Peter Mckinnon in Toronto

Discovering the purpose of your life is only the start. You then have to keep the ambition ignited, uncover the layers of your talents, and polish your skills and handle the criticism. When Peter McKinnon worked towards his vocation, he found himself in a midst of towering glaciers, turquoise lakes, some glittering coins, and a camera. Of course, a mug of coffee was an omnipresent companion.

McKinnon is a Canadian filmmaker, photographer and YouTuber who found his true calling when he was gifted a camera on his sister’s big day. With skateboards, drums, and bikes on his mind, he decided to dabble with the camera in the backyard of his childhood home. It was a simple macro shot of wet grass blades that grabbed his attention. Call it fate because for some reason, Peter never looked back.


A Renowned YouTuber

Peter Mckinnon holding a camera

Peter’s journey as a photographer began, and from turfs and blooms, he went on to photograph portraits and breathtaking iconic landmarks. On his self-titled YouTube channel, which has currently over three million subscribers, McKinnon shares VLOGs, tutorials, reviews, and a short segment called Two Minute Tuesday. He covers a wide range of topics related to filmmaking and photography. Be it different kinds of camera lens that you must get your hands on and tips for taking the best photo to camera hacks and secret businesses, he has it all to keep you engaged.


The Bucket Shot

Peter Mckinnon at Moraine Lake

Have you ever had a dream that you would chase until you achieve it? It took McKinnon nine long years to fulfil his dream. He has always been mesmerized by the beauty of landscapes and panoramas, and when he visited Moraine Lake, he knew at once that this was the place where he had to obtain his ‘bucket shot’. Encircled by tall mountains and fed by glaciers, Moraine Lake is one of Canada’s most iconic landmarks. It is sprawling in the Valley of the Ten Peaks, at Banff National Park, Alberta.


From sun-smashed days to frosty evenings, Peter went there every season to photograph the lake in different angles and scenery. He interviewed people who resided nearby to find out how the lake looks throughout the year. As the snow flurries started to blanket the mountains, a light bulb went off in his head, and Peter realized that what would be the perfect shot – ‘Snow kissed mountain peaks surrounding the vividly blue, crystal-clear waters of the lake’. Perfect timing was the key to click such a picture, and it was not easy. After all, how can you compete with mother nature? However, his hard work paid off, and after lengthy struggles with sleepless nights, fog, rain, and crowds, he clicked the perfect landscape shot of Moraine Lake in utter seclusion. Peter then had his coffee in peace at his favorite location!


You can watch the short film ‘The Bucket Shot’ where Peter talks about his dream shot here.


Two-Coin Peter McKinnon Photo Series

Peter Mckinnon and Coin
Photo via coinweek

Matt Paré, the sale representative for Royal Canadian Mint, was riveted by McKinnon’s work and knew that his photos of Moraine Lake would be the perfect choice for their collector coins. The pure silver colored coin with a $30 denomination features the image of autumn-kissed Moraine Lake captured by McKinnon on one of his earlier trips. Product Manager Matt Eggink commented, “These coins are stunning. They are amazing tributes to the power of photography. I can’t wait to unveil the second coin in this series, which will also feature a beautiful Canadian landscape.” He further stated, “Moraine Lake is an iconic Canadian scene, and McKinnon is a Canadian photographer with a deep passion for the land”. Peter McKinnon has called it the greatest honor of his career.