Andrew Elliot Photography

About

Background

I was born in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa and continue to live in this beautiful part of the world. I grew up on a pineapple farm and have a love for nature as well as the sea. My love for photography started at the young age of 10 when I accompanied and assisted my mother (an acclaimed wildlife photographer who also did many local weddings) on various shoots locally and around the world. I used to carry the bags, extra cameras and make sure all was where it needed to be. At the age of 18, I carved a career in people photography and took on my first solo wedding as the official photographer on the 19th December 2001. Since then, I have had the huge honour of completing 656 shoots in total, which includes 205 families and 354 weddings to date and counting - what a privilege to have been a part of so many special times with so many different people.

A little more about my life... I am married to my beautiful wife Judy-Leigh (who you will see also does professional wedding make-up); we live in a house in Port Alfred which was built in 1870 and it is a glorious old home which is just like an old Karoo farm house with wrap-around verandahs and high ceilings. We share the house with a ragdoll and tortoise shell cat. Judes and I are very close to our families and we are lucky enough to have them all living close by as well.

Although I have a Masters degree in the Science field, photography has always been that one niggling passion that I always needed to follow and am so glad I did! In the past, I studied and lectured at Rhodes University, worked at a health and wellness company founded in Sweden and helped at the family business, Sunshine Juice.

On weddings specifically

Being part of a couple's wedding day is a huge honour for me and I aim to capture the love, emotion and happiness of one of the greatest moments that this life has to offer. I am also very aware that it is your day and I will guide, but not dictate. I also believe that the true essence of what life is all about is love; of all the things we also experience in this lifetime, love is the most important - that and the connection we have with those around us and that is what I try to capture in my photos. I am also very aware that once the day is over and the cake is eaten, the photographs are a permanent reminder of that very special day.

I have also been lucky enough to travel the world with my family - another passion for me - which allows me to be in the present and soak up new culture, beauty and energy of the place I am visiting. Having travelled to every continent except Antarctica (still on my bucket list, so if anyone has plans to get married there, let me know!), a dream of mine has always been to take photos of destination weddings... this has now become a reality and one in which I revel and feel inspired. So far, I have taken photos of weddings in Italy, the United Kingdom and Mauritius. As much as I love South Africa and think it is the most beautiful country in the world, taking photos in a new country feeds my creativity as well as my wanderlust! I am so looking forward to my next international wedding, wherever it may be!

Photography style

I try to be as unobtrusive as possible when taking photos and this allows me to capture the emotions of those I am taking of. I also like to think that I make people feel comfortable being in front of a lens. Not many people enjoy having photos taken and I personally understand that, hence I try and make the photos as fun and relaxed as possible. The emotions and day cannot be re-created so I need to be on my toes at all times! When it comes to taking photos, I have a vibrant enthusiasm and creativity which I use to produce thought-provoking and memorable images. I often find myself assuming any position for a photo as well as lying in dirt, the sea or a city street - as long as it gives me the right angle! Even on my days off I am also always looking all around me for photos and picturing what a bridal couple/family would look like in the setting. I am also known to possibly irritate my fellow passengers a little and I am always saying 'imagine a bride and groom there, what a great shot that would be'!

My style is fresh, unobtrusive, natural, fun and inventive.

In conclusion

I have had many wonderful and tough experiences in my life and all this has made me the person I am today - one who realises how short and ever-changing life is, how precious time with loved ones is and how we really need to appreciate the small stuff. Intertwined in my being is a huge passion for photography and especially that that involves people. Photography has always been my true passion and when I am asked to capture a wedding/family I always give it my all. Having found something I am so passionate about in this lifetime is such a blessing and over the years I have come to realise that photography has given me so much more than I realised in the beginning - it is the only time when I don't think about the past or future; I am completely in the present and all I focus on is the creativity of the shot and capturing the moment. With me being a perfectionist, living in the present is no easy feat and I am thankful that photography allows me to do so!

With this in mind, I try to give people the best representation of their wedding day/family and their love for one another through my photos, plus the end result of people being happy with their photos and them bringing back all the wonderful memories and things they may have missed on the day is what makes this 'job' so worthwhile! I feel through each shoot I grow as a person and as a photographer. The journey so far has been so much fun and I am so thankful to have found something that I love to do and that creates so much joy in other people's lives as well - my hope is that the photos I take give the client happiness when they see and receive them.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you would like any further information - I look forward to hearing from you.