The Art of the Personal Project is a crucial element to let potential buyers see how you think creatively on your own. I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or that show something I have never seen before. In this thread, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: This thread is not affiliated with any company; I’m just featuring projects that I find. Please DO NOT send me your work. I do not take submissions.
Today’s featured artist: Andy Anderson
Andy Anderson Taps Into Cuba’s Diverse Visual Canvas for a Personal Fashion Project
Andy Anderson believes that to have true success as a photographer, it requires you to be obsessed with the art form and for Andy, staying curious. It’s this fervor for the craft that fuels his creativity and a deep appreciation for collaboration that brings his visions to life. Recently, Andy created a personal project focusing on fashion photography, a genre he has explored over the past year.
Not commissioned by a client, this personal journey was to expand his portfolio and test his ability to art direct a fashion shoot. The shoot was a celebration of craft, an opportunity to grow as an artist and in the end, the images prove that Andy’s philosophy and talent meld together to create beautiful imagery.
Andy says that his choice to travel to Cuba comes from visiting the country for the past 30 years and learning about the country’s rich diversity of people, architecture, and clothing. All of these things offer the perfect palette for his creative vision. The visual diversity of Cuba provided an ideal canvas for the shoot and Andy’s deep love for the country only fueled his enthusiasm for the project.
When asked what the best part of this shoot was, Andy unequivocally responded with “the crew.” The significance of a solid crew was amplified by the unique challenges of working in a closed society like Cuba. Not only did the local crew help to facilitate the logistics of the shoot, but they also helped navigate complexities like obtaining locally sourced clothing for the fashion project. This wasn’t just about dressing the models; it was about embracing the authentic Cuban style by using clothing that was sourced within the country, some of which were vintage and celebrated the rich history of Cuba. The expertise and professionalism of the crew were vital in ensuring that every aspect of the shoot, from location scouting to art direction, was executed flawlessly. Andy Anderson described them as the most professional crew he had ever worked with, and their dedication to the project was a testament to their commitment to making this personal shoot a success.
During the nine-day shoot, Andy and his team scouted a variety of locations, from sandy beaches to private homes, bustling streets, and boxing gyms. Each location was carefully chosen to showcase the distinct beauty and culture of Cuba. Havana, with its captivating scenery and frozen-in-time charm, proved to be a visual treasure trove and enhanced the allure of the images. Working with local talent added authenticity to the shoot, as the models were local to the area and represented the community visually and culturally.
Andy’s approach to the project was fluid and open-minded. He began with a rough idea but allowed the creative process to evolve organically and collaboration and experimentation were key. This project inspires us and is a reminder that curiosity and creativity and instrumental in evolving your work. We’re excited to share the still imagery work with you now and keep an eye out for the 16mm film Andy and his DP Cavin Brothers shot on location in the coming months.
Local Cuban Crew:
Executive Producer – Josue Lopez Lozano
Producer – Daniela de Mello
Stylist – Narciso Martinez
Hair and Make Up Artist – Jennifer González Vigo
Model – Melanie Wilma
Model – Lea Vall
To see more of this project, click here
APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration advertising and in-house corporate industry for decades. After establishing the art-buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999. Follow her at @SuzanneSease. Instagram