Edinburgh based photographer Andrew Moore has achieved a lot for a 33 year old.
With his work featuring regularly in national wedding magazines, as well as his main passion, fashion photography, starring in various prestigious publications including Vogue, he’s set for big things in 2013.
I interviewed Mr. Moore to discover the man behind the camera’s thoughts on the industry.
With such an excellent reputation, Andrew talked me through where it all began.
“I first started taking an interest in photography at school after completing a course in darkroom techniques. My first camera is still one of my most treasured possessions – It’s a Kodak Retinette which was passed from my grandfather to my mother to me when I was 15 years old.
The first camera I bought myself was a Canon EOS 5D, it’s still the one I use today.”
Like most of the best photographers out there (in my humble opinion), Andrew’s skills are entirely self-taught.
“Teaching yourself isn’t that difficult when you have a passion to do something. You just do it, no matter what it takes. I started with 2 books teaching the fundamental basics and studied those for a week. Then I borrowed a Canon EOS 500 and went out and shot. You just need to start trying to put what you see in your mind onto print.”
As you can see above, Andrew’s fashion photography is extremely impressive. Surprisingly, this genre hasn’t always been his passion.
“I started off with street photography, then into music photography as I was in a band. I still love music photography at gigs, it really makes you work hard anticipating the artists next movements, the lights constantly changing and your need to adjust to them.
However, the thing I really love is fashion photography. I love the artistic license and all the possibilities that come with that, to be able to really use your imagination. I love to create art and play with ideas technically and emotionally. I love that I can work with people to create something quite unique – I like to push myself and the model.
“The fashion medium has no limits,” he informs me. “The image can be as simple and serene or as crazy and as wild as you like. It is a massive playground for creativity and the learning curve technically with the people you work with is never ending.”
For a man so evidently full of drive and determination, I played devil’s advocate and questioned him as to whether he ever gets ‘photographers block’.
“I never get photographers block. There’s a part of my brain which is clearly just an ideas factory. I love it, I’m really lucky that way. I do take inspiration from others though –
Kerry Lytwyn: There’s always something very magical, atmospheric and cinematic about her images, and there is always a beautiful feeling of connection to her model. I love the atmosphere in her imagery. I also love the colour tones of her work.
Sam Hessamian: Sam is another great photographer with such talent for capturing moments that explode with black and white cinemaphotography and atmosphere. Despite living in New York he doesn’t use any typical New York landscapes but more random streets and rooftops. He also still uses film like me and for that I always have great admiration.
Billy Kidd: Billy makes great use of expression and movement, more so in his individual model portrait sessions. His work is simply stunning.
Paulo Roversi: I love Paulo’s work. He has a way of connecting the model with the camera. And I love the colours he uses.”
We have all heard the stories about diva models who refuse to have their portrait shot unless they can demand the exact angle to show their nose in the right light, or the shy ones with no clue of what to do. I was intrigued by how one deals with this kind of situation.
“It’s not just enough that a model is photogenic aesthetically,” Andrew agrees, “they have to be confident and bring energy to the scene. They must know how to take the set-up environment and make it seem real. They also have to be very body/camera aware and know what angles and poses work for them. Good models are the best listeners and interpreters of your instructions and really give all to the project. I’ve shot myself in studio and have been shot by other photographers; I think its important as a photographer to swap sides of the lens to get a better understanding of the models point of view.”
As if all this wasn’t interesting enough, this year Andrew’s work is only going to get better.
“Later on in January I’m off to Somerset House in London to shoot for designer Bobelle handbags (ladies, bobellelondon.com. DROOOOL). I show with them which was great last time I shot with them in October. At the moment I’m working on a series of editorial images shot with the fantastic Danni Menzies who is a fashion TV presenter/model for magazine print.”
Clearly an inspiration to any amateur photographer, Andrew advises these 4 helpful tips:
- “It’s a lot more work and a lot less glamorous than it looks so be prepared to put in the hours if you want to be a professional. You’ll likely spend more time editing at a computer than shooting, not to mention all the paperwork.
- Buy a book on the basics, set the camera to manual mode and manual focus, and learn what you can do, not the camera’s auto settings.
- Don’t worry about having all the latest gear. It’s the brain of the photographer and the interpretation skills that really make the shot.
- Last of all, do your own thing. Don’t worry about anyone else – follow your heart. Don’t get jealous of other people’s work – admire what you like and let it influence you naturally.”