Featured Photographer #46: Andrew Hutchinson
My name is Andrew Hutchinson, from Phoenix Arizona, where the heat comes from, and I have been photographing things my entire life. But I became more serious about it in the last five years.
Where did you meet photography or where did photography meet you? I met photography when I was born. My great uncle was a professional photographer most of his adult life, and growing up cameras were all around, and we were always taking pictures. It always shocked me when I went to my friend houses and they didn’t have 6 cameras and rolls of 35 and 120mm film, 20-30 albums full of family photos and 15 reels of Kodak 8mm film of home movies… I thought everyone’s house had those.
That’s when I began to figure out that something was slightly different about my family, and myself, in relation to cameras and photography.
What do you do when you don’t have a camera in your hand? When I don’t have a camera in my hand, or rather when I need to pay the bills, I am a production manager and lighting designer for a large production company in Scottsdale Arizona, and I am always being inspired by the people I work with and the shows we design. I do love my job, one of the perks being that I get to travel on someone else’s dime to interesting places, and I get to photograph them!
Your personal story with photography in 12 words. I was trying to write my story with photography in 12 words, but it didn’t fit. Basically photography saved my life 5 years ago. I had reached a personal and professional crisis and had a moment of clarity that I needed to get my head together. That’s when I picked up a camera again. Looking through the viewfinder and concentrating on the act of making a photograph allowed me to put the rest of my life in perspective, and get my head screwed on straight. Well, as straight as it is ever going to be.
What do you want to achieve? As much as I love photography, I am still trying to learn to remember the little things, like check my settings before I shoot, remember to meter, with my Lumu of course, (see what I did there, a little product placement) and to check ALL four corners of my frame BEFORE I hit the shutter. As much as I love digital cameras, they have taught me some bad habits over the years, and it takes discipline to remember to double check everything when I am shooting film.
I was thinking about the work I shoot, and really, what captures my attention are very small moments. Light hitting a leaf just right, a perfect balance of sun, sky, and light, that makes the scene in front of you look like a storybook, small details in an ordinary object that turn it into something extraordinary. I like to celebrate and document the small moments and details in life that pass you by if you’re not looking.
I don’t know what makes a “good” photographer, but as far was any wisdom, I always think of something a design professor said in a college lighting design class: “You’re not lighting the set or the actor, you’re lighting the space around the set and the actor, do that well and the scene will always be well lit.” For me at least, I am not taking a picture of a subject, I am taking a picture of the space around the subject. If I get that right, the subject will look great.
Have you ever got yourself in trouble? I haven’t done anything too crazy as a photographer, the only time I got in trouble was at a cemetery once. The groundskeeper said I needed to delete my images and I had a film camera with me. He got very confused when I said couldn’t delete the images, and I wasn’t going to pull out my roll of film as I had some family pictures on it that I wasn’t going to sacrifice. Police were called. But, since they did not have a “no photography” sign posted, and it was a public cemetery, I got to keep the film in the camera.
What annoys you the most in this profession? I think overall the thing that annoys me the most about photography, or photographers, is the constant technical talk about photography. I want to talk about composition and mood and art!!! Not what F stop you used. If I really want to know something specific and technical, I’ll ask, but I hate when you tell another photographer: “Great image!” — and I get a 5 minute breakdown on the technical specifications of how they shot it. (It’s not just photography by the way, many lighting designers do the same thing, and it’s JUST as annoying.)
What’s in your camera bag? As far as what is in my camera bag, it changes quite a bit depending on what I’m shooting or where I am traveling, but some things are constant. Right now I have the following: Sony A6000 (always have) and a Lensbaby Velvet 56 lens (I LOVE this lens), my Lumu (1st gen), and my iPhone 6+, an Ondu pinhole (35mm 1st gen), a Canon EOS Rebel 2000 (always have) and a Horizon Kompakt.
This can vary, for example, my Holga pinhole will usually come along for a mural shoot, it’s easier to use than the Ondu as far as film is concerned (however, as soon as my new 120 mm Ondu’s arrive that will more than likely change). I will also swap out the Kompakt for my Zenit ET, or a FED 5 (in case you can’t tell, I really like Russian optics, and cameras, really bulletproof) and sometimes my Polaroid 440 land will come along too. And I always have my Mamiya C33.
How does it affect your process, how often do you shoot? As far as how my gear affects my shooting, it really doesn’t. I shoot every day, at least one image, if not more, I always have my phone, and it is probably the most used piece of gear I have, if for no other reason than it is always with me. And if I could only take four pieces of gear into oath universe it would be 1.) My Mamiya C33, 2.) Lumu, 3.) Ondu 6x12 pinhole, 4.) Sony A6000 (I am assuming they can process and scan film in this universe).
When do you rely on your instruments and when on your feelings? I find I have a tendency to shoot first and meter later, it’s a bad habit, but I will almost always rely on my feelings more than the gear, I just use the “Sunny 16″ and go. That said, if it is a really important shot, I will meter first, and I always meter my pinhole shots.
Pearls of wisdom for fellow photographers to be? As far as wisdom, I would say refer to my answer to a good photographer, and have FUN!, this isn’t rocket science, and we aren’t saving lives, we are just making art, and art should be fun!
Ansel Adams or Annie Lebowitz or Martin Parr or Alec Soth? My list of current favorite photographers might seem a bit odd, but here it goes:
Fritz Arno Wagner — I know he is a cinematographer but his use of light was amazing, and whenever I am working in black & white, I am always thinking of his films.
Tabitha Soren — I started watching her on MTV and followed her into photography. I love her work.
Dorothea Lange — Her images of the Depression and American life at that time are some of the most visually arresting I have ever seen.
Robert Capa — Some of the most affecting images of conflict I have ever seen.
Links or anything else you would like to share!
Website — http://lightingbug512.wix.com/lbcreative
Twitter — https://twitter.com/lightingbug1
Ello — https://ello.co/lightingbug1