Andy Lloyd Q&A
Who is Andy Lloyd?
I am a professional photographer of 12 years and mountain biker of over 20 years who now happily combines the two.
What does mountain biking mean to you?
Mountain biking is all about people and places for me. It has taken me to places I would never imagine visiting other than to ride bike, and introduced me to amazing people you would never meet in normal life.
How did you get started in the world of photography?
I started working on my local newspaper in Devon, a job I did not enjoy and bosses that didn’t particularly like me. Thankfully I only had to endure it for three months before I got a job at an agency working for the national newspapers. Mountain bike photography was always on the backburner when doing these jobs.
What creative influences have shaped your work?
While studying Documentary Photography at university it was hard not to be influenced by that ilk of photographer. Now I keep an eye on what all the other bike photographers are up to, but hopefully I have a distinctive style of my own.
You have worked with many talented bike riders over the course of your career – is there one rider that stands out the most for you personally?
I have worked with many riders over the years, but it is Rowan Sorrell that stands out for me. I started working with him from my first year at university in 1999, and without his skill on a bike (and contacts in the bike industry!) I doubt I would be doing the kind of work I do now.
Let’s talk about equipment – what are your tools of choice?
I have shot on Nikon since my first job, and thankfully now they on a par with Canon unlike the dark days of the D2 series. I now work on D3S and D800 bodies with a variety of lenses and remote flash gear.
Should a budding MTB photographer buy the best equipment they can afford – or like a bike should they upgrade to match their ability levels?
The price of your equipment should never hinder creativity. If you have good light even the cheapest cameras can get you amazing results. I started taking bike photos on a manual focus film SLR that cost me less than £100. Sure a six grand DSLR body will be fast and give you great results, but you still have to know how to use it, so learn on a simpler beast otherwise you’ve got no excuse for poor results.
You’ve done a few amazing features for Dirt magazine in the Alps – is this your favourite region to ride and shoot images?
The Alps are just an endless supply of stunning scenery and terrain and pretty hard to beat, especially due to their proximity to the UK. I’ve been to few more exotic locations in the last 18 months but the Alps is a place I go back to more than anywhere. Having said this you don’t have to travel abroad to take stunning bike photos – the UK has more than it’s share of amazing landscape.
Video edits seem to be the most popular media for mountain biking right now – is video the best platform for storytelling?
I’ve always been a stills photographer, so I am pretty biased on this one! In my mind photographs are the best medium for storying telling, with it being a lot harder to convey the story in a series of images than it is in a five minute video edit. Video has definitely become very important in getting bike stories across and they probably grab the attention more than a still, but a lot of edits look very samey, with the over use of techniques…..the drone has become one of these now, with one being used in what seems like every edit. I guess it’s like having a new toy, people will get bored with them!
You can see more of Andy's incredible portfolio of work on his website, Andrew Lloyd photography.
Read more about the incredible photographers and videographers who document the sport of cycling in our Behind the lens series