Interview with Andrew Pinkham, Photographer
Interview with Andrew Pinkham, Photographer
Recently, I had the opportunity and pleasure of interviewing Andrew Pinkham, a photographer living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His work falls somewhere between digital portrait photographer and an old master painter. A selection of Andrew Pinkham’s work is displayed below. Please visit Andrew Pinkham’s website to view more of his interesting work!
KATHERINE CARVER: What were your beginnings as an artist and when did you realize it would become your chosen form of expression?
ANDREW PINKHAM: I was always taking art classes as a kid and when I graduated from high school, my parents gave me a camera and I knew then that is what I wanted to do. Plus, I was awful at sports and not what you would call a team player.
KATHERINE CARVER: Did you study art formally?
ANDREW PINKHAM: No, I went to a photo school that didn’t really delve into art. It was more about honing your craft and doing it commercially for a living. The instructors didn’t quite know how to handle me because I didn’t quite fit in to any category. I didn’t want to shoot weddings or babies.
KATHERINE CARVER: How do you describe your style?
ANDREW PINKHAM: 18th-19th Century and a bit of Pinkham mixed in!
KATHERINE CARVER: Can you describe the time when you first realized that creating photographs was absolutely something that you had to do?
ANDREW PINKHAM: For years, I had always been searching for ways to express myself creatively and this just seemed so right.
My dad was in the paper business and dealt with a lot of publishing companies. He would bring home these sophisticated publications like Print & Communication Arts and I thought that it was pretty great. There was just something about making art with a machine that I found so enticing.
KATHERINE CARVER: What was the impetus that inspired you to begin photographing dogs and other animals?
ANDREW PINKHAM: Our first greyhound, Suky, started it all. My wife, Ashley, and I set out one afternoon on a whim just to see what we would come up with. The setting, time of day, and light all came together. It wasn’t instantaneous but with some post work, I really got a painterly quality to come out. We showed friends at the dog park and the rest is history.
I had been doing illustration and photography separately for years and this merged the two mediums together in a way that it’s hard to tell where the one medium ends and the other picks up. I had done things for years by others’ direction. This was for me.
KATHERINE CARVER: How have your own dogs (or animals) influenced your artwork?
ANDREW PINKHAM: Ha! Our dogs are our guinea pigs so to speak and we try new ideas out on them. Discovery is always an important part of my work and I never like things to become stale or feel like I am just going through the motions. If I am trying anything new, they are great go to subjects.
KATHERINE CARVER: Where do you show/exhibit your work?
ANDREW PINKHAM: Mostly in publications, an exhibition here and there and in client’s homes.
KATHERINE CARVER: What does “being creative” mean to you?
ANDREW PINKHAM: It means everything really – for better or worse, I always feel the need to do things differently. Most of the time it works, sometimes, it blows up in my face. This is a necessary part of the creative process for me. If I am not pushing the envelope, I get bored easily and the work looks contrived.
KATHERINE CARVER: What is the most challenging aspect of being a photographer?
ANDREW PINKHAM: Art and commerce is a tumultuous affair. My style is incredibly narrow in scope and either people like it or they don’t. At first, it took a lot to really stick to my guns on this and I’m glad I did.
Most of the clients I work with might want a change here and there, which is fine. Others can be more high maintenance especially when they are unsure of what they want.
Ultimately, if I am afraid of what they might think, it gets in the way of the process and it ruins the outcome.
KATHERINE CARVER: What inspires you to keep going and what keeps you motivated?
ANDREW PINKHAM: Being stubborn and obsessive.
KATHERINE CARVER: What is the most rewarding and satisfying part about being a photographer and creating art?
ANDREW PINKHAM: Knowing that I make something tangible out of a crazy idea.
KATHERINE CARVER: What kind of patterns, rituals, and routines do you have while making your photographs?
ANDREW PINKHAM: I need a really simple set up or else my mind is all over the place. Once I anchor my camera down on the set, it doesn’t move. I get distracted and I lose focus if too much is going on. I don’t like things scattered all over the place like someone threw a party.
KATHERINE CARVER: Looking back on your accomplishments, to date, what are you the most proud of?
ANDREW PINKHAM: That I have gotten as far as I have with a very singular vision. It’s not for everyone but it’s what I’m most happy doing.
KATHERINE CARVER: What are you working on now?
ANDREW PINKHAM: An ongoing series of pets doing bad things.
KATHERINE CARVER: What artists inspire your work?
KATHERINE CARVER: What piece(s) of your artwork is your favorite?
ANDREW PINKHAM: My next piece. I always think my next work is going to be better than what I have done in the past.
KATHERINE CARVER: What advice do you have for aspiring photographers and other artists?
ANDREW PINKHAM: Be true to yourself and in it for the love of doing it. When the phone isn’t ringing, your inbox is empty and you feel like no one loves you or your work, you will have that to keep you going.
KATHERINE CARVER: How can people view your photographs?
ANDREW PINKHAM: You can view my work at my website – andrewpinkham.com.
All images are courtesy of Andrew Pinkham.
You can read additional interviews here.