The stories and memories are stored in every snapshots.
Discover THE artist behind each piece from local artist Andy Summons
Who are you?
My name’s Andy Summons, I’m a photographer and writer living in Byron Bay, Australia.
Which 5 words best describe you?
Energetic, observant, passionate, contemplative, talkative.
When did you discover your creativity?
I didn’t see myself as creative until I was in my twenties. I studied photography in high school and ended up studying creative writing. So I was doing creative things but always felt like a bit of an imposter or not good enough to call myself a creative. Then I realised there wasn’t an entrance exam to be creative. It’s a way of seeing the world.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way?
Stop comparing yourself to others, trust your own perspective, and remember there’s always more to learn.
What’s your proudest moment?
My proudest moment is having images I made exhibited for the first time in THE SPACE gallery. It’s so incredibly satisfying seeing a creative idea on the wall for others to enjoy and experience.
What’s been your best decision?
Taking chances and sharing my work more. Until you approach someone or apply for a group show the answer is no. So why not give yourself a fighting chance? The worst that will happen is they’ll say no and you can try again.
Who inspires you?
There are so many amazing photographers on Instagram, which can be great for inspiration and it can be terrible for making you question your own work. I like photographers who give back, who help with educational tips or answer questions – Kyle McDougall is great. I also love @peach.punk’s images. Her use of colour and the way she captures candid moments is a big inspiration.
What are you passionate about?
I’m passionate about people expressing their creativity. I know what it’s like to feel shy and even embarrassed about sharing creative work. To help overcome that you need to stop judging yourself – it’s your job to express your creativity not judge it. I’m also passionate about conservation and using photography as a way to inspire people to protect the natural places that provide inspiration and life for the planet. I think if someone can look at a landscape image and feel inspired to spend time in nature, that will strengthen their connection with nature and inspire them to conserve it so it can inspire future generations.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet?
Can you imagine going hiking through Yosemite National Park with Ansel Adams? Or diving with Jacques Cousteau? Or going to the Amazon with Sir David Attenborough?
What dream do you still want to fulfil?
There is still so much of the world I want to explore and right up there is returning to Africa to experience more of its stunning countries.
What are you currently reading or listening to?
I’m currently reading a lot of Stoic philosophy and Ryan Holliday – a great American writer and Stoic whose books offer a great entry into Stoicism and have heaps to offer creatives. I highly recommend his books The Obstacle is The Way and Stillness is The Key.
Where are you from and when did you start your passion for photography?
I grew up on a farm in rural New South Wales outside a town called Albury. My first memory of photography is Dad taking photos of us on the farm as kids. My passion for photography piqued when I saw three black and white image of the Nepalese Himalayas Dad took in the 1970s. Shortly after that, he gave me my grandfather’s Pentax Asahi camera.
What made you travel to Africa and particularly to the region where you shot the collection showcased with THE SPACE gallery?
I’d always dreamed of going to Africa. Then a friend who was living in London at the time, suggested we meet in Africa and do a roadtrip to celebrate his 30th. It was the perfect excuse and turned out to be one of the most memorable trips of my life. He used to work for Lonely Planet so had some good tips on the best places to visit. His colleague suggested we visit the Ghost Town and it was a trip highlight for me.
What was your favourite shoot? Morning, afternoon, night???
Two of my favourite shoots from this trip were waking up on our first morning in the desert and capturing the golden light on the boulder of Spitzkoppe. And then running around Ghost Town capturing it’s intense beauty.
What were your feelings / emotions when your were in Namibia?
Namibia feels like a country hidden in a desert. The coast is so rugged and raw and the desert has so many different moods and personalities. We would sometimes drive for half a day without seeing anyone else on the road. It felt like the world could’ve ended and we’d be the last to know. Being in such expansive space was incredibly calming.
What were your feelings / emotions inside the ghost town?
Walking through Ghost Town was a mix of emotions. I was so excited by what I saw. It is just so stunning seeing such beautifully made buildings being so thoughtlessly reclaimed by the desert. Every house being buried was a reminder of nature’s power and indifference towards humanity. So while I was super excited, there was an eerie morbidity lingering in the shadows. Like death was watching over us – just observing, but there. The town felt like a cautionary tale about the dangers of human’s greed and hubris.