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    © Andy Gotts

    Andy Gotts    

    Interview      

    Andy Gotts is a professional photographer based between London and New York. Most noted for his distinctive black and white portraits that read like an A-Z of Hollywood, Andy’s unique style also let him to be appointed MBE in the Queen’s New Years Honours List. In this interview, Andy tells us about his career, his techniques, and his experiences as a professional portrait photographer.

    How did your professional career start? Was it luck?

    What is luck? Luck is a bucket load of hard work to hopefully give you a break. Due to the Big Brother and reality TV generation, many people want a career NOW and not work hard and climb the ladder. Unfortunately, life is not like that. It has taken my 25 years of very hard work to get to the position I am in now. I see luck like telesales: the more phone calls, knocks on doors, emails you do, the greater the chance of getting the job you aspire to.

    "It has taken my 25 years of very hard work to get to the position I am in now."  

    What is it about photography that makes you tick?

    In a nutshell, being my own boss is a great part of my career. As my sitters are all famous faces, it is nice for me to try and capture something a little different, whether it be quirky or more thought provoking images.

    Who has been your biggest photographic influence?

    This is a bone of contention as I really don’t look at other photographers for inspiration. I like to watch old movies to see how they lit the actors or I love to look at the work of Caravaggio or Rembrandt, and the lighting they used. But also everything you see every day influences you somehow. Having said that, I do love the photography of Karsh, Albert Watson, Avedon, and the early work of Bailey. 

    © Andy Gotts
    © Andy Gotts

     "I stumbled over Elinchrom and from then on I was hooked."

    © Andy Gotts
    © Andy Gotts

    How did you start using Elinchrom?

    When I was a student of photography in 1989 I used to use another brand of flash heads. They were great but VERY heavy and bulky to carry around to shoots. When looking for a replacement or an alternative to the heads I used, I stumbled over Elinchrom and from then on I was hooked.

    How did you develop your own lighting style?

    By playing. I like either very soft or very hard lighting, and over the years it has been trial and error. I remember, I was in NYC shooting Christopher Walken (back in the days I shot film and didn’t use Polaroid). My light meter broke during the shoot so I mocked up a lighting set, not knowing if it would work or not. The resulting soft shot that was hashed up on the day is a lighting style I still use in case of emergency.

    What is your most common set up for a photoshoot?

    There isn’t a common setup for me, as most shoots are different. But usually I shall use three ELC Pro HD heads, using a softbox or an Octa as my main light source. Maybe also a grid on another light or a bounced light.

    © Andy Gotts

    "I like either very soft or very hard lighting, and over the years it has been trial and error."

    © Andy Gotts
    © Andy Gotts

     Follow Andy's work

    www.andygotts.com

    Facebook / Twitter

    © Andy Gotts

    Original interview by TFC

    www.theflashcentre.com

    Andy's To Go Set

    • ELC Pro HD 1000

      ELC Pro HD 1000N° 20616.1

      Lightning fast recycling times (1.2s at full power!) combined with Swiss precision offer precise power output and colour temperature consistency. The super fast flash durations (up to 1/5260s) enable to freeze action at higher power levels than most other flash units. Furthermore, an OLED screen displays every control and flash duration for the most professional user experience. 

    • Rotalux® Softbox Octa 175 cm

      Rotalux® Softbox Octa 175 cmN° 26186

      This is the biggest Rotalux Octa.

      Very popular among beauty and fashion photographers, as they prefer the round catchlight given by this softbox. It's a great folding beauty dish when removing the front and inner diffusers and adding one of the optional deflectors. 

    • ELC PRO HD 1000 TO GO

      ELC PRO HD 1000 TO GON° 20679.2

      Recycling times are lightning fast at 1.2 seconds to full power while Swiss precision guarantees consistent power time after time, shot after shot.

      Equipped with an OLED display for an easy and precise user experience the ELC Pro HD benefits from cutting edge technology.

      Tripods are not included in this Set.

    • Rotalux® Softbox Deep Octa 100 cm

      Rotalux® Softbox Deep Octa 100 cmN° 26185

      This narrow shaped Deep Octa reduces the spread of light and offers sharper shadows compared to standard sized octagonal softboxes. It provides a very even diffuse light over the front screen and is an excellent crispy and direct light when used without diffusers to give a beauty dish look. 

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