How to capture an award-winning image in less than 5 minutes: Andy Mahr, winner of Corporate & Industrial Category


The Spotlight Awards for Photographic Excellence, launched by Production Paradise in 2018, highlights world-class professional photographers who are creating the most outstanding imagery in the commercial field. We recently announced the winners and you can learn more about each of them in this series of interviews.

Today we introduce Andy Mahr, Spotlight Awards Winner in Corporate & Industrial Photography Category.

Production Paradise: Tell us about the winning image, the idea behind it, how was it shot?

Andy Mahr: This image was shot for the Bayer Corporation’s Agriculture Division. Honestly, this shot wasn’t even on the original shot list. We were shooting on top of those silos. I finished that shot and had just walked down. As I looked up to say something to my assistant, I instantly saw the shot. I got our model in position right away. It took less than five minutes and we went on our way. That is why you always have to keep your eyes open!

Production Paradise: How would you describe your style?

Andy Mahr: I guess it depends on the subject matter. I shoot a wide range of subject matters. Anything from Harley Davidson Motorcycles to kittens for Purina through sports for Reebok and conceptual images for Chick-fil-A. I feel the subject matter determines the look. If it’s agriculture or industrial work, generally speaking, it probably feels a bit more gritty and desaturated. You want to feel the dirt and grit that come along with the hard work. Photographing kids, for one of my hospital clients, the palette is more colorful with pastel colors and a shallow depth of field. That work wanted to feel young, soft and innocent.

Production Paradise: How did you end up behind the lens? Tell us about your career path.

Andy Mahr: I didn’t take the normal path to photography. I graduated from Colorado State University with a design degree. From there, I went into Ad School at the Creative Circus. Between 1996 and 2008 I served as an art director/designer and eventually a creative director, at The Richards, Pyro, DDB and TM Advertising. About midway through that career, I started shooting, caught the big, and haven’t looked back.

Production Paradise: What do you think is necessary to become a successful commercial photographer?

Andy Mahr: Patience, perseverance, hard work and most of all passion. You have to bring it every day.

Production Paradise: We believe you are not resting on your laurels – what are you working on now?

Andy Mahr: I finished a month-long shoot for Harley Davison at the end of spring. Now, I am working for Charles Schwab, LivaNova and Timberland.

Production Paradise: The Spotlight awards had a judge’s panel composed of potential clients for commercial photographers – did that influence your choice of image(s) selected for your entry?

Andy Mahr: Honestly I didn’t know who was on the panel and really didn’t give much thought to it. But I know I can trust Production Paradise is always going to surround itself with leaders from our industry.

Production Paradise: What made you want to participate in these Awards?

Andy Mahr: Production Paradise is a great resource for the industry and widely respected so it wasn’t a hard choice.

Production Paradise sincerely thanks Andy for the time given to this interview and for letting know more about his amazing working process and invite you to visit his portfolio page on Production Paradise and his website.

Production Paradise will issue a special edition of Spotlight Magazine featuring all the winners. Make sure you subscribe to our blog and Spotlight Magazine and never miss anything!

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