Through Their Eyes: Andrew Richey
Andrew Richey is a high-end commercial photographer based in Melbourne. Known for his slick portraits of Australian celebrities and glossy ad campaigns, his technical skills were honed by his early experiences working in Europe. Based in London for three years, he trained with elite UK photographers Terry O’Neill, Ross Halfin and Brian Aris, assisting on many high profile campaigns including the Queen of England (!).
His high end aesthetic is reflected in this striking series that he recently shot in Hong Kong. Scroll down for the background on the series and find out what camera he used to get this look (hint: it’s one of these curious things)
The fast pace and changing face of Hong Kong intrigues me. I have been there a few times now and on the last occasion travelled there simply to take pictures. I think it is the world’s most vertical city and one of the most densely populated places in the world. I don’t necessarily consider this a beautiful thing but from a viewer’s perspective, it is definitely a fascinating place to watch and experience. On this trip I was attracted to the more traditional parts of Hong Kong and found a graphic and quiet beauty in clusters of buildings and government housing. The concrete often contrasted with the natural lush environment and being such a densely populated place it was nice to present the spaces in quite a vacant way. The diffused light was amazing and the soft colours were definitely a stand out – a sports ground, some palm trees and the pastel colours of the Chi Hung Housing Estate reminded me strangely of a more exotic place like Miami.
What was your last travel destination?
Hawaii. I was there on holiday but found time to ditch the family and shoot some of the colourful young local scene – very rewarding stuff when the time is right. There is a series of this young youth culture on my website.
How do you decide what gear to bring (bodies, lenses, flash, tripod, bags)? Do you try to pack light? What’s your minimum must-have gear?
In the case of Honk Kong I knew I was there to shoot buildings, so I took a technical camera and one lens – Cambo WDS, 24mm and phase one digital back. I also packed a DSLR and a short zoom for other little pick ups but it really was not used that much. The destination will always dictate what I chose to travel with but I am leaning to pack lightly and am enjoying the freedom that its bringing to the images I come home with. I think on my next trip to Japan I will limit myself and see how I go – perhaps one DSLR and a single lens like a 50mm f1.4.
Have you ever planned a series before you left, or do you just wait and see what happens?
I will generally have an idea on the type of images I set out to achieve but most of the fun is in the discovery of places and spontinaity of what may present. I generally shoot people but in the series shown here it was nice to capture a series that was simply architectural.
What do you do with your photos when you get home? Have you ever landed any commercial work because of your travel shots?
In the past I have been guilty of doing very little with my personal pictures and therefore moments seem to get lost or forgotten about. I now get home and put them into my workflow (as I would a job) and might display a personal project on my website or knock out a print. I am now getting a lot more reward out of having those personal moments around me and feel more connected with the places I have traveled to. Hard to say if my personal images have landed me a job but they are definitely forming a bigger part of my portfolio – I think it is very important to display a more personal side to your professional work.
What would be your ultimate travel photography destination?
I’m off to Japan next but a south American road trip would be fun.