The Winner's Circle: Jody MacDonald With her shot of a surfer riding a freight train in the Mauritanian desert Jody MacDonald won the Lifestyle category. She tells us what it was like at the Winner Award Ceremony and which images get her vote. 10/25/2016 © Jody MacDonald / Red Bull Illume How does it feel to have won the Lifestyle category? It’s really such an honor. When you see the caliber of photography that was submitted and how many images that the judges had to go through, it really is special. I'm incredibly stoked! It's both humbling and very motivating! How was Chicago? The Winner Award Ceremony was great. Red Bull Illume really pulled out all the stops to make the evening a memorable one. All three days were exceptional from the hotel, to the events. We were made to feel special. What was it like to see your own image? The displays and venue were so impressive. It’s always great to see one of your own images in a large print format but the backlit displays at the event were really incredible. It really makes you want to stop and look closely at each image because they all look incredible when they are displayed like that. Was it good to hang with the other photographers? Yes! Definitely – I think for many of us that was the best part. Being a photographer can be such a solitary profession and getting to meet and potentially collaborate with other photographers in the industry is particularly special. Many of us have so much in common so it’s great to be around other creatives for feedback and inspiration. There is really no other event that would bring us all together quite like this one. What did you think of the other images? All the images are so impressive. It’s great because it really makes you want to push your own photography to new levels. That is so important for our own creativity and for adventure sports as a whole. What was your favourite shot? That is a tough question. I actually have two. I love Alexandre Voyer’s shot of his girlfriend’s encounter with the blue shark. I’ve spent a decade living at sea and I know how rare these incredible moments are and to be able to capture them on camera makes it even more rare, so that photo is impressive. The other is Victor Sukhorukov’s image of the BASE jumper jumping off the lighthouse. It’s hauntingly beautiful and again the effort and timing that went into making that photograph was extraordinary. Any interesting upcoming trips? I’m getting ready to work on some projects in India and Asia that I can’t really talk about but I’m looking forward to getting back on the road. See more of Jody’s work on her website.