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1 February 2019

We speak to Andy Smith, finalist of the Moving Image category of the Awards 2017, about how he combines the challenges associated with working in stills and moving image, the importance of personal work and who he can be found capturing next.

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© Andy Smith


You specialise in photographing people, has this always been the case? How did you get to this position?

I became interested in photography during the first of three round-the-world backpacking trips that I did when I was in my twenties. In between hangovers I would photograph people and the places I was visiting. Later, when I began to consider photography as a career, I did stop to think if photographing people was what I wanted to do but it was an easy decision because I loved (and still do love) photographing people.


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© Andy Smith


Many photographers also work as directors creating moving image, how did you embrace this change?

I've really enjoyed learning about directing and shooting and editing film. Directing and shooting stills alongside a DP (and sometimes a sound recordist) has its challenges and some shoots lend themselves to working that way more than others. It find it very satisfying to shoot stills and moving image and then edit and finish the whole thing myself. It’s rewarding to deliver the full package, I’m really looking forward to a shoot for a retail client that’s coming up in the Spring that will involve me doing this.


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© Andy Smith


How important is your personal work to you? How does it feed your commissioned work?

I find it very important. Shooting for my own personal satisfaction and curiosity scratches an itch that shooting client work doesn’t. I imagine it’s like chefs cooking at work and cooking at home - I’m sure they enjoy doing both but it’s just a different experience when the only person you have to please is yourself. Very often, personal projects have lead to commissions or at the very least enquiries and a quote going out. That’s not why I do them but it does make sense that CDs might be interested in booking a photographer for a shoot that they have a personal interest in or connection to - there’s an obvious logic to that.


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© Andy Smith


What’s next for you?

The next chef I’m photographing for Eat is Angel Zapata Martin at Barrafina’s new restaurant at Coal Drops Yard in King’s Cross. I’m working on refining and updating my lifestyle portfolio as well and if everything goes to plan there are some exciting commissions coming up later in the year, all being well. And who knows what else is around the corner. What advice have you got for anyone starting out in the industry? On the breakfast menu at St John (one of the restaurants featured in the Eat project) there’s a bacon sandwich made with freshly baked bread, homemade tomato sauce and the bacon comes from pigs that lived their lives, quite literally, as happy as pigs in shit. Anybody can make a bacon sandwich but only St John can make that bacon sandwich. In short my advice would be: you do you.


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© Andy Smith


View more work from Andy in Find a Photographer 


Instagram @andysmithuk

Twitter andysmithphoto

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