Famous for his black and white portraits of Hollywood’s biggest names, Andy has been plying his trade since 1990 and his work has appeared in many internationally acclaimed publications, including Vogue, Vanity Fair, ELLE, GQ and more. Andy was appointed MBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours List 2012, for his services to photography and charity.
Now shooting with the ELC Pro HD range and ELB 500 TTL, Andy has the flexibility and consistency to capture those special moments on a shoot with utmost reliability.
We for one cannot wait to see what Andy comes up with next! Keep reading to discover more about Andy’s journey, his eureka moment that started his adventure in the world of photography.
I was always a 007 fan. My very first cinema outing when I was allowed to go ‘alone’ without a chaperone, was in 1981 to see FOR YOUR EYES ONLY. At the age of 10, I was mesmerised.
Around the same year, there was a television program called “In At The Deepend” where each week Chris Searle took on a new profession to master. Whether this was a pro-snooker player, opera singer or fashion designer. This particular week I sat on the sofa with my triangles of toast waiting to see which hat Mr. Searle would be donning this episode…and it was a press photographer.
With the help of Mirror Group photographer Mike Maloney, the duo dashed around London trying to photograph Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer. There was one scene where Mike Maloney took out his camera bag and it was literally like a scene in Q’s lab in a 007 movie, and from that moment the hook set in.
Skip forward a few years to 1989 and I enroll in a photographic course at the Norfolk College of Arts & Technology. The course had a grandiose title ‘BTEC National Diploma in Design Photography’, what this actually meant was you spent the entire first year studying all genres of photography. Food, landscape, still life, fashion, etc, etc, etc.
Then in the second year, you are dedicated to one for the entire year. At this point, there was not one specific avenue of photography that floated my boat enough to dedicate a week let alone an entire year pursuing. I was really at an end what to do.
It was at the point where I needed to make a choice when local ‘lovie’ Stephen Fry popped into the college to hand out a few diplomas and give a talk about AIDS awareness. At the time Mr. Fry was a HUGE star! We only had four television channels in 1990, no satellite or cable. Not only this, Stephen featured in three primetime shows every week Black Adder, A Bit Of Fry & Laureie and Jeeves & Wooster, so it was a scoop for the college to have him as a guest.
I found out which room he would be giving his talk, and with a little bit of initiative I set up a makeshift studio in the room next door. I joined Stephen’s talk just towards the start of the Q and A’s.
My hand shot up and this booming voice said: “Yes, boy at the back looking sheepish”. I asked if I could quickly take a few portraits of him. After his immediate eye-roll and checking his watch he said he would, but only if I was quick.
Mr. Fry gave me 90 seconds. I took 10 shots. A bolt of lightning hit me,
That was my eureka moment.
I knew I wanted to photograph famous people.
That was 29 years ago. I am still photographing famous faces and Stephen Fry and I are still chums.
“Photographing world-famous faces which have been captured 1000s of times before is easy.
Trying to capture them in a different way is where the challenge is.”
— Andy Gotts