Mining and the photography/videography industries couldn’t be more different, but it was the punish of the former that pushed Stuart McKay to make a change.
“I always had a passion for photography and videography,” the 41-year-old said. “It was at a really unhappy point [in my life] that I started to teach myself the art of photography.”
Self-taught using YouTube, Stuart spent his off weeks honing his skills in videography, filmmaking, and storytelling.
“It’s just been an amazing sort of progression from not really knowing what I was doing to being able to creative good, solid content … and I’ve been running my business for the past five years, progressing into different areas and it’s something I love and am passionate about.”
After earning a healthy mining salary, the two years Stuart spent ‘not really turning a dollar’ were the hardest, but in hindsight well worth it as today, his business Stix Pix Productions is working with Tourism Australia, HeliSpirit tours out of East Kimberley and Whitsundays Tourism to name a few.
“Recently I spent five days filming in the Bungle Bungles, it was one of the places I love, the others are Cable Beach in Broome and Coral Bay,” he noted.
Having relocated from Agnes Waters, where he had his own gallery, to Airlie Beach, Stuart is positioned in a great part of Australia for the type of work he does.
“We also just had the opportunity to go and live in an Aboriginal community in Lockhart River, that was an incredible occasion.”
While the work Stuart produces is compelling and breathtakingly beautiful, some of it featured on the BBC, he has adopted a new focus for his business – Qoin.
“I’ve always been interested in working with businesses and companies that are ahead of the game, it’s very appealing to me to be able to look towards the future and be able to do business in a different way,” he said.
Drawn to the first platform of its kind in Australia because it offered him another avenue for sharing and selling his work, Stuart believes in the power of the Qoin community.
“I can definitely see Qoin growing into something huge all around the world, I want to be a part of that,” he added.
According to Stuart he’s been doing ‘really well’ since becoming a Merchant.
“I’m releasing limited edition prints to the Qoin community and being able to set good prices,” he said. “At this stage I accept a portion of Qoin, but I do see myself over the next six to 12 months being able to accept 100 per cent, that’s the goal.”
As for how he has been able to spend his Qoin, the self-taught entrepreneur and family man purchased a caravan using his digital currency.
“That has been amazing, and then you know I am always looking out for businesses that I can support. As of right now in Airlie Beach I can book accommodation locally, one of my favourite restaurants accepts Qoin and experience retreats,” he said.
When asked what he would say to anyone who may be considering joining Qoin’s expanding community, once that is focussed on buying and selling everyday goods and services, he didn’t hesitate.
“It is a successful way of doing business.”
In the immediate future, Stuart would like to get his business to a point where ‘he’s not the only gun for hire’ and he’s got plenty of stock footage he’s keen to make a gallery out of with clips for sale.
“Supporting my family and supporting my passion that’s where I want to be.”