Andrew Southam (www.andrewsoutham.com) is an Australian fashion and portrait photographer and director. He has lived and worked in New York, London and Milan. He began his career doing photography for the Sydney Theatre Company and the Australian National Ballet. His work has been published in Australian, English, Italian and American Vogue, as well as American and French Elle, and his portraits have been exhibited in the Australian National Portrait Gallery. Andrew has recently hosted a discussion presenting 100 Helmut Newton photographs with Newton’s wife June. He also conducted an evening discussing the work of 10 legendary photographers called The Singular Vision. On the upcoming workshop Andrew has said, “I have never recovered from seeing photographs by Newton, Avedon, or Penn for the first time. I hope to impart something of that joy to anyone who takes the class.” Andrew currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife and son.
LACP Interviews Andrew Southam
LACP asks Andrew Southam ten questions about his background, career in and beliefs about photography
Los Angeles Center of Photography: What kind of photographer are you?
Andrew Southam: I am a Fashion, Portrait and Lifestyle photographer.
LACP: How long have you been shooting?
AS: Over 30 years …
LACP: Where did you get your training?
AS: Sydney, Australia.
LACP: When did you know you wanted to devote your life to photography?
AS: The first time I assisted a photographer.
LACP: Did you ever come close to giving up?
AS: No, to be absolutely honest I never have. My career has been long already and has had it’s ups and downs. But I really feel grateful to have chosen this (occasionally very difficult) deeply rewarding life. The camera is a passport that has taken me into other worlds and lives I could never have imagined without it. The longer I do this work, both shooting, now working as a director and cinematographer, as well as teaching, the more grateful I am to have sent my life watching light, taking photographs, making films and working with so many remarkable, talented people.
LACP: Have you sacrificed anything by being a photographer?
AS: Time away from my family.
LACP: What have you gained by being a photographer?
AS: The camera is a passport into other lives and worlds.
LACP: What classes do you teach at LACP?
AS: Fashion Photography.
LACP: What do you love most about teaching?
AS: Sharing what I love.
LACP: What advice would you give someone who is thinking about making a career in photography?
AS: Take photos, look, look hard, look again. Travel, read, see good movies, listen to cinematographers talk about their work.