Hello, and welcome to my first post! I'd like to begin by saying thank you to everyone who expressed interest in seeing blogs happen on my website, you are truly the reason why I'm here today writing this. My goal for these blogs is to give those who enjoy my work a little insight about me, express some of my ideas, share significant experiences, and hopefully be able to offer some sort of guidance to the photography community. If I can make you either laugh or learn, then these blogs will have been worth it for me. With this being said, I am in no way am I trying to create or showcase professional pieces of writing; I want these to be fun and personal.
Without further ado, welcome to the first blog. In this blog I will be talking a little bit about myself and how I was introduced into photography, as well as a little update on my life today; enjoy! :)
To begin, my name is Andrew (Andy) Joesph Woodward and I was born in Littleton, Colorado on Easter in 1998. My family of five is made up of my younger brother Sam, my older brother Daniel, my mom, and my dad. My mom was born in Perú, but she met my dad in Colorado; he helped her learn English and she helped him learn Spanish. Fortunately for my brothers and I, my mom and dad taught us both languages growing up making us bilingual before we even knew what it meant.
After growing up in Colorado for a few years, we moved to California where I've lived ever since - well, until this year. In 2016 I graduated from high school where I soon after moved halfway across the country to attend Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana where I began pursuing Business Marketing and Photography Degrees.
A question I often get is why I chose Montana: to keep it simple, California didn't have good photography program options for me. All the schools (except for three) that offered a Photography Major were private, $80k+/year schools and of the other three, two didn't have great campuses and the other was just too close to home. So here I was, deciding to move halfway across the country to live and study in a place I had only visited as a kid, but let me tell you, attending school in Montana has been one of the best decisions in my life, but that's a story for another time.
Now as for how I got started with photography... I have a little bit of the story written in my "bio", but just to elaborate a little bit -
I bought my first camera, a Nikon Coolpix L18, at age 10 with every cent (literally every single Penny) I had to my name. After barely being able to even afford an SD card, I set out to explore the world. Within a few days of having it I was already in love with taking macro photos of bugs in the field behind my house. That lasted quite a bit of time until I decided that my camera was invincible and started taking up close photos of waves crashing at the beach - yea, I destroyed it. Anyway, fast-forward a few years and my parents decided to try round two by gifting me a Coolpix S6300. But this time, for reasons I didn't even understand, I wasn't even excited to use the camera. I didn't even touch it for several weeks, but because of guilt, I took it out and began photographing. Not even two months later I decided, yet again, that my camera was invincible and made the same mistake twice - yes, I took it to the beach, walked into waist-deep water and photographed waves for no more than 10 minutes before my camera and I got destroyed by a mini sleeper wave. My walk of shame back to the car was enough to teach me to just invent in a GoPro. But anyway, the story doesn't stop here. During the Summer of 2014, my friends and I were taking off to Oregon to camp on the coast for a week. I knew it would be a very scenic trip so I really wanted to have a camera to bring along. I put together every single Penny I had to my name (yet again) and barely had enough to buy a gumball :(. I begged my brother to lend me some money (over $200 to be exact..) and he did, but my mom was (obviously) against it. But little did she know that this would be one of the greatest and most pivotal moments of my life. On the last night of what was already the best week of my life, a couple of us decided to being our sleeping bags down to the beach to sleep right along the shoreline. That night we were blessed with one of the most spectacular sunsets I've ever witnessed, so I naturally pulled out my new camera (another Coolpix (l830) haha) and began photographing.
If you are even only slightly familiar with my gallery, you will probably have seen this photo (left). This was one of the images I took that night. A 100% raw, candid, unedited photo. When we finally made it into our sleeping bags, my friends asked if they could see the photos I had taken. At that point, I had never really shared my photos beyond my parents, it was always just a personal little get-away, so showing my friends made me pretty nervous. But the excitement they expressed when I showed hem this photo filled me to my head with joy and satisfaction that, to this day, has not left me. When we got back to camp, my friends told our other friends about our night and about the photos I took and then them too came to see them. By the time I got home later that day, I was able to share the photos with my family too.
Being able to share such a special moment with a single photograph and have people be excited for it gave me a joy I had never ever experienced before. Since that day I was hooked on the idea of capturing and sharing moments, and that excitement has done nothing but grow exponentially. To this day I am in love with capturing these precious moments and then coming back home to share my experience. So when people like you come and read my blog or buy a print or comment on my Instagram, I am fueled and energized to keep going further and further.
Now as for my life right now.. I have just finished my first year of college and plan on returning. I will be returning as a Resident Advisor for one of the residence halls on campus while simultaneously interning for a super rad company called SeaCat creative. Aside from school and work, I am/will continue to be involved in several business-oriented clubs at school, I am constantly working on building my name and business, and above all I love going out and seeing the world with my rad homies.
I hope that I was able to give you at least a general idea of who I am, although it was very short. But if there was anything I didn't talk about or if you have any questions or comments, make sure to send me an email! I always enjoy hearing from you guys. Also, this first blog is pretty dry just because I'm trying to get used to it, but in the future I will be sure to include more photos and cheesy jokes and other ways of making these fun. But for now, if you are reading this right now, thank you - thank you for being interested, because YOU are the ones who push me forward.