I love Andy’s website, it’s simple to get around and it’s filled with fantastic photos. Check out his self portrait section. What do you think of Andy’s work, leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Tell us a little about yourself?
Well, I’m 22 years old and I’m pretty much a self-taught photographer. I was born in San Diego, California and ended up moving to Phoenix, Arizona with my mom when I was 12. I’ve been living here ever since. I’m currently going to college and majoring in business but that can change at anytime.
What inspired you to get started in photography?
I have always been the type of person to be creative and express myself artistically. In high school, I always loved taking classes like Ceramics or Art. They didn’t have Photography classes when I was there. The worst part is that they started offering them the year after my senior year! That was lame. I bought my first camera in 2009 when my girlfriend kept telling me to buy one so we can take pictures of her lil’ brothers baptism. It all started then.
What gear do you take to each shoot and what lens can you not live without?
My 5DII is always necessary, of course! Off-camera lighting is a must for me. I always have to carry at least one flash, a trigger and receiver with my gear. That is bare minimum for me. I also have to have a light modifier with me if I can help it. On most shoots I have my Alien Bees, Cybersyncs and my Speedlites. The lens that I can not live with out has to be my 50 1.4. I take it everywhere with me. My 70-200 2.8 is a bit too heavy to lug around for walk-arounds.
How do you market yourself and has social media been an important part?
I actually just recently started to advertise and market myself. Before, I would just post photos on Flickr and Facebook and that’s when I started getting followers and potential clients. Anytime someone notices that you own a camera, they will ask “How much do you charge?” That’s when I started to realize that I could make decent money off of something that I’m really passionate about.
What’s your favourite photo that you’ve taken and does it have any significance?
Man, I have so many that I love. If I had to choose one that I like and that actually has some significance, it has to be this one. The reason why I love it so much is because it actually gives you a feeling of solitude. It brings out emotions. Also, the city in the horizon is my hometown of San Diego. This picture was taken after me and my sisters had went to visit some family. It was the last picture I took before I came back to Phoenix. Sort of like a farewell picture.
Select a photo you have taken, explain how it was taken and how did you edit it?
This photo here consists of about four images. When I do these type of photos, I always take a picture of just the scene with nothing in it, it’s good for the masking in Photoshop. I also took a picture of just the camera on the tripod, of me on the couch and the last one I needed was one of the bottom part of the tripod mount that is on my lens. I then took them into PS and masked, cloned and patched away!
What processing tool do you use and do you believe in the camera doing all the work or in post ?
I use both Lightroom and Photoshop. I have been mainly using PS lately because the color correction and tone curves are so much better than LR. That is really the only reason why. Although, LR4 does have the ability to edit the three different RGB channels in Tone Curves now. Which means I may be going back to LR again!
Whats your favourite photography accessory other than your camera?
That easily has to be my lighting equipment. In photography, lighting is crucial. If you don’t get it right, that can ruin the whole picture. There are exceptions though.
Where do you prefer to post your photos online and why there?
I prefer to post them on Flickr because it’s a whole community full of people that share the same passion. I love that they give me creative criticism and help me grow as a photographer. I also like to post some of my work on 500px. The stuff on there is crazy good though.
Do you ever get photographers block and if so what do you do to get inspired again?
When ever I run out of ideas I tend to look back at movies I’ve seen or music I have heard. A lot of times you can find ideas hidden in others art as well.
Is there anything you wish you had done when you first started in photography that would of made a difference?
To be honest, no. Everything is done and happens for a reason. I have learned a lot from decisions I made in the past. I really don’t see that anything I changed in the past would’ve made a difference today.
Any advice for new photographers wanting to go pro?
Keep shooting. Just shoot and edit as much as possible. You can read up on photography and study it, but it boils down to hands-on experience. Take criticism positively, always. Even if you think your picture is perfect, find a way to make it better. If you really love what you do, you will succeed in life and in photography, no matter what.