Today we chat to artist Andy Smith. We welcome him to the SA Creative Network.
Please tell us who Andy Smith is?
Thank you very much for inviting me and hello. I’m an editorial, commercial and corporate photographer based in London, UK.
Where do you draw your inspiration from and how would you define your style?
The internet, magazines, films, people, conversations, different art forms, new experiences, books, travel, trial and error, my own emotions and life in general. I’d like to think my work is a genuine representation of who I’m photographing. The environment they’re in, can help to tell a story about who they are and what they’re doing.
Please can you tell us about the “Sustainable & Traceable Cocoa, Ghana” shoot and how the project came about?
The Cocoa Project was commissioned by an organisation called the Source Trust, through a communications agency in London called Small Room Media. The Source Trust works with chocolate makers, who fund community projects in the regions where the cocoa is grown. The main areas they invest in are: farmer training, seed nurseries, malaria prevention, farm shops, community infrastructure and Village Resource Centres. The latter of which provides computer equipment and reliable internet access for education in schools and for farmers.
What are you working on at the moment and what are your hopes for the future?
The work I did in Ghana reminded me of why I became a photographer. I’ve got a list of personal projects to shoot and I continue to work with magazines and communications agencies. In the future I’m very interested in working with NGOs.
We have a large amount of young talented photographers in South Africa, what is your advice to them with regards to this industry?|
- You don’t need to have the latest or most expensive equipment to be a good photographer.
- If you’re getting things right all the time, you’re doing it wrong. When you make a mistake through experimenting, you should be congratulating yourself for having the balls to take risks. Just don’t make the same mistake twice.
- Your business needs to be nurtured in the same way your portfolio does. Identify your audience and learn how to market your work to them.
- There are not too many photography budgets, which can stretch far enough to buy the copyright to your work. So unless you’re lucky enough to find one, don’t give up your copyright.
- You’ll never get everybody to like what you shoot so trust yourself and do what you believe in.
- Whatever stage you’re at in your career, be open minded and always be willing to learn
Always have a supply of Yorkshire Tea close-by. Work hard and be nice to people.
Where can readers view more of your work?
Website – www.andysmithuk.com
Twitter – @andysmithphoto