We had the good fortune of connecting with Sean McKinney and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Sean, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I had been shooting photography for about a decade, and I had reached the point where I wanted to do more with my work than just taking photos for myself. Using the equipment, and skills, that I already had and taking the leap into the more professional end of the art seemed to me to be the next logical step. As most of us were, I was stuck inside with a lot of time on my hands during the spring and summer of 2020, and I decided to just dive into it. I started by doing some serious research, and ended up launching my website. It is still an ongoing process, next up I plan to tackle ecommerce.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I love the art of photography, as far as I am concerned it is the perfect blending of the technical and creative. Most people are usually surprised to find out that I am a photographer, largely because I am legally blind, and have been my whole life. I’ve always kind of enjoyed seeing people’s surprise when they find out, and thus from that the Low-Vis Photography brand was created.

I primarily shoot two types of photography, general street photography, and motorsports. Street photography for fun, and motorsports for fun and business. When I photograph motorsports I primarily shoot on digital, but when I’m out and about in the city shooting street photography I almost exclusively shoot on film now. In this day and age where everyone has easy access to a digital camera in the form of their cellphone I have found that something about analog film resonates with me. I find the restrictiveness of film forces me to think about what I am doing more. You can’t change the ISO of an analog camera without changing the film you are using, and you are restricted to only about 36 exposures as compared to the thousands you can get with a digital camera. Whether I’m shooting digital or film, I love everything about photography and I love trying new types of photography that I learn about. I am always learning something new, starting off in photography was easy for me, it came to me rather naturally, but becoming a good photographer is an ongoing process. I’m always working to improve my skills. I’m never really satisfied with my work when I look back at it later, which I think is common with a lot of artists, we are always unhappy with our old work, and are always trying to improve. I started my business mostly because it was an excuse to shoot more, and hopefully make a little money doing it. I kind of fell into the motorsport niche because I enjoy racing, and I have several friends and relatives who are involved in various types of racing from Karting, to road racing, and even motorcycle racing. Since I tended to find myself at the race track anyway it really felt like the natural direction to go in. I have only shot a few events so far, and I still have a lot of room to improve on my trackside work, but I love every minute of it, and the popel I photograph always love to see pictures of themselves going fast.

Being visually impaired has presented some unique challenges, but not how most people think. I have never had any trouble actually taking pictures. For me the challenge has always been getting to the location. Since I cannot drive I have to rely on friends or public transportation. This has largely limited where I shoot to places near my home, or easily accessible by public transit. This is one of the reasons I spend so much time in the city shooting street photography.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Definitely downtown Chicago. The Berghoff is a fantastic bar and restaurant, along with Elephant and Castle just a couple of blocks further down the street in the Loop. There’s so much to do in the city, we have a lot of very popular places to visit so I’ll just pick a couple of my favorites. The Shedd Aquarium and nearby Adler Planetarium are possibly my two favorite places to take people when they are visiting. The third Thursday of every month Adler Planetarium hosts an event called Adler After Dark, it’s a 21 and up event (due to the open bar) Where you can listen to talks on various astronomy related subjects, and sip on a cocktail while enjoying the stunning Chicago skyline from their mezzanine. Of course, no trip to Chicago is complete without a visit to the U-505 at the Museum of Science and Industry.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Foremost there are my parents, they gave me my first digital camera almost twenty years ago now. They’ve always been instrumental in encouraging my siblings and I to pursue creative endeavors.

Website: https://low-visphotography.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lowvisphotography/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Low-Vis-Photography-105256328027121

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutArizona is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.