About Andy Short
Andy Short is lucky. After over 20 years working in the same field he still has a genuine passion for his craft and love for photography.
He has kept it interesting. After a degree majoring in photography at Wolverhampton Polytechnic and a four months work placement on the Standard in Hong Kong, he was offered a job there where he rose quickly to become senior photographer within two years. After assignments covering the war in Bosnia, Grand Prix in Macau, the walled city evictions in Hong Kong, Vietnamese boat people repatriations and killer shark hunting in China, he went out by himself to start the roller coaster life of a freelance photographer.
Because Andy’s images were on the front of both business and news sections of the daily papers, top end marketing and PR firms began to use him to cover events for major clients like MTV, Channel V, Hermes and the Discovery Channel to name a few. That culminated in covering a party and classic car rally in the Forbidden City, Beijing for Louis Vuitton and the production company Art House. Over the eight years he spent in Hong Kong, he worked for many high profile clients doing brochures for companies like Securicor, HSBC, Star TV, Channel V, Pinkertons THE detective agency, Jardine Mathersons and more, while still doing fashion shoots for the Sunday supplements and Eve magazine. He did interiors for Ikea and the many up and coming architects constantly redesigning the face of Hong Kong at the time.
Andy had a theory that to master his craft he had to learn every aspect of it. This of course went against conventional wisdom of specializing in one photographic discipline. He felt if he had the skill of capturing a moment at speed when shooting hard news, knew studio lighting on people, products and on location, if he had a portrait photographers’ nature in letting his subject shine, while being sensitive to interior or exterior designs and lighting and with all that have an understanding of style and make up, he would be able to incorporate it all into making every image have its maximum impact.
Computers and more importantly Photoshop started to appear in the mid 90’s and this only added to the excitement. Andy started with Photoshop1 and a Macintosh LC1, seeing that this was the future after experimenting on some of the first ever professional digital cameras for the Hong Kong Standard in 1992. By 1997, the year Hong Kong was handed back to China by the United Kingdom, he had moved into a 1500 square foot dried seafood warehouse which he quickly renovated into a photographic studio and apartment. It was in Sheung Wan on Hong Kong Island and only a 10 minute walk from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and the trendy bars and clubs of Lan Kwai Fong. Business was going well.
Tragic news from home was to throw a spanner in the works and force Andy back to the UK at remarkable speed in late 1998. In the time it took to do a brochure for Kai Tak Airport Freight, he had shipped his studio, belongings and life back home. Within six weeks Andy was having culture shock in reverse in the heart of England. Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon is a beautiful town in Warwickshire, but even being there could not get away from the grim reality of his new life as a full time carer.
Andy had always planned to come back to the UK, but not quite as life had dictated. Still, you can’t keep a good man down nor a photographer from taking a picture. So while doing some shifts as a stage hand at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, he was still shooting behind the scenes doing promo posters for Fringe shows and a new millennium calender for the Edinburgh Fringe. Twelve pages and cover with the whole summer seasons cast for the RSC. Andy Short is lucky!
There is little photographic work in Stratford, so when the time came to leave, Andy headed to Bath to restart his photographic career 2002. London seemed too much after his recent ordeal and was only down the road should work appear there anyway. Bath is a publishing centre and so he theorized there must be photographic work too. He was right to an extent but the work was sparse and a reputation earned abroad did not carry any weight a few years later on a different continent. His net was cast wider and he soon started covering the South West for the Daily Express and doing portraits and weekend features for the Financial Times. Future publishing owned over 120 magazines, Bath based and an obvious target since they had the busiest studio in the South West with every photographic toy one could imagine to experiment with.
It is different building a reputation in the UK as the quality and quantity of other photographers here is immense, but the pace much slower. There are great photographers here, though not many have Andy’s breadth of experience and willingness to jump to embrace new things. His theory of mastering all aspects of photography widened once he started working with Presentable, a production company, and seeing what goes into lighting a TV set. A whole new world appeared and with the development of the new generation of digital SLRs, an ability to capture that in a quality never done before.
On top of shooting for national newspapers, magazines, design, marketing and PR companies, he works directly for some of Baths most prestigious companies. Andy has started his own company doing packshot product photography called Pakpix www.pakpix.co.uk using and experimenting with all techniques from in and out of the studio. He takes commissions from companies and the public alike treating them all the same and giving all to every shoot he goes on.
Most recently Andy has been working on the new series of Stella by Ruth Jones for Tidy productions which will be coming out on Sky TV. Yet another new string to his bow, as working on a film set is different to a TV studio and has meant investing in the latest state of the art sound blimp equipment. Always moving forward and finding out about new techniques and ways improving his photography.
Andy Short is lucky. He loves his work!