Shooters are undoubtedly the rockstars of the media world. They can capture the most incredible moments, for pictures tell a thousand words and create an incredible impact from mere first glances.
Truly, that incredible and sophisticated piece of equipment really is a treasure in the right hands. And it is particularly so with local visual virtuoso Andrew Wilson that a camera goes from a droll appliance to an artisan’s tools. Having already released his first book “3 Songs. No Flash.” with a string of photo shoots and exhibitions behind him, Andrew Wilson has gone on to capture the most incredible moments in Australian music, art and fashion as Dirty Love Photography. Certainly, Andrew Wilson is placing a very colourful and bright spotlight on Brisbane, while proving that being an artist can pay the bills.
Taking all the images he has captured and worked on across the years, Dirty Love Photography and Moustache Magazine come together to spawn the ultimate lovechild, uniting revelry, stunning imagery, talent, creativity and art all in the one inventive space from The Fox Hotel, the South Brisbane edifice home to many unique levels and areas perfect for different experiences from enjoying beers to gorging on burgers or mussells, hanging out with the fashionistas from Dandy's Rooftop bar or soaking in the industrial ambience that’s perfect for inner city functions (but light on the wallet for drink purchases *nudge nudge wink wink).
As the weekend gears up with Dirty Love Photography and Moustache Magazine coming together for an innovative photo exhibit, MOFO LOVE prepares for one motherf’ckn party.
You’ve released a book and had a few exhibits already and so made quite a name for yourself – particularly with the triple J indie bands around Australia - as a shooter to be shot by. But you’re really still quite young. How did you first get into photography?
I used to steal my dad’s camera or my mums disposable and would become the family photographer – or at least I was in my mind. Then in high school I joined the Photography Club – yep, I was really cool. I learnt the basics of shooting in manual on 35mm film and developing in the dark room. The actual moment I wanted to do it professionally was when I met Dane Beesley for the first time. I was backstage at Sounds of Spring festival and he literally knew EVERYONE - and everyone knew him. He had a woven strap for his camera and just looked like something out of the 70s which sorta matched my love of the movie “Almost Famous”. That moment solidified my desire to be a rock and roll photographer. The fashion came later after I realised there was a direct link between music and fashion. With fashion, I found I could create, rather than just capture.
Apparently we have to suffer for our art, because it is only in the great sacrifice for our craft that what others consider a hobby becomes genuine art. But being creative doesn’t always pay the bills. How do you make it work for you?!
I have a really great job as the event coordinator at Fox Hotel and I’m really lucky because they are super flexible which allows me to change my working hours when I need to go shoot. My office is Fish Lane Studios - where, coincidentally, the gallery will be held. Most of the action happens at night so it’s empty during the day, which means I get to use it as my photo studio for fashion shoots. It’s huge, and has more than enough of everything I need.
So where do you hope this will take you?
I hope this will take me to the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine and an international tour. I love the Jarrad Seng story of shooting Passenger when he was playing small clubs, which ended up with him touring the UK with Ed Sheeran where Passenger opened. I would love to have enough work to warrant hiring an assistant full time and to work out of my own studio. But, for the moment, I’d be stoked to work with my usual clients and produce work that makes people feel something.
In this day and age of smartphones and economical digital DLRs, what are your tips to other shooter wannabes out there?
Shoot... and shoot a lot! I have taken almost 100 000 photos between my 3 cameras. It;s the ONLY way you’ll know how to shoot. Going to university or doing a course is great to learn the techniques but feeling the light and seeing the photos only comes from hours of work. Also, whilst gear may not be everything, you’ll need more than a basic camera to work professionally. I worked six jobs at one point to afford my gear. It sucked at the time, but now it’s all worth it. Buy smart and save until you can get what you want - cutting yourself short will only cut your work short. Finally, buy other photographers books. See what they shoot and try to decipher how they shot that. It’s only through others people’s work will you be inspired and pushed beyond what you thought possible.
Photo exhibitions are a culmination of incredibly hard work across many years and take so much of an artist’s time just to put together. What do you hope to achieve with this exhibit?
I just want people to turn up, have a drink and have a look at some of my images that celebrate Brisbane based culture. The southern states always put us down for being behind but from what I’ve seen, the young creative culture is pulsing right now in Brisbane.
How did MOFO LOVE come to this point?
MOFO LOVE is the culmination of a new relationship between Dirty Love Photography and Moustache Magazine. However, I’m also grateful to Ciroc/Captain Morgan/Tanqueray, The Fox Hotel, Lylaclare, Tag Snaps and Mango Rains for their support of this event. MOFO LOVE is an exhibition of my work, with the added benefit of a MOFO party on the one night, in the one venue – ‘cos Moustache Magazine sure know how to throw one hell of a party.
The biggest creative party to celebrate the amazing achievements of Moustache Magazine and launch the new gallery of photographic works from Dirty Love Photography hits The Fox Hotel on Friday March 28. Taking over three levels at The Fox Hotel, see out March in true MOFO LOVE fashion.