Hello I am Andy Redpath
I have always had a love of great photography and would always carry a camera with me capturing everything in sight.
In those early days, it became very apparent to me that when I was taking
portraits of people that is when I became the most creative.
I had a desire to record people, not as just objects in front of my lens, but as real people, with a character all of their own.
Cups of Coffee
As a portrait photographer, I want to see who you are, not what you look like.
I often asked myself why I became a photographer, and for years I scratched my head and wondered why. What was it that drove me to create? I then discovered portraiture.
In those early days of my portrait photography business mums would often say to me I love that picture, but that is not my child, and I did not get it. The photographs were beautifully lit, and the child was smiling, but something was missing, what was I doing wrong?
I could have continued through life and never known the answer to that fundamental question. I could have covered this page with all my achievements and awards, and that would be irrelevant to you and my customers if I were missing the answer to that conundrum, and I needed to discover the answer.
So, what did I discover well, a parent wanted me to capture an expression that they see every day, which brings them joy and love. That may be how a dimple appears when their child laughs, a raised eyebrow, a glint in their eyes, the way they wrinkle their nose, a dance they do when very excited, how they cover their face with their hands before they go boo. For each parent, it is unique. I want to freeze time, tiny newborn fingers, a father’s smile for his daughter, brothers gently teasing each other mother and daughter hugging each other and so when you look back it will remind you of those special moments. I want to take you back to a very special place to remind you of pure joy. Oh, that was when… do you remember how…. and oh, how I had forgotten the way that….
Marian our studio manager.
The Studio at Chenies
Well, it has been 20 years since I set up the studio barn in Chenies, between Little Chalfont and Chorleywood. Due to its beautiful location a Tudor Manor, I wanted from the start to incorporate, whenever possible and weather dependent, some of the stunning locations around the farm. That might be the bluebells in the Spring, the wildflowers in the Summer and colour of the leaves in Autumn.
Some customers just want a studio shoot which is fine where others want only an outdoor shoot, and some want a bit of both; however, toddlers and babies tend to be safer in the studio. Toddlers have a habit of falling over and sitting babies like to eat grass and soil!
My advice to my customers
Is, do not worry, what will be, will be. I know children can be a little unpredictable, and sometimes they need a break, a feed, a stretch. I have been told I am very patient. I know some children are more reserved and some more extroverted and I can adapt accordingly. I also know some adults can be a bit unpredictable, and some of my subjects do not want to be there (Yes! I can even charm teenagers but remember to book after 12noon!!). The best portraits are created when you feel calm and relaxed, and I will make everyone feel at ease.
Autistic children I really adore, I find their outlook and often a unique sense of humour and perception refreshing. Some of my memorable shoots and heart-warming shoots involved these fantastic young people.
What sometimes people do not realise is how important a photo can be to someone.
When your mum asks for a family shoot, she is actually asking for a memory of the people she loves.
Like many of you reading this, I have suffered a tragic loss in my life. One of the things got me through the darkness of that period was babies. For some baffling reason, they do like me. I was interviewed for an article and what I said then still holds true now.
When a baby smiles, it is as though a floodlight is turned on. It is a beautiful thing to capture and behold, even if you are having a tough day, it can really lift your spirits and bring joy.
I then discovered I could make them laugh as well through my crazy duck noises and other mad techniques and some babies have some wicked chuckles that just cracks everybody up. I go the extra mile even when the baby is having a tough day due to tiredness, teething or other factors as I now understand how important fleeting moments can be and what these pictures will mean to my mum’s and dad’s now and in their future legacy.
I guess the biggest compliment I ever received was when I asked why a customer chose me over other professional photographers to photograph her baby. She said all the babies seemed to be having fun in my photos.
That will do for me!”
These days everybody talks about having a vision, and I guess mine would be in providing families with the most meaningful pictures and heartfelt images they own.
I want my customers to feel emotional and excited when they look at their images and to remind them of a happy memory that they can relive throughout their life.
For me, what is important in life is my wife, family, and friends.
Oh, and just in case you are interested, and I guess I have some ego, after all, and I have received portrait awards from Epsom, Fuji, and the London Portrait group.
I hope to see your family in the future.
All the best.