Austin Geter is a creative-at-large, making cool things at the intersection of art, media, and social. As a photographer, Austin has been capturing the daily minutia and awestriking wonder of the world around us for as long as he can remember.
As a freelancer, Austin has worked in web and social, design, photography, and videography, helping individuals and brands reach their full storied potential.
In to freelancing, Austin is the Co-Founder & Chief Creative Officer at Order In, the Co-Founder and Managing Artistic Director of Nomad Theatre Company, and the Co-Producer at Make Mom Proud Project.
How did you first get interested in photography?
I actually can't remember when I first started taking photos; it's been an implicit part of who I am for the majority of my life. Some memories that pop up include:
- Using disposable Kodak cameras to capture my grandparent's 50th wedding anniversary party at approximately 5 years old.
- Receiving my first handheld digital camera for Christmas one year when I was around 8, and beginning to capture all our family vacations on that camera.
- Getting into scrapbooking at age 11, and thus taking more photos to fill up my books.
- Going on photoshoots and adventures for fun with my friends at 14
- Getting hired and paid for my first professional photo & video gig at 17.
All of this said it's been a journey from one camera to the next, one photo to the next, and one memory to the next. It's a way to remember my life, to see it as the movie that it feels like, and to reconstruct the emotions of what a particular scene was like.
What are some of the sources of inspiration behind your pieces?
I'm so inspired by the everyday joy and wonder of the world around us. From the tiny details to the grandiose sights, I believe that there's art surrounding everything we do.
As a digital nomad for the past several years, I've had the chance to see many different places of dreams. In my attempt to capture them, I've realized that there's a deep connection between the art of travel and the art of freelancing. As I've traveled the world, I've dreamed up my wildest creations as a freelancer and captured my key inspiration along the way.
This collection for the Side Hustle Shop is inspired by four main themes that traveling taught me a ton about: Connection, Legacy, Individualism, and Adventure.
How would you describe your creative process?
My creative process is simple and erratic. I do a LOT of thinking—in fact, I'd say the majority of my process is allowing my ideas to gestate in my head.
And then the inspiration strikes, and I work super hard and fast to get the ideas out onto the page (or lens, or screen, if you will).
What impact (if any) does your Side Hustle have on your freelance client work?
It doesn't, currently, which is lovely! If anything, it's the other way around. My freelance client work allows me the ability to travel so that I can capture the images that you see in the Side Hustle store today.
Favorite place to travel?
Paris! I took a solo trip in 2019, and I haven't been anywhere as magical since. I have a few shots from that trip that I've vowed to keep to myself, as they're so deeply personal. That means never posting them to social media or selling them as prints, and I hope to hold myself to that. As soon as COVID is over, I plan on taking off for two weeks to go explore the city and get rejuvenated and inspired.
Favorite museum or creative space?
Oh, what I would give to be meandering through a museum in a new city. That said, I don't have a favorite museum! Instead, I have a favorite piece.
I've had the joy to travel around the world and visit many museums over the past couple of years, but there's been nothing as spiritual as seeing Monet's Water Lilies. First in the MoMa in New York, then in Musée de l'Orangerie in Paris, and finally in the Tate Modern in London. I never really thought anything of these pieces previously, and I also didn't purposely seek them out in these individual museums. Instead, each time I was wandering, I stumbled upon them and they took my breath away.
I felt infinite and seen, it was as if I suddenly realized, "Oh, THIS is what it's like to be an artist. Monet just gets it." Each time was unique and precious, and I've made it my mission since to see them wherever I can in the future.
Tell us about your freelance work.
I've been freelancing for the past 6 years, and I've been full-time for the past two and a half years. As a freelancer, it's been quite a journey to discover who I am and the kind of services I offer.
I've had the privilege to work across a variety of projects and brands, from personal influencers to international brands, doing work that includes branding, photography, graphic design, videography, animation, content management, and more. But at the end of the day, I consider myself a storyteller.
No matter what the task at hand might be, my chief goal is to help a brand tell their story in the most effective and impactful way possible. Whether it's taking a beautiful product or photo, designing a piece of social content, or quite literally writing and developing a brand's story, I'm always trying to figure out how this feeds back into the client's larger purpose.
It's a big challenge, but it makes the work fulfilling and lasting. I wouldn't change what I do for anything!
And, tell us about Order In Club!
I'm currently the co-founder and Chief Creative Officer over at Order In Club: a community bringing together remote workers and providing the structure and support they often lack throughout the remote workday. As the CCO, I'm able to use all areas of my creative work to help create something that truly makes a difference for people. By building a better workday, we're helping people put the human back in the workday again, and if I can do that for even one person, it's worth it.
Any advice for aspiring Side Hustlers?
Don't be afraid to dive in. It's taken me 3 years to work up the courage to put myself out there with my work. 3 years!
You may crash and fail or you may succeed, but you'll never know if you don't try, right? So rather than daydreaming of it for years on end, start wading into the details to figure out how you can make your dreams possible.