LOS ANGELES, UNITED STATES
Durham began his career in the film industry working on
films such as Scream, Sunset Park, I Love Trouble, and
Illegal Entry: Formula for Fear. He has worked
with actresses: Drew Barrymore, Sheryl Lee, Sabryn
Gene't, and Nick Nolte to name a few.
I was browsing through Fashion Stylist Rachel Zoe's new
website and just loved her portraits. I
wanted to know who was the photographer?
I am delighted to have interviewed Andrew Durham
and wanted to know "who is Andrew Durham?"
Exclusively Fashion Magazine:
When it came to my attention that you worked with Rachel
Zoe; my interest was more towards “who is Andrew
Can you tell me a little about yourself and how you
became a fashion photographer?
I was a film school graduate and spent over 15 years
working in film and television.
It wasn’t until the last 4 or 5 years
that I became more interested in photography, and began
pursuing it professionally.
How did the opportunity come about working with
I’ve shot Rachel a few times.
The first time was an assignment for
French Vogue. Every month they run a story on one
particular woman who has unique style.
I had shot several of these stories for
the magazine, and one of them was with Rachel Zoe.
I also photographed Rachel for The New
York Times magazine and the occasional publicity
campaign for her reality show, The Rachel Zoe Project.
Can you describe your style
as a photographer?
That’s tough. I feel like I might have a few
different styles. In the beginning I was hired to
shoot a lot of journalistic, reportage type stories.
Most of them were set in the fashion world.
Gradually, when I started shooting editorials and
fashion campaigns, there was a pretty strong resonance
left over from that style, and people responded to that
combination of a somewhat candid snapshot quality in
the context of a fashion shoot.
your favorite camera to use?
I shoot film. For 35mm I love the Contax
G2 and the Contax TVS3. For medium format I use
the Fuji GA645zi or the Contax 645. I haven’t bought a
digital camera yet, except for the camera on my iphone,
which is great.
What is the process of preparing for a shoot?
That usually depends on the shoot. Sometimes the client
likes to have me involved with casting the models,
scouting the locations, etc… Or sometimes they just give
you directions and a call time. I prefer being
more involved. I think you set yourself up to have
a lot more creative control during the actual shoot when
you have already established yourself as a collaborative
part of pre-production process and not just a hired hand
on the day of the shoot.
Can you name a few of
your celebrity clients?
I work a lot with Sofia Coppola. We are
old friends and we have a great working relationship.
We both prefer to keep things very simple, and not
complicate the shoot with a bunch of equipment or extra
people. We shot the lookbook together for the
line of bags and shoes she designed for Louis Vuitton.
Of course the original concept involved art directors,
stylists, etc… But instead, Sofia and I walked around
Paris one afternoon and took snapshots of her and the
bags at our favorite locations. It was so simple
and the end result was probably a lot better than some
EFM: What gives you
A lot of different
photographers inspire me. I love the stuff Bob
Richardson and David Bailey were doing in the 1970’s.
I’m a huge fan of the snapshots David Hockney was taking
of his friends, also in the 70’s. There is
something so romantic about the film stock, choice of
lighting (or lack of) and effortless composition of that
time. The images really hold up. I also love
Gilles Larrain, William Eggleston and Luigi Ghirri.
EFM: Tell me something that we
don’t know about you?
Do I have
What is the best thing you love about being a
Because I still shoot on film,
I love it when I can go to the lab, pick up my film and
see how the pictures came out. The anticipation,
the surprises, the accidental success, I love that part.
In details, can you give tips on how to take a
AD: It took a
lot of trial and error to figure that out. I’m
still working on it. But I think there are three
crucial things. Know your lenses, appreciate good
light, and most importantly – timing. When I look
back at some of my favorite photos, they worked because
of the timing. The time of day, the mood the
subject was in, the location you happen to be at, and
the exact moment you decide to press the shutter release.
This is what I mean by timing, when all those elements
come together at once, you usually get a pretty great
If an aspiring
photographer would like to assist you; what
characteristics would you look for?
AD: A good
sense of humor.
EFM: I love how you use lighting.
What are your tips on taking good photos?
like to use as much natural light as possible. I
try not to take photo after 4 in the afternoon.
can you give to aspiring fashion photographers?
Shoot on film!
Interview by Rochell “E” James