Austin is from Manchester, England but now lives in Los Angeles. He has also lived in some other places for a while - Madrid, Spain and Cardiff, Wales - and other less glamorous cities. Austin spent the early part of his life happily as a child. His first photography job was for a local news photographer in England, where he developed lots and lots of rolls of black and white film by hand. Austin then began shooting for the local paper; one of his first assignments was photographing an environmental activist in a treehouse protesting the building of a road that he now drives on when he goes back. Austin then spent several years traveling the world as a photojournalist, covering everything from earthquakes and tsunamis to the Iraq War.
He once had a cup of tea and a Kit-Kat with a Prime Minister and once tried to convince another Prime Minister to dance by playing ABBA, and he has more than once gotten into a taxi and said, "Follow that car". He loves photography and does not really think of it as work, but he tells people that's what he does for work if they ask.