COVID-19 has made a huge impact on many people all across the world, and its put many people out of jobs and at some high risks etc. So here at The Vinyl we wanted to celebrate the insanely talented creators in the photography business. We are celebrating the Concert Photographers, the Lifestyle Photographers, the Wedding Photographers, the Wildlife Photographers and every other type of Photographer behind that camera that brings such joy to the eye.
INTRODUCING ANDREW WENDOWSKI!!
The Vinyl: Please introduce yourself and tell us your primary photo location(s)?
Andrew Wendowski: My name is Andrew Wendowski, I have been a music photographer for 8 years now and I currently work for Music Mayhem Magazine, CountryNow and Interscope Records as well as work a bunch of other freelance opportunities. I am based in Philadelphia, PA and shoot primarily in the Philly area but also shoot in New Jersey and New York pretty often. I also travel for some shoots to places such as Washington (D.C.), Maryland, Nashville and more as needed.
TV: How did you know that being a photographer is something you truly wanted to do, and what/who are some inspirations you may have had/have?
AW: I knew that music photography specifically was the career for me as I have always had a passion for music and an eye for photography as when I was younger I always wanted the latest version of cameras and was always taking photos. My love for music photography in specific came about during the 2012 Collide With The Sky tour in Philadelphia which included Pierce The Veil, Sleeping With Sirens, Tonight Alive and Hands Like Houses. While at that concert I had a small point and shoot and snapped some photos from the show which I thought at the time were great but it left me wanting to get better shots of the artists. I then began the trial and error method of trying to obtain a photo pass for a little bit with TRAPT and Dangerkids giving me my first opportunities as I continued to learn and grow as a photographer. From there I continue to expand my knowledge in the field and build my own publication and continue to shoot and shoot anything and everything that came in my path which led me to where I am today. At the time I was very inspired by Adam Elmakias.
TV: What equipment is a must-have for you no matter where you are going to be working? What does your typical photographing setup look like?
AW: My typical setup would be my Nikon d750 body with my 24-70mm f/2.8 and 70-200mm f/2.8 lenses as I love the quality of both of these. I also have that as my setup to give me the range needed to shoot at different vantage points and distances. I use an Apple Macbook Pro and Lightroom to edit my photos and a lowepro backpack to store all of the gear. I also use a Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6 and Tamron 150-600mm f/5-6.3 on a monopod for soundboard shoots.
TV: What are some of your favorite techniques when it comes to editing styles/ways you present your work? Do you have different aesthetics for different types of work?
AW: My editing is not that crazy, I just like to color correct the photos to make sure the subject’s skin tone is correct or atleast presentable given the lighting conditions at the show. I typically have a deep contrast, vividly colored photo editing style. I prefer most, if not all of my photos to be in color as I rarely edit in black and white unless it’s forced due to the coloring or emotion in the photo. I do however try my best to keep all of my photos in color. I just adjust what needs to be adjusted but I don’t change the overall image as I like to keep it editorial worthy, meaning that I like the image to be presented as it was when I captured it.
TV: COVID-19 has completely changed the lifestyle for soooo many different people, how has it affected you? Whether it’s work/photo related or just all together? How do you keep yourself busy?
AW: Yes, COVID-19 has drastically changed not only my life as a photographer but everyday life right now as everything is closed and we are all quarantined forcing us to stay inside unless you need to go out for essentials. Personally, this affected me as it cancelled or postponed ALL of my spring gigs and even nearly all of my Summer gigs including my most cherished annual gig of CMA Fest in Nashville, TN, which was canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak. It is a bummer cause it was a lot of shows that I really did look forward to and some amazing lineups and festivals! I keep myself busy by re-editing some old photos, updating my portfolio, writing articles for my two media outlets to keep them current and up to date as well as have created a movement called ‘Stay In, See Shows’ which encourages artists to encourage fans to stay indoors, so that they will be able to tour again soon. You can check that out HERE. We also invite fans to join in by posting a photo of themselves holding up a sign that reads ‘Stay Indoors, So ____ Can Tour,’ filling in the blank with your favorite artist and posting that too FB, IG and Twitter using hashtag #StayInSeeShows and tagging our account @StayInSeeShows across all social platforms.
Also, keeping my thirst for live shows quenched by watching a lot of different artists live streamed shows and Q&A’s on their socials even though it is definitely not the same.
TV: Now that Concerts/Festivals/Events/ Social Gatherings(weddings, reunions, family portraits etc) /Sports etc are being cancelled/postponed all over the world due to COVID-19, how are you finding ways to stay creative?
AW: I stay creative by actively staying busy editing, updating my socials and portfolio and more recently by taking photos of the moon and my pets. I also am teaching myself graphic design work on Photoshop by making graphics for my publications to use on socials.
TV: Once all this (hopefully) goes away, what are some of your plans to get back to a somewhat “normal” schedule?
AW: I definitely cannot wait to begin shooting shows again, so once that opportunity becomes available again, I will be taking pretty much any gigs that come down my path just to get back out there and do what I love doing. I miss getting to go out to shows and not only shooting them but seeing live music, which I have no idea when we will be able to go back to reality and return to a normal life where gatherings are even allowed.
TV: What are some of your favorite creative pieces/photos/opportunities you have gotten to do in 2020 before all hell broke loose?
AW: In early 2020 before all of this virus stuff started happening, I had a pleasure of being able to capture some pretty amazing shows including Kane Brown’s Worldwide Beautiful Tour (with Kane, Chris Lane, Russell Dickerson), Dustin Lynch/Travis Denning, Harry Styles on TODAY Show in New York City, Sleeping with Sirens, Breaking Benjamin/Korn, Post Malone on his incredible Runaway Tour and of course the iconic Celine Dion.
Here are a few links to a few of Andrews favorite photos! Go show them some love!
Carrie Underwood at 2019 CMA Fest: https://www.instagram.com/p/B9kXmW6AvA7/
Billie Eilish in Philadelphia at The Met in 2019: https://www.instagram.com/p/ByxyiGfAd_6/
CHER in Philadelphia on Farewell Tour: https://www.instagram.com/p/B5yAL_IAkKA/
Post Malone in Philly on Runaway Tour: https://www.instagram.com/p/B826vUbg9m_/
QUEEN with Adam Lambert: https://www.instagram.com/p/B0ueZD1gykJ/
The Rolling Stones: https://www.instagram.com/p/B0Y3g3bAlrt/
Iron Maiden: https://www.instagram.com/p/B0mC9j_gDud/
Joan Jett with Carrie Underwood at CMA Fest 2019: https://www.instagram.com/p/BydR8TPgtbo/
TV: Is there anything you would like to add as we end this interview?
AW: Stay up to date with everything I do and capture at the below social media platforms, Thank you for the interview and I look forward to getting back out there capturing shows when this virus finally does subside. Stay safe out there and Stay Indoors so Artists can tour again soon and we can flatten the curve of this coronavirus.