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Andrew Braithwaite

Andrew Braithwaite

Every year Sydney based photographer Andrew Braithwaite, who so memorably captured our new store, makes a pilgrammage to Mardi Gras with his camera in tow.

"Mardi Gras is one of my favourite events every year. A mecca of colour, fun and happy people makes it a playground for street photography," says Andrew. "I tend to hang around the side streets of the main parade and it's not rare for me to not see a single float. I do, however, get to see some of Sydney's finest having a ball."

 

 

 

We spent five minutes with Andrew before he hit the Cross.
 
Tell us quickly about your day job… 
I'm a strategist at Ogilvy, an ad agency. When I have to simplify my role I usually tell people that there are things the client wants (more sales) and there are things people actually care about or wish could be better. My job is to figure out what the cultural tension is, what the brand/product is really good at, and where the two things meet. I then give that to a creative team who turn it into something exciting.
 
What first sparked your interest in photography?
When I was little my mum worked in a camera shop, so I was shooting film like people shoot with their phones these days (without discretion) as an 8 year old. My dad was always a keen photographer too and very graciously lent me his OM-2 during high school, which I managed to destroy twice. My interest really took off after moving to Sydney around 7 years ago. I found photography was a great way to discover the city, and I made some good friends through a small forum of photo nerds (R.I.P Sweet Photos Bro). It got me out on the streets every week.
 
What are your favourite subjects?
I like taking photos of places with the people as the dressing for the scene. Generally, I'm shooting in the city, looking for nice light with something interesting happening around it. I find it very satisfying when something comes out of what could otherwise have been easily missed.
 
Best project you’ve worked on?
My wife and I started a website (which has been a bit neglected lately) called Lets Go Somewhere. We were getting out of the city most weekends anyway and found more and more people asking us how we found all these beautiful places. So, we formalised it. It was more of an excuse for us to keep taking weekends away (and we took A LOT of weekends away), but it became an excellent outlet for my photography. We never claimed to be the experts in the locations, instead presenting the experience as we saw it. This meant I wasn't lugging around heaps of gear and waking up before sunrise to set up a tripod. Instead, I just worked with what was in front of me, often just with a 35mm lens on a mirrorless camera. It almost felt like street photography for landscapes.
 
How would you describe your style?
Quick. I don't spend a lot of time planning what I want to shoot, I kind of just get in there, take a shot, then move on to the next one. I often shoot at the same focal length as the human eye, so I hope that it often feels like you are right there walking by yourself.
 
Dream project?
I'd love to do behind the scenes photography for Holywood films... kind of like what Jeff Bridges does. It's kind of cheating, given the sets would already be cool enough as is, but I feel like that just makes you work harder to get something original.
 
Tough question - your favourite shot of all time?
Not so tough, I've always really loved this one (shot just around the corner from STILY). At the time, I'd set a goal to fill a new blog post with images every week. It was Friday and I hadn't shot much I liked. I really couldn't be bothered, but because I'd set the goal I made myself go out anyway. I ended up with something I loved. I hate the phrase "you must have too much time on your hands", because it's less about the time and more about how you choose to spend it. Don't get me wrong, I am good at wasting my fair share of time... but on this day I didn't. Plus... the guy looks dope.
 
Anything else you want to tell us about?

Just to check out my dog. His name is Kumo. He's a cool guy.

 

 

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 Check out more of Andrew's work here.