by Charlotte Moss Published 01/10/2014
'My dad was always a keen amateur photographer. I remember him turning the kitchen into a darkroom and teaching me to process films.' It was overlooking Sarajevo on a family holiday at the age of nine that Andy took his first photograph, one that he still has in his collection!
'When I was a teenager my father bought me a Canon AE1. In time I snapped my way through my career from Officer Training to Combat Operations'. When he puts it like that it sounds only mildly interesting, but delving deeper into his story reveals that Andy spent nearly 20 years in the RAF. He flew single-seat Jaguar fighters, was a fast-jet instructor teaching ab-initio pilots as well as spending three years in the Red Arrows. On top of that he was a 'trainer of trainers', teaching military instructors how to instruct.
It was this teaching experience in the RAF that has led him to where he is now. 'When I decided to start shooting weddings myself I went on a course run by Terry Hewlett. After the course and over a beer I blagged myself a chance to teach alongside him. I said to Terry that he could do with another instructor and he reluctantly gave me a chance to teach a small section on his next wedding course.' However, the day didn't quite go to plan for both of them. Terry was taken ill within the first few hours of the course and, stepping up to the breach, Andy ran the rest of the two-day course by himself - a true baptism of fire! Luckily for them both it all went well and they've never looked back since, forming a solid partnership, delivering high-quality photography workshops.
'Teaching workshops with two instructors present can really work well,' Andy tells me. 'When we have someone who is struggling it means that we can split up and take those individuals for one-on-one training rather than slow down everyone else on the course.' It's not only workshops that Andy and Terry do together either, they assist on each other's weddings which means that their clients get two experienced photographers shooting their wedding instead of one!
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