storytelling with a collaborative and artful approach to realizing her projects. Her fashion portfolio evinces sharp and bright lighting, rich colors, clean lines, and deep contrasts. A strong emphasis on simplicity, composition, and balance translates clients’ vision into evocative imagery. Cass produces, directs, and photographs her projects alongside her clients. Together, they create high-quality commercial imagery tailored to singular needs and visions.
Jeff Wilson got an unconventional start to his photography career. Armed with just a 35mm Leica, he documented lawmakers in the Texas House of Representatives and later spent six years traveling the state as a forensics photographer for the Texas Department of Public Safety. Since then, he has settled into more a conventional practice as a Lifestyle photographer in Austin, although he regularly works across genres. Jeff shoots bright and clean lifestyle imagery that captures warm hearts and big Texas skies.
As a Lifestyle photographer in Austin, Cathlin McCullough creates images that document authentic experiences with a personal touch. Her work is often unstaged and spontaneous, producing commercial imagery that captures genuine emotion and ephemeral moments. Cathlin’s lifestyle portfolio emphasizes contrasts of shadow and light with a rich and dynamic range of colors. Her work is not over-produced and often plays on the grainy texture of film to create a nostalgic tone.
Commercial and editorial Lifestyle photographer Craig Washburn focuses on capturing real-life scenes and human interactions. His work has been featured in Vanity Fair, Bloomberg Businessweek, and Texas Monthly, with notable commercial commissions from companies like Volkswagen, Chevrolet, Verizon, and Airbnb. Artificial lighting and detailed post-production editing are consistent throughout his work. Intimate portraits and casual scenes fill out a lifestyle portfolio tailored toward commercial and corporate clients.
Jody Horton is a seasoned photographer with over 15 years in the field, specializing in Lifestyle, Food and Beverage, Outdoor, and Agricultural photography. His background in English Literature and Cultural Anthropology, combined with a self-taught approach to photography, informs his distinctive style. His photography often captures movement and a sense of togetherness. Jody’s commercial studio thrives on creating authentic, story-driven moments, whether shooting in the studio, on location, or around the globe.
Jessica Attie is a Lifestyle photographer in Austin who specializes in capturing moments of togetherness, work, play, and family interactions. Natural settings and light are consistent throughout her portfolio, while familiar scenes are framed in clean and open compositions. Jessica’s work reflects authentic moments and connections between family and friends. She has worked with many high-profile commercial and editorial clients like the New York Times, Bon Appétit, and Whole Foods among others.
Up-and-coming commercial photographer Nick Barnes splits his time between Austin and New York. His “minimalist spirit” produces images with deep colors, sharp contrasts, and clean natural lighting with uncluttered compositions. Outdoor scenes of friends and family enjoying life create a familiar context for the wares of his commercial clients. Nick says no one should take themselves too seriously, and, as a Lifestyle photographer in Austin, he captures the easygoing attitude of the state’s capital city.
Commercial and editorial photographer Buff Strickland specializes in Lifestyle, Food, Interiors, and Children’s photography. With 20 years in the industry, Buff’s work is recognized for its use of natural light, and subtle post-production retouching. Her work is clean and vibrant with sharp contrasts. Drawing on her experience and knack for collaboration, she captures moments that are both personal and captivating. Buff’s wide-ranging portfolio includes collaborations with notable clients like GSD&M, Loews Hotels, and HGTV.
Scott Van Osdol specializes in documentary-style imagery. He shoots a diverse range of lifestyle imagery. From countryside farms with big open skies to the peaceful interiors of suburban homes. Scott’s commercial and editorial lifestyle portfolio offers a blend of dynamic movement and precise lighting techniques. He often incorporates themes of family, friendship, and community growth into his work. Scott balances his commercial work with various non-profit community projects like Art From the Streets, the Big Bend Rodeo, and the Hill Country Ride for AIDS.
Lifestyle photographer Inti St. Clair’s lush imagery garners consistent contracts. A focus on close-frame images saturated with natural light emphasizes jovial and spontaneous moments of life. Efficient compositions allow stories to develop within the image. Inti’s work is characterized by a blend of high dynamic range, the interplay of warm and cold light, and the use of artificial light to create dynamic contrasts and rich shadows. She captures the fleeting moments of the golden hour and the heartfelt moments of daily life that connect people and create lasting memories.
Amy Mikler is an efficient and collaborative Lifestyle photographer in Austin. She works together with clients to produce evocative and heartfelt imagery. Amy’s images create a laidback and natural context that tells stories and makes commercial campaigns relatable. Often working outdoors with natural light, she captures spontaneous and candid scenes of friends and family with a fresh and playful perspective. Amy regularly works with high-profile commercial and editorial clients like Marriott, Wall Street Journal, Microsoft, and Garden and Gun Magazine among others.
Lifestyle photography is all about telling stories and building narratives through composition, context, and light. The Austin lifestyle photographers gathered in this article achieve this day in and day out.