Photographer Spotlight: Andy Biggs

May 7th, 2010 by Chris Klapheke

From Houston, Texas to the wilds of Africa, Andy Biggs makes a living as a professional photographer.  Andy’s diverse business interests mix photography, safaris, workshops and print sales with his newest venture—camera bag designer. More impressive still is the fact that Andy only started taking photos ten years ago.
 

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Andy picked up his first camera and started his journey in photography in 2000.  At the time, he was employed in the software industry, implementing accounting systems.  In a short two years, he honed his skill and made the decision to become a full time pro.  Since 2002, Andy has put both his business skills and his photographic vision to use, creating a diversified professional photographic business.

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Andy started building his business with stock image sales and worked toward fine art sales, two areas of business he still pursues today.  However, as Andy's business interests have diversified, his stock and fine art images have narrowed to his favorite subject:  Africa.  This specialization in his images has served him well.  Andy's stock sales have continued to be strong in today's environment of stiff competition and falling prices.

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In 2008, Banana Republic used thirteen of Andy's photographs as the cornerstone of their Urban Safari campaign, and his images were seen in all 750 stores around the globe, as well as in their billboards, catalogs and annual report. Andy was also the winner of the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year in the 'Wild Places' category in 2008.

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How did Andy become attracted to Africa?  He can't quite pin it down for sure.  Maybe, he says, it was the movie Out of Africa, with its romantic portrayal of life on that continent.  In any case, after his first trip, he was hooked.  Today, Andy's photographic safari business thrives, with Andy spending two to three months a year out on safari.

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Andy sees the photographic safari business as one of teaching and also as one of hospitality.  To merge these two businesses takes a special personality.  Andy has that slant down pat.  In his own words, he says he was born with the ‘gift of gab' and that he loves interacting with people.  Hosting safaris in far-off places comes naturally.

Hot Air Balloon Over the Serengeti

Traveling internationally and in the bush comes with severe weight limits.  After numerous times of having to leave equipment at home due to heavy camera bags, Andy decided to design and make his own bag.  After spending 2 years with many prototypes, the Gura Gear Kiboko bag was born.  Andy launched Gura Gear in 2008, redefining the lightweight camera backpack market.  The Gura Gear Kiboko bag has been a runaway success worldwide.

Andy names his photographic influences as Ansel Adams for his larger than life black and white images, Galen Rowell for his passion for the outdoors and for conservation and Art Wolfe for his ability to come away with wonderful photographs in challenging circumstances.

Through diversification and dedication, Andy has been able to successfully weave his photographic vision and his business interests together, using the one common thread that ties it all together:  Africa.

When not traveling, Andy enjoys good food, good wine (he's an expert wine connoisseur) and good family time with his wife and two sons in his native Houston.

You can find out more about Andy, his safaris, his blog and his images at his website:  www.andybiggs.com

Learn more about the Gura Gear Kiboko Bag in the Outdoor Photo Gear Store here:  Kiboko

 

 

 

 

 

 

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