In this post, I am interviewing Neil Andrews who is a fantastic photographer based in London. He goes by the name @mumhad1ofthose on Instagram and during my many trips to London I’ve had the pleasure of meeting him and going on various photowalks. One of the things I really like about Neil’s work is his eye for composition and detail. He also adds some unique and very cool elements to his photos, which you’ll find out further below. So keep reading to learn more about Neil, what he loves about photography, and to see more of his wonderful photographs.
1. Please tell us a bit about yourself?
“I originate from Plymouth in Devon. I studied French at university and lived in Bordeaux during my year abroad. I then worked as a salesman and product adviser for a French publisher for many years. I joined Instagram in May 2011 because it was recommended to me by a friend. I wanted to keep up with all that was happening in Social Media so I gave it a try.
I really started posting regularly during the 2012 Olympics, as I wanted to tell everyone what a great time it was to be in London. It was then that I started connecting with members of the London Instagram community and started to meet and make friends with people that had a similar interest to me. My interest and passion was truly awakened. I can actually say that an app changed my life!
Earlier this year I decided to become a full-time photographer and social media adviser.”
2. What is your favourite thing about photography and Instagram?
“The thing I like most about photography is that there is so much to learn and that it is such a wide-ranging subject. I now look at the world around me in a completely different way. There are so many different types of photography and it is great fun to try out different styles. It challenges me.
Instagram has given me a chance to meet like-minded people. I know now that when I travel to different places, that I can contact people in that place to either meet up or get advice about their city or region. In return, if people come to London I like to show them things, that they may not ordinarily see, or I offer advice on what is happening.”
3. What would you say is unique about your style?
“I suppose people recognise me for always wearing a hat and I must admit I don’t like being photographed without one! I also take shots using a hashtag I created #ManWithTheUnionJackUmbrella which is where I take shots of friends and fellow Instagrammers holding a Union Jack umbrella in various locations.”
4. You seem to have a great eye for architecture and composition. What do you think is important when capturing architecture in a creative and interesting way?
“I love symmetry and leading lines so I always look for that first. Adding a person will always give a sense of scale to your image. Light and shade can also play an important part in how you see architecture.”
5. Where are your favourite spots in London for photography?
“This is such a difficult question to answer! There is just so much to photograph and you can visit some locations often and each time it is unique, whether it be a different time of day or a changing of the seasons.
We are lucky that London has so many different locations to get great shots. It really depends on what type of shots you want to take. For street shots, for example, Soho and areas with a market are fantastic.
If I have to pick one place to perhaps illustrate this, then I will choose the area around St Paul’s Cathedral starting from South of the Thames.”
6. I love your subway shots. Please could you share with us some tips on subway and underground photography?
“Thank you. I love taking them. In London, it’s a bit of a contradiction really. You are not supposed to take shots in the Tube, but TFL have an Instagram account where they repost people’s shots! My advice would be to go solo, or only with one other person. Take your shots quickly and don’t hang around.
Generally, I would say look for leading lines, symmetry and colour. Use a slow shutter speed to capture the movement of the trains (something I learnt from a certain talented Mike Clegg!)”
Mike (Travel and Destinations): Thanks Neil! 🙂
7. Outside of London which other places have you visited and really enjoyed taking pictures of?
“Well, to be honest, I love taking pictures anywhere I go! I am often down in the southwest of England and enjoy taking shots around Cornwall in the small fishing villages.
Paris, Venice, Amsterdam and New York are photogenic heaven for a mainly city photographer like me. However, earlier in the year I visited the outstandingly beautiful Dolomites and liked the fact that I had to challenge myself”
8. Are there any destinations that are high on your list to visit?
“I would have to say Stockholm (it has the most amazing Metro, as well as being a beautiful city). Japan simply because I’ve always wanted to go! Brasilia because of the Modernist architecture designed by my favourite architect Oscar Niemeyer.”
9. Please can you share a few more of your favourite photographs and write a small sentence about each?
“Paris. I love how by playing with the perspective this grand building appears to come out of the lawn. Taken near Sacre-Coeur.”
“Barcelona. A classic shot but I was lucky my friend was wearing a beautiful red dress.”
“New York. Taken from the amazing One World Observatory. I love playing with long shadows.”
“Dolomites. The very photogenic St Johann church. I love it when a person walks into my shot enabling a sense of scale.”
|I’m a photographer based in London. My passion lies with cityscapes, urban storytelling and street photography. I also have an interest in travel photography, having worked with a number of tourist agencies. The emphasis throughout my work is not only leading lines, but also the graphic nature of a shot, no matter where in the world I find myself.|
Comment from: Travel and Destinations/ Mike
Thanks so much Neil for telling us more about you and showing some of your work! We look forward to seeing more of your fantastic pictures through your social media channels and website.