Andres Sanchez: Urban Concrete

New York-based art director takes his camera to the colorful streets

ADC’s Photography Month is drawing to a close, but we still have plenty of incredibly talented ADC Members to introduce to the world! Some have been longtime professional photographers, while others are relatively new to the game, and still others just do it on the side while they hone their craft in other creative fields. The one common trait? They all love how a camera helps express their gifts.

Next up: a New York-based art director who enjoys exploring “light in movement” in his photographic side projects.

Art Director
New York, NY



How old were you when you became interested in photography? How did that interest come about, and how was it fostered?

I was exposed to photography and film from very young, since my mother is a portrait artist and my father is a filmmaker. I acted in a couple of his short films as a kid, and later on became obsessed with movies and the image.

Do you remember the earliest photograph you ever took?

I was about 10 when my mother gave me a Agfa camera. I remember taking pictures of the wallpaper and plants in the garden of my grandparents house where we lived. Years later, she gave me her Yashica FX-1 and it became my inseparable friend.

What type of photography would you say is your specialty, and how did it come to be your specialty?

I don’t think I have a specialty. Some of my first interests were photograms, high contrast black and white photography and photojournalism, and lately I like taking pictures of street walls and buildings, signs, and lights in movement. I think as a photographer and as an artist, you always have an underlying ethos and you can -and should- apply it to any type of photography.

“I think as a photographer and as an artist, you always have an underlying ethos and you can -and should- apply it to any type of photography.”

Define your photographic style in a single sentence.

Urban concrete.

What’s your favorite camera to shoot with? What’s so awesome about it?

Although I love DSLRs, I like to play with all cameras and the creative possibilities of the low quality. I like long lenses, as they allow me to quickly frame and isolate objects on a street. One tool I enjoy and use extensively is the computer.

What is the hardest part about being a photographer? Any advice on how to overcome that challenge?

I work full time as an art director so I have always seen photography as a tool for both my professional and personal work, although lately I have been shooting product and lifestyle. When you’re just starting out, competition in New York can be daunting, so you have to stick to your goals, get involved in the community and get a side job if possible.

Is there a particular project of yours of which you’re especially proud?

My Blur series was a departure from my previous work. I had always wanted to explore light in movement, and the moment I was going through in my life made it a special project. The fleeting lights were a reminder that everything passes.

What would be your dream client/project/collaboration?

I would like to take a sabbatical year and travel around the world to document color, typography and layout syncretisms in different cultures.

Nowadays everyone has ‘cameras’ in their pockets and Instagram on their phones. How has this changed the photography game? How has this changed your photography game?

It has made people more interested in photography, and it has made photography a cheaper art.

What are your other creative outlets and sources of inspiration?

I’m always sketching, drawing or painting, and as inspiration I walk a lot and try to absorb all the typography on ads and street signs. I have always liked maps and instruction manuals.

Fill in the blank: “When I’m not shooting, I am…”

“…I am drawing, painting, reading, meditating, running… Or working.”

Which professional photographers do you look up to, whether from afar or as mentors?

Apart from the classics such as Cartier-Bresson, Jeanloup Sieff and Man Ray, the work of Duane Michals impacted me early in art school, and lately I look up to Matthias Heiderich as inspiration.

When all is said and done, what is it about being a photographer that gets you up in the morning and drives your passion?

The urge to capture an image and expose the multiple readings it may have.

Photography Month takes place throughout March, and is open exclusively to ADC Members. Not yet a Member? Join today!