Photography: Andrew Alexander
Freelance photographer Andrew Alexander discusses how the raw beauty of Scotlands landscapes and his love of the outdoors led him to pursue a career in photography.
Has photography always been a career you were intent on pursuing? How did you begin, then develop your skills as your career progressed?
Absolutely not. I never thought for a second I’d become a photographer. I’ve worked in the motor trade for a total of eight years since leaving college in 2008 and thought I’d either end up opening a garage or hitting the big time with my old lifestyle brand I used to own back in 2014. My love for the outdoors and a life long passion for creative endeavours has ultimately led me here. I started documenting my adventures with my iPhone and it quickly became apparent to me that I had a real enthusiasm and flare for taking photos. Being part of inspiring communities such as Instagram and Youtube have been very important and naturally I have progressed with equipment and knowledge, but I am always looking to step up to the next level. In my eyes there is always room for improvement.
What is it you are aiming to capture in each of your photographs?
I aim to capture the essence of my subject. There is nothing better than being transported through a photo and If I can share exactly what it feels like to be there, then I am happy.
What kind of feeling or reaction do you aim to inspire in people when they view your photography?
I’d love for people to just pack their bags and get on the next flight to Scotland! In all honesty though, I just hope that someone looks at my photos and enjoys them. It would also be cool if someone was to pick up a camera because of my work - I love the idea of inspiring someone else.
What, or who, would you say has had the greatest impact on your work?
The simple answer to that is - Scotland. I feel so privileged to stay in such a beautiful country with a great variation of landscapes, wildlife and ever changing weather. I am literally surrounded with places to go, but as diverse and alluring as Scotland is I am feeling a great need to spread my wings and travel to other countries. In terms of photographers, I absolutely love the work of Alex Strohl, Samuel Elkins and Scotland’s very own Colin Prior. As with anything in life it’s great to be able to look up to people and find inspiration.
What do you find to be the biggest challenge in your work?
The biggest challenge in my work is finding new places to shoot that aren’t a lifetime away. Scotland is a small country, but it can take along time to get anywhere in the Highlands. Then, you have the weather. Sometimes it can just rain for days on end and that can be really tough to deal with, but overall I’d say the good outweighs the bad.
Where has been your most exciting shoot to date?
This is really tough because I’ve shot in some amazing places but It’s probably a sunrise mission at the Old Man of Storr on the Isle of Skye back in March. The previous mornings sunrise in Kintail had been sensational and the weather forecast was excellent, so I had really high hopes for this one. I slept at the hill entrance in my camper van and headed up into the iconic landscape in the dark. I was also equipped with my drone and the thought of flying it around up there was really exciting. The air was still, there was snow on the surrounding peaks and to be honest, I was rather nervous. This shoot definitely exceeded all expectations.
Where do you dream of travelling to next?
Right now I am all over the Dolomites in Italy and Glacier National Park in Montana USA. I feel a huge connection with these places. I am thinking about doing a road trip to the Dolomites in my van, but I’ll need to see how things pan out. I’m sure it would be epic!
Do you aim to constantly evolve and develop your images, or is there one particular style of photography you prefer to work with?
I’m always looking to progress and move forward. I don’t believe you can ever be perfect so there is always room to grow. My Instagram page is more focused on the outdoors and adventure, but I work in all areas of photography and I will always strive to become more of a complete photographer.