My love for art, visuals and storytelling stemmed from when I was around 6 or 7 years old. As a kid, I would write countless stories which seemed to stem from some of my experiences, much of which would be based on the things I would watch on TV. This combination of film/TV and storytelling became a passion that continued into my teenage years through college and university.
Although I studied Business and Computing Science, my real passion was with storytelling, and this reached new levels when I came across a PC animation game software called "The Movies" by the then active 'Lionhead Studios'. This software allowed me to tell stories the way I always wanted as well as giving me the opportunity to collaborate with voice actors, sound editors, music composers etc. Working with these talented individuals inspired me to dabble in all areas of the technical elements which ultimately culminated with me writing, directing, scoring and producing a 69minute feature animated romance/musical/thriller called 'Temporary Night'. The production release in 2009 featured over 25 voice actors and over 30 original songs, however, the core of what I enjoyed the most was telling stories through directing each frame. It made me realise how much I loved visual arts, which led me to dabble in photography and live-action filming.
Nearly ten years later, I find myself venturing into landscape, abstract photography and thanks to my first wedding shoot, I have now ventured into portrait photography. My goal has always been to tell stories and to express myself through pictures, and I treat all my shoots as stills of movies. I still enjoy live action and plan on making a full feature film one day with smaller goals along the way. I recently produced a short abstract live action piece, spanning across various countries against a music piece. Titled, 'Hurricane: The Storm and the Eye', I consider this to be my most personal projects that highlight my love for editing and fusing music and visuals together.
Although I am London based, I am looking forward to my next project, which will span across the globe and include some artists I have been lucky to meet through social media.
Much of this will be slowly revealed through posts on my Instagram page.
Andrew Abbiw specializes in
● Portrait Headshots
● Fashion and Editorial
● Film Editing / Sound mixing
● Music writing / composing
● Storyboarding and Directing
Would you like to complete our full Editorial interview or skip straight to uploading your photos? (12 more interview questions).
Our readers would love to get to know you more Andrew. Tell us about yourself, what is unique about you?
I don't know if it is certainly a unique thing but I would like to think that my taste in genre's is very wide. This spans across all mediums, whether it may be film, music, food, art. I find myself to be an advocate for expressionism. In this digital age, I think its so important to be able to express ourselves through all mediums. I think there are many people who yearn to do this and I firmly believe it is what will allow us to grow and evolve to be better people to ourselves and others.
Andrew, what are your passion and aspiration in life? How did you start as a Photographer?
My passion is to express myself through visual and audio scenarios. Whether this is in abstract or story form. Getting into animated films allowed me to manipulate camera angles of the software I used to get the compositions I wanted. I slowly realised it was this that it was this aspect of film making I loved the most, which gave me the drive to get into photography.
My aspiration is to be able to reach others with my stories and be encourage others to be able to express themselves with the passions they have in life.
Who is your inspiration in life Andrew? How do you keep inspired?
There are many, but if I had to choose one, it would be the late and great Michael Jackson. His work ethic and dedication to expressing himself, whether on the dance floor of a tour, on the screens delighting us, or through the radio or his philanthropy, he brought joy to a lot of people including me. The animated film me made was completely inspired by Michael Jackson and I still to this day create content that is inspired by him.
We all make mistakes Andrew; we wish we could take back. Please tell us about time being a Photographer; you wish you’d handled a situation differently with a colleague.
This one still sticks with me and is something I hope to rectify one day. I was in NY and wanted to do a lot in the day to maximise my trip. Unfortunately, something had to give, and my shoot was much too quick and rushed. As a result, I don't think I did as good of a job as I know I could have. I feel I let myself and my colleague down then, but I think it was a worthwhile learning experience as it taught me about managing my time and expectations better and ultimately gave me the determination to go back again to achieve what we set out to.
Andrew , when you’re working with a large number of clients, it’s tricky to deliver excellent service to them all. As a Photographer, how do you go about prioritizing your clients’ needs?
For me, it is about figuring out what their needs are and being able to differentiate them. All clients are different, and I think being able to understand and embrace their individuality is the first step to being able to deliver something that stands up well on its own, regardless of how many people you work with. Regarding prioritizing, I always look at expectations and measure them against what is realistic. That gives me an idea of what to work on and what is possible.
Please tell us, Andrew, about a time you had to be very strategic to meet all your top priorities as a Photographer?
It would have to be my first wedding shoot. With it being a good friend of mine, I was very conscious about making them proud of choosing me to shoot them. I planned to be a photographer and videographer and to create a montage of their special day. This included doing an exclusive shoot of the couple at a country club. However, nature had its wicked way and the weather forecast for their big day looked grey and wet. Unfortunately, this meant my plans for using my aerial drone was out of the question not to mention any external shots by lakes and on the grounds. Keeping the forecasts in mind, I decided to shoot aerial footage a day earlier when the weather was good and was able to mix that with the internal functions of the day. Thinking ahead managed to make the most of the situation and still provide them with a cohesive wedding video, which they loved.
Andrew, please give us an example of a time when you were able to successfully persuade someone to see things your way at work.
As part of my normal profession, I worked within the British Government and was involved in a media promo to highlight important topics within my team's role. During filming and production, it was found that some of the vocals that the film team captured were below normal levels and were hard to hear. The producer was keen to re-shoot, but there was no time. I noted that the sequence that had the vocals didn't have an actor in the segment as it was showing miscellaneous cuts and other scenes (the actor was off-screen). I suggested re-recording the actor's vocal and offered to do this myself. This suggestion was taken on-board, and the voice overs were added to the production, and I ensured the vocal levels were consistent which led to a smooth flow.
Andrew, please tell us about your proudest professional accomplishment as a Photographer. There might be many, but there is always this proudest moment that you just want with share to everyone. What is it and why?
My proudest accomplishment was my first professional shoot for my friend's wedding. It was the catalyst for me and helped me break so many barriers. Self-doubt, worry that I wasn't good enough. Having the courage to do something new that I hadn't done before, having belief in my abilities to do it. The end result, seeing the happiness that day and seeing how the wedding guests and bride and groom enjoyed their day and receiving good feedback on the photographs I took sealed in my mind that I wanted to do more of this and more importantly, confirmed what I should have always known.. that I could do it.
Andrew, please give us an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or difficult about it?
I mentioned earlier about one of my biggest regrets as a photographer. That moment helped me during my same trip to NY in October 2017. It was my last day in the city, and I was due to fly out in the evening, but I had a shoot booked during the day. With early check-in's, I knew I wouldn't have the luxury of a late afternoon shoot and that I would need to shoot much earlier, which I normally tend to avoid. I decided to use the city's surroundings and high rise buildings to my advantage to soften the light as it was a very sunny day. I also decided to use the shoot to experiment with light and shadow shoots. Overall the shoot went extremely well, and we ended up with something we were both proud of.
What advice would you give to the people who want to be successful as a Photographer?
I would say find what your purpose is. Whatever it is, whether it is telling stories, portraying emotion, capturing timeless moments, being creative visually. Whatever it is, figure what it is and put everything into it and not to be afraid to express what makes you happy in photography. I firmly believe expression works two ways for a photographer. It gives a real sense of accomplishment and value but it also seen by the subject, viewer and peers.
Are you looking for collaboration with fashion talents, brands and creatives? If yes, please state below what type of collaboration you are looking for?
Collaboration is something I have always loved, whether it is for new upcoming film students looking for help with casting to companies and brands that want to advertise their products. I am open to all collaborations.
Now for the best part Andrew! Please upload 5-10 photos so we can get to see your work.
Photographer: Andrew Abbiw - Instagram(nukester82)
Cover Photo 1: featuring Becca - Instagram's (shegambino)
Cover Photo 2: featuring Becca - Instagram's (shegambino)
Photo1: featuring - Betha - Instagram's (Bethamaeve)
Photo2: featuring - Mandee - Instagram's (Biterphobia)
Photo3: featuring - Abbie - Instagram's (Abbathehutt)
Photo4: featuring - Abbie - Instagram's (Abbathehutt)
Photo5: featuring - Abbie - Instagram's (Abbathehutt)
Photo6: featuring - Abbie - Instagram's (Abbathehutt)
Photo8: featuring - Mandee - Instagram's (Biterphobia)
Photo9: featuring - Becca - Instagram's (shegambino)
Photo10: featuring - Betha- Instagram's (Bethamaeve)