Behind the Lens: GETTY’s Andrew H. Walker talks to FashionDailyMag
CATCHING up: GETTY’s charismatic [senior] entertainment photographer ANDREW H. WALKER talks with Brigitte Segura about high-profile celebrities, fashion week, and gives FDM a few photographer tips… like ‘check your EGO’…
Andrew H Walker on www.fashiondailymag.com
FashionDailyMag: LOOKING back at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week New York Spring 2011 shows, what were your thoughts on the NEW venue at LINCOLN center?
Andrew H. Walker: there’s more sophistication to the space, LOVE the neighborhood, not as touristy; less of a ‘spectacle’…
FDM: what was your BEST MOMENT- the peak this past Spring 2011 season?
A: BETSEY JOHNSON backstage-
... the WAY SHE GETS PEOPLE EXCITED !!! CHAMPAGNE, jelly beans , lollipops, posters for the models + make-up artists + entire BJ team…all in theme + mood of show: music bumping, models love doing this show cause it’s just so much fun – for everyone, back and front of house.
FDM :we love BETSEY’s shows : always a cheery time, puts us in a good mood too, and the models don’t look grouchy…
FDM: what’s your precious piece of equipment- what are you attached to the most?
A: NIKON D3 s..
FDM hmm… another in the NIKON D3s club.what’s your formula to get the ‘advantage’ in a shot?
A: Be PREPARED: LOOK at the angle to get best image, have a strategy, follow it, and then adapt to the SCENARIO…
FDM: HOW do you get the CELEBs attention?
We’ve heard a lot of shouting -it can be aggressive and distracting..
A: it depends on the situation. I don’t enjoy yelling, but I will raise my voice if necessary. GETTY enables me to ask directly or let the publicist set it up.
FDM: are you most affected by SUBJECT or RELEVANCE? A: Usually the subject…
FDM: which CELEB made you FREEZE in your tracks? WHY
A: people that really get my attention are those that have accomplished something significant in the world. Bill Clinton is one. I admire Chuck Close, but honestly nobody makes me “freeze”… An EX-girlfriend, maybe.
FDM WHAT if they are NOT very nice, or refuse the shot?
A: It is still disheartening if someone ‘refuses’ to be photographed. Typically, if celebrities are at an event, it’s because they are doing publicity for themselves or showing support for a friend, charity, something; and if they refuse a photo, it makes them look like a jerk.
FDM: IS there pressure to not only get the shot, but to make the subject look good too…WHAT if they are just NOT having a good hair or body day, are you required to get the shot?
A: Celebs employ stylists and makeup artists. If they don’t look good, there’s really not much I can do unless it is a portrait with a team with an art director. If it’s an event, they will look however they look…
FDM can you tell when a CELEB has, well, had some new WORK done? can you actually SEE the difference before you look at your shots?
A: I’ve gotten really good at noticing plastic surgery.
FDM: and your most VAIN photographer habit?
A: I could get into trouble with this question – my colleagues will never let me live it down – but I’d have to say my HAIR…
Designer Yohji Yamamoto walks the runway at the Y-3 Autumn/Winter 2010 Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for IMG on www.FashionDailyMag.com
FDM tell us, ANDREW: what’s in YOUR grooming BAG; your travel bag?
A: KMS hair paste, Nail clippers, Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss SHOES so important… Keds – hi top grey leather sneakers, (gift from my wife) and my old fall-backs, ADIDAS Sambas, and a pair of wingtips…
FDM: what accessories are in your CAMERA bag?
A: [backpack] 2 D3s bodies, 24-70mm, 14-24mm, 70-200mm, sb-900 speedlight, Quantum mini powerpack, 4 four gig compact flash cards
FDM what’s the CRAZIEST thing you’ve done to get the shot?
A: I will climb just about anything to get a photo. But I enjoy it, so it doesn’t feel crazy at all.
FDM: WHAT makes you tick during an event, what do you do to calm down, do you count to 10, say bad words in another language…
A: Oh, man, if a security guard or PR person gives me a hard time, I get pissed.
I understand there are a bunch of photographers that are pushy, unruly and inconsiderate – but I’m not one of them. I make it my point to be courteous and professional, it makes the process simpler for everyone. Once there was a PR woman working a red carpet, continuously trying to ingratiate herself with the celebrities and getting in everyone’s photo. There were a handful of photographers and we asked if she would help us set up the shot so we could get a good photo and promote her event. She came over and called us the “enemy”. So, we all packed up our gear and left… she didn’t get a single photo placed to promote the event.
MODEL COCO ROCHA AT Y-3 on www.fashiondailymag.com FDM: what was the PHOTO that made you feel like, AAh… I think I’ve made it now..
A: Ha! None. I’ve learned that no ONE photo will do that. Photographers need a lifetime of great work and it is unlikely that you will ever feel that you’ve “made it”.
FDM: who is your ICON, even if it’s not a photographer
A: My father. He was a science teacher, a painter, sculptor, athlete, farmer and poet…
FDM: WOW, that’s impressive…where do you see yourself in 5 years?
A: something similar to what I’m doing now. I work for the greatest imaging company in the world; they are always challenging me and reward me with creative opportunities
FDM: CAN you give FDM your advice for someone starting out, in your photography specialty…
A: CHECK your ego. Be polite. Take advice.
Watch, listen and learn. Don’t dress like a slob. Shoot shoot shoot. If you do all those things, someone will notice and you’ll find yourself with job.
FDM if you weren’t a photographer, you would be… ANDREW H. WALKER: some sort of Emergency Rescue worker.
interview: brigitte segura production: c. productions
Andrew Walker: senior entertainment + fashion photographer at GETTY IMAGES for 10 years, photographing high profile celebrities, red carpet events, parties + backstage happenings at Fashion Week New york…