On Photography: Andy Anderson’s Letter to His Son

When we first partnered with Andy Anderson, we were struck by how passionate he was about photography – using it to document what he loves about the outdoors, parlaying that into a career that feeds his never-ending curiosity. It is that same curiosity that he instilled in his son Zachary, a new photographer on our roster. We have known Zach since he was ten years old and have enjoyed our front seat watching the possibilities of how his world opened up. As Zach joins our team, we wondered if there was any advice Andy wanted to give to his son about keeping a career in photography. His response is a snapshot of Andy’s own career.

Dear Zach,
As a photographer, it’s hard to remember when you weren’t by my side — observing, inquiring, assisting, and eventually creating your own imagery. I’ve watched you learn and experiment, finding your unique style, and establishing yourself as a creative visionary all on your own. I am so proud of the artist you have become and can’t wait to see what you do next.

I’ve been thinking back on my career — how I got to where I am today, what I learned along the way. As you move into this next phase of your life as a photographer, I hope you’ll take these thoughts along with you.
-Dad

Give Back
Find purpose with your photography. Photography is a very powerful medium and should be used for good. Since you are the vehicle to produce that work you should find a purpose with your imagery. Find a cause you are passionate about. It’s the responsibility of all of us to give back. 

Don’t Believe Your Own Hype
Ever since you were a young child, you always loved movies and photography. It was amazing to see you grow. Go forward, but don’t believe your own hype; it’s all propaganda and will cloud your mind, you are just a photographer. 

Curiosity is the Engine of Your Creativity
…And it will propel you through a long rewarding life as a photographer. Your passion will never diminish as long as you remember this.

Consider Yourself Lucky
…Landing a project with an agency and client is nothing more than miraculous. Creatives have chosen you because they feel you have embraced the concept and you will be a good partner. Now you are a valued collaborator and your job is to bring the concept to life. You are very fortunate.

Take Time for Yourself
It’s extremely important for you to live a life outside of photography…….Take time for yourself. You will need to recharge and that means to step away from your vocation. Travel, read a book that you have always wanted to, surround yourself with friends. 

Nurture Your Relationships with Creatives you Admire
You have amazing people skills and this will be extremely beneficial to you and your long career. Nurture your relationships with creatives you admire. Your clients are not Fortune 500 companies, they are people. It’s the creatives that believed in you enough to bring their idea to life. So stay close to them. 

Pass It On
Your experiences are not yours to keep. If you stay in this business long enough you will have young photographers who will admire your work, and hopefully you. So be open and kind.

Be a Good Loser
…You will lose jobs for many reasons. It’s part of the landscape of our profession. Be graceful in not landing the work. 

Have Fun
…Because it is fun.

Follow Andy on Instagram for more imagery from a photographer living life committed to the outdoors.

2 thoughts on “On Photography: Andy Anderson’s Letter to His Son

  1. Lovely! I have fond memories of having Zach along to assist on our Bonterra shoot when he was a skinny, high school brat! ha! Amazing talent and grace in both father and son.

Leave a Reply to Chris Thomas Cancel reply