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adtyler

Interview with Andy Tyler

Interviews

13 February 2015

Posted by Sally Hart

Hi Andy! Tell us about yourself in two sentences - who are you?

I’m an ex-digital marketing geek who having spent 6 years in marketing and advertising agencies in London and Sydney decided to put that on hold in order to try and turn my passion of photography into a career. That was just over two years ago and as a freelance PR, event and commercial photographer in London, my photography career is gradually taking shape.

QWhat's the weirdest situation you've found yourself in while taking a photograph?

AOne day quite early on in my photography career I had an email from someone who works at a telecoms company in the Middle East, asking if I could take a photo of a TV presenter from the news channel Al Arabiya. He was going to be in London very briefly and needed a photo taken that could be used on billboards and other marketing materials. I met the man, who invited me into his hotel room whilst he finished getting ready. That was pretty weird. I then found myself in the function room of this expensive Knightsbridge hotel taking some simply lit portraits on a white background of my subject holding his hand up to his ear, making a phone sign - also pretty weird! Lo and behold, I then saw the photo on the telecoms company’s website and in a photo of a billboard somewhere in Saudi Arabia.

QWhat do you shoot on? What's your favourite set up?

AI’m a Canon man - I just find them much more usable than Nikon. But that’s probably just because I’m used to it! I shoot with a 5D Mark III and a 5D Mark II. At most events you’ll see me looking doing my best Rambo impression with a double Blackrapid strap with one body attached to a 24-70mm F2.8L II and the other with a 70-200mm F2.8L II. I’ll either use speedlites on camera or off camera on stands depending on the venue. When in the studio (well, my front room), I use Elinchrom strobes with a big octabox and a strip softbox too.

QWhat's your number one tip for an aspiring photographer?

AAlways be looking for interesting light. My girlfriend teases me all the time when I’ll pause whilst we’re out and about, and she’ll say something like, “The light, the light, it’s so beautiful!”. Having a nice camera and lens helps, but great light is what distinguishes a great photograph from an average one. If you don’t believe me, have a look at the series by DigitalRev called Pro Photographer, Cheap Camera Challenge!

'I think my favourite shot I've uploaded to Picfair would have to be a photo of my late grandfather. It’s not had much attention, perhaps because it’s not something people searc... Read more

'I think my favourite shot I've uploaded to Picfair would have to be a photo of my late grandfather. It’s not had much attention, perhaps because it’s not something people search for, but it means a lot to me. The shot was taken in my parents’ house one night after he had come round for dinner. After his customary post-dinner nap on the sofa, he got up to leave, put his coat and hat on, and I managed to catch this candid portrait whilst he was waiting in the hallway. I always loved his extraordinary bushy eyebrows, so I made sure they were in focus. I took the original in colour but what he was wearing led me to convert it to black and white, and I think it works well.' Read less

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Andy Tyler

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'I sometimes give people photography lessons, and a great location for that is Southbank in London. I was out and about on a lesson when we spotted this guy on the actual banks ... Read more

'I sometimes give people photography lessons, and a great location for that is Southbank in London. I was out and about on a lesson when we spotted this guy on the actual banks of the Thames whilst the tide was out. He was really going for it, putting all his energy into belting out some classic songs. I think he was singing a Beatles track when I snapped this shot, which I think exudes happiness.' Read less

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'I spent more than three years living down under, and whilst there worked in advertising agencies so photography was just a hobby. This was shot on a beach in Queensland. I thin... Read more

'I spent more than three years living down under, and whilst there worked in advertising agencies so photography was just a hobby. This was shot on a beach in Queensland. I think I got lucky that day with the conditions. The clouds were apocalyptic on one side of the shot whilst there was bright blue sky on the other. The city in the shot is called Surfers Paradise, and I love the way it has so many high rise buildings so close to the beach.' Read less

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Andy Tyler

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'A couple of years ago I was lucky enough to visit Morocco on holiday. It’s a brilliant place to travel to as a photographer. Full of colour, textures, tones and smells! This sh... Read more

'A couple of years ago I was lucky enough to visit Morocco on holiday. It’s a brilliant place to travel to as a photographer. Full of colour, textures, tones and smells! This shot was taken in the port city of Essaouira, where fishing boats line the pier every morning with the daily catch. I had decided to go out with my telephoto lens that day, so I could snap some people from afar without them knowing, and I was lucky in this case because I don’t think I would have wanted to get in a conversation with this guy.' Read less

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'This was another shot from Morocco - this time in Marrakech. There are so many people who just sit around on the street in Marrakech, I thought that I wanted to get some good p... Read more

'This was another shot from Morocco - this time in Marrakech. There are so many people who just sit around on the street in Marrakech, I thought that I wanted to get some good portraits of them as they went about their daily life. However, if you stop and focus on these people, like anyone, they change when they know they’re in front of the camera. I decided to work on my street photography skills and shoot from the hip, literally. I had my camera on its strap resting on my hip. The benefit of the silent shutter mode on my 5D Mark III paid off as I would slowly walk past people, and with a fast enough shutter speed to stop motion blur, fire off a few frames. They didn’t always come out well, but the ones that did I was quite pleased with, like this one.' Read less

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Andy Tyler

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'Each December, in multiple cities across the world, huge swathes of people dress up as Santa Claus and go on a huge bar crawl under the name of Santacon. This was taken at Sant... Read more

'Each December, in multiple cities across the world, huge swathes of people dress up as Santa Claus and go on a huge bar crawl under the name of Santacon. This was taken at Santacon 2012 in the moments whilst half of the London Santas gathered at Boxpark in Shoreditch before the event began.' Read less

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Andy Tyler

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'This shot was taken just outside Berry, a small, picturesque town in New South Wales, south of Sydney, Australia. I was messing around on the beach with my camera when I saw a ... Read more

'This shot was taken just outside Berry, a small, picturesque town in New South Wales, south of Sydney, Australia. I was messing around on the beach with my camera when I saw a few surfers at the edge of the beach where the waves hit the rocks. This guy was slowly making his way out to the edge, across the slippery rocks, when a big wave crashed into the rocks, sending spray thirty feet into the air. I thought to myself, rather him than me!' Read less

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Andy Tyler

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'This shot was taken in a zoo, through glass. I think it’s possible to get some really great shots of animals in captivity, although I much prefer to capture them in the wild. T... Read more

'This shot was taken in a zoo, through glass. I think it’s possible to get some really great shots of animals in captivity, although I much prefer to capture them in the wild. There were a few lions in this enclosure, but this one took particular interest in me for some reason. The sunlight hit him from the side, which gave some nice depth to the image, which was already shot wide open.' Read less

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Andy Tyler

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'One of Sydney’s greatest annual events, the Mardi Gras parade, is a real spectacle and one not to be missed from a photographic point of view. Outrageous outfits and everyone i... Read more

'One of Sydney’s greatest annual events, the Mardi Gras parade, is a real spectacle and one not to be missed from a photographic point of view. Outrageous outfits and everyone in a real party mood mean taking fun photos is easy. By this point in the parade it was getting pretty dark so I think this was shot wide open on a high ISO, something like 4000.' Read less

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Andy Tyler

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