|Model: Amy Coco Stylist: Falcieri Designs|
Hi Andy, thank you for taking the time to answer some questions. We should probably start at the beginning, when and how did you come about getting into the world of photography?
"I graduated from university with a BA Hons Degree in Fine Art in 2001, shortly after I graduated I became a college lecturer within the school of Visual Arts. I taught various subjects including Life Drawing, Painting, Photoshop, Graphic Design and DSLR Photography. I specialized in painting and the rest I was thrown into by my Head of School. So I had very little knowledge of the DSLR. I was self-taught in order to pass on my basic knowledge to newbies. Over the years I developed my skill in Photography and became more familiar with a DSLR but never shot people. Just over 3 years ago I made acquaintances with someone who discovered my love for photography and asked me if I would like to shoot with them. I was nervous to say the least. I found it fun but looking back at the images they were appalling (due to my lack of skillset) not because of the subject matter. From there I was invited to a Facebook community of models and photographers. I took the plunge and started to work with others and could soon see a vast improvement in my work. I was then invited to a studio for the first time and I absolutely loved it. I had no knowledge whatsoever about lighting but I was determined to master it. I met some fantastic people who invited me to their studios and I was invited to PurplePort and from there I started networking and going to group nights at a local studio. I had some tuition from a great photographer or 2 and then decided to find my own place. After acquiring a unit space I spent the next 12 months developing and constructing it into a studio whilst becoming somewhat a hermit and very solitary in my personal development with lighting. My studio is near completion and I have some way yet before I can consistently work well with various light setups."
Photography, especially online, tends to fall into specific genres and/or gets described as being a specific style. The trouble with this is it's quite subjective, the style someone views an image to be can often differ to the style the person creating it views it as. How would you describe the work you are putting out there?
"My work strongly leans to fashion and beauty. I occasionally shoot topless and nude but I have a strong stance on it being artistic and try to keep it away from being of a sexual nature. I don’t have anything against other genres including glamour as long as it is professionally and tastefully done, however it isn’t something I am interested in shooting myself. I take great inspiration from Peter Coulson. I prefer to capture beauty, innocence, elegance."
|Model: Sarah JaneS Taken at: Onyx Studio|
Photography can have it's share of problems. I personally have a particular problem with self confidence. This confidence issue can and has caused me issues with my photography. Do you find any aspects of photography particularly challenging?
"2 of my greatest challenges are my lack of satisfaction with my work and the other is trying to keep my photography from interfering with my personal life. I have to try to manage my time well being that I am full-time employed and have a relationship. I would love to pack in work and earn a living from my photography. Sometimes photography can impact on my relationship as I guess many can testify, it takes patience and acceptance from an understanding and loving partner to have no issue with you spending time focusing on the physical aspect of other females."
In my series 'Foto Inspiration Friday' I share the people, images, places etc that I find give me inspiration. Who, or what, or where do you draw inspiration from?
"I mainly draw my inspiration from the networking site I am a member of and also from famous photographers like Peter Coulson. To be honest I am a bit ignorant in the field I am in as I don’t know many famous photographers/models/artists/designers. I think I am at a stalemate at this point of my development as I have discovered that I really do need to network more and take inspiration from others in order to develop further."
|Taken At: Onyx Studio|
Sometimes images hold a special significance to us. It can be the first image we ever made, it can be an image drawing attention to a cause close to our hearts, it can simply be an image of someone we love. Do you have an image or images that hold a special significance to you?
"If I were to pick one in particular it would be the first image I took of my girlfriend. I met her at a network/group night at a local studio a few years ago when I was a newbie. I never entered this whole photography lark to meet someone but we just got on well and became friends. I will never forget asking the studio owner “WHO IS SHE?!” We started dating many months after and have been together since. As for the rest of my work, I find it special when the people I shoot are pleased with the results and feel they have benefited from working with me. I always try to give people something they can take away as a positive and fulfilling experience, something all photographers should provide."
Photoshoots can sometimes leave you open to scary or funny situations. What's the scariest or funniest situation you've found yourself in because of photography?
"Should I be admitting this? Oh well, I once burnt a models scalp and ruined a makeup artists carpet. When you buy cheap modeling bulbs off Ebay don’t expect quality assurance! The model needed more light for makeup application so I pumped up the modeling bulb to full power and POP went the glass flying everywhere burning into carpet and small fragments landing on the scalp of the model. We resolved the situation and we are all still good friends."
|Model: Kerry Ann Taken At: Onyx Studio|
We've talked about your start in photography, we talked about your current work, let's quickly chat about the future. What have you got coming up this year, more of the same? any special projects? And in regards to a more long term plan, where are you hoping your creative journey will take you in the years to come?
"How can I keep anyone in suspense if I let the cat out of the bag? I guess I will give you a small piece of the pie. I will be opening my studio for the first time officially in the coming months. From there you will have to stay tuned and follow me."
|Model: Amy Louise|
We can't really talk photography without discussing gear, so...what is your 'go to' equipment that you find yourself gravitating towards the most on shoots?
"My trusty Nikon and Bowens lighting. I love my beauty dish modifier and Cambo boom arm. I tend to keep with my 35mm for most of my work and I couldn’t live without Photoshop, however I spend a lot less time editing than I used to."
|Model: Kamile J|
Now for the shameless self promotion part of the interview...where can people find you and your work?
I'd like to thank Andy again for taking the time to answer a few questions for me. Be sure to check out all of the links for more of his work, and the links attached to the images for the other creatives involved.