Tileyard resident and photographer Andy Earl has created a fully flexible digital photo studio that enables him to travel to shoot locations both on and off grid. We caught up with Andy to hear more about his new venture.
Congratulations on the creation of your new mobile studio. Can you sum up the concept for us?
As a photographer working on album sleeves and portraits, like everyone else, I was scuppered by the pandemic. In the summer it was getting more difficult to travel and work. The idea of being totally independent, going anywhere, eliminating any need for cafes and hotels just seemed like the dream, and I could shoot safely.
How did the idea for the new studio come about?
A friend mentioned these cool vans from Mercedes Benz, the Marco Polo. It was like a modern apartment on wheels with yacht decking, electricity, a cooker, fridge, double beds and shower.
By using the latest photographic technology, I realised I could take powerful battery studio lights and cameras, charge them onboard, get a 5G broadband hub, and do all my pre and post production from the van.
How long have you been working on the project?
I saw the vans in July, sold my car and bought this in August. I was up and running in September of this year and I can fill it with all different kinds of kit depending on what I need for each shoot.
Did you have to overcome any challenges during the process?
I realised I would have to adapt quickly and re-think how I work. I love working on location, whether it’s the backstreets of Tileyard or the Outer Hebrides. I am a lousy cook but the freedom is inspiring!
Now you’re on the move, do you have a dream shoot location?
I usually look for the extraordinary. Quite often depending on the band, their music or the person I’m photographing, it’s an urban location but I’m always drawn to the surreal.
What’s your favourite feature?
I love driving and cars, so this one is five star. The best thing would have to be waking up in the van, making a coffee and enjoying a new view.
Have you used the outdoor shower yet?
Yeah, that’s for the hardy – it’s warmish but very refreshing!
Have you got any exciting shoots lined up?
Today I am travelling to Holkham Hall in Norfolk to photograph Anish Kapoor’s ‘Sky mirror’ early tomorrow morning. I’m on a campsite just down the road tonight and ready for an early start, hope it stops raining!
What’s the best way for people to get in touch if they want to know more?
Check out my website here. All the info and contact details are on there.