CCP asks Andy Roberts the deep questions about his craft
1. What gets you out of bed every day?
Zephyr. My dog is the best thing in my life…however not known for his morning walk patience : )
2. Who is the photographer that has inspired you the most?
Gregory Crudson. His work is next level when it comes to production…a bit beyond the realms of us humble little photographers. However, the huge sets and large format images with tens, if not hundreds of people involved in pre/post production are incredible. I love the dark, thought provoking suburban subject matter and the absolute dedication to detail, scenery, lighting and perfection.
Also love Max Dupain.
3. What camera and lens do you like shooting with and why?
Canon R5 body (it’s great!) The 70-200 2.8 L lense is my favourite ‘workhorse’, but I really love the 24mm shift lens for architecture! I’m not a brand snob …all manufactures make amazing cameras…they just have buttons in different places This new mirrorless technology is brilliant!
4. When you are on a shoot do you play music? What other essential items do you have with you for a successful session?
Not usually when shooting as I’m generally on location with clients and people, but when it comes to editing, then yes… music is a part the process! Genres could be anything from delta blues to Britpop. Also – I’m a tragic still listening to old vinyls as I work… when you get to the end of a side, it’s time for anther coffee and a dog wrestle!
5. In the digital world how important is the print?
I think we all need to print more. I understand why we don’t so much these days, but we should. I personally don’t have to print for any of my clients, but some photographers’ business models center around selling prints/framed prints and I love that!
6. B/W - Colour - Analogue - Digital.
What are your thoughts and ideas about these 4 different photographic concepts.
B/W – always beautiful if done well with an appropriate scene/subject, lighting and contrast.
Colour – harder to get right if I’m honest. Still learning!
Analogue – Love it, but don’t shoot enough film. When I have some time… I have an old 1965 Leica M3 handed down to me and I’d love to play around with.
Digital – not as sexy as film, but fundamental to shooting in today’s commercial & domestic environment. I love getting my head into some photoshop too.
7. Have you exhibited your work, and other than the print, how important was the framing process to you?
To be honest, only when I was at photography college. Another thing I would love to do again all these years later. Printing and framing was an essential part of that first exhibition though! And yes, CCP did all of this for me 11 years ago! They were so accommodating and helpful to such a newbie as myself!
8. What is it that defines a great image?
All the pomp & guff around lighting, composition, subject matter, technical perfection…etc put aside; an image that really intrigues, inspires or provokes you personally, for whatever reason, is a great image I think.
9.What is your favourite genre of photography and why? and also your favourite photo?
Architecture because I love the built environment we live in; symmetry, lines, curves and working around natural light. I also love looking at street photography, but I know it’s not my strength.
Favourite Image? I’ve been thinking about this for 3 weeks straight…sorry, I still can’t answer that! I have an Irving Penn book on my coffee table in front of me and still love every image in there.
10. What is the best and most enduring advice about photography that you have received? Tell us by who if you can or want to?
Advice: Don’t’ become a photographer.
A brilliant fashion photographer, great friend and now a wonderful mentor, told me not to quit my old salary life and take up photography in this day-in-age (this was 11 years ago). I think he thought I was a bit mad starting at my age in this new digital world, so I stubbornly ignored him and trying to prove to him I could take photographs helped me to get me here today. We laugh about this now and we talk photography non-stop for hours when we catch up. I thank him for pushing me whether he meant it or not, and for allowing me to assist him when he realised I was serious.
Sorry – that really didn’t answer your question, but you hopefully get the sentiment.
11. When you are not taking photos, what are you doing?
Swimming, surfing, motorcycles and dog adventures. Also trying to learn Spanish and I still suck at it, but it’s fun.
“Don’t give people what they want, give people what they don’t know they want” - Jack Bridgland (photographer)
“You miss 100% of the shots you don't take” - Wayne Gretzky (hockey player)
Andy Roberts - December 2023