google-site-verification=-dZePfgWB2ZtA3dxPB_nPrOD55Shnmh0iXAEngMSTwE dZePfgWB2ZtA3dxPB_nPrOD55Shnmh0iXAEngMSTwE
Andrew Faulk Photographer

Beautiful Mind: An Interview With Photographer Andrew Faulk

Take a trip through the mind of Andrew Faulk –the photographer’s photographer. Simon Slater talks with the man known for his unique vision and execution behind the lens.

Since arriving on the peninsula to Korea in 2009 from his native Tennessee, Andrew Faulk has become a hugely respected talent behind the lens. Whether it’s creating unique portraiture in-studio, showing budding photographers the ropes on photography tours of Thailand and Korea, or shooting rock concerts, Faulk has become a go-to guy for his visionary take on photography.

 What were the key moments in your life when you first started to think of yourself as a photographer, not just someone who takes pictures?

At some point, I began to hold up the group. Whether travelling or just being out and about, my wife or friends would walk ahead while I stopped to “just take a photo.” When I looked away from my camera, I would magically be fifty feet away from where I began shooting and at least 15 minutes older. During those times, I was getting the shots I wanted but also getting a bit of the “awesome that you like taking photos but you are ruining our outing” vibe. I think noticing this was when I admitted to myself that I had a photographic obsession and was more than just someone who took snapshots.

andy anapji 2 andy reflect

What have you brought from your personal life pre-photographer status that you think plays a part in your vision as a photographer, such as hobbies/interests/tastes?

Personal connection is very important to me. I have always enjoyed speaking with people and being around others in conversation or silence. Whether it is a stranger or not is moot. I like to observe and tend to dwell on the things that I notice. It only seems natural to take it a step further by photographing people, details and observations.

Talk about your development as an artist and how you think you have grown in relation to a cultivation in style, particularly your creative portraiture, and what have been and are currently some key influences that have helped shape your work.

I have always tried to resist a “style.” Though the more I reflect on images I produce, the more I can indeed notice nuances that could be used to describe my photographs. I would be naïve or pretentious to contest that I have not developed a style. I do; however, feel that is has taken a couple of years just to see some commonalities in my imagery. My current influences are mostly internal. I have noticed that my photographs are becoming a bit darker and more muted in tone. Perhaps that is just a reflection of this particular cycle in my life. The more I take photos, the more I acknowledge what I truly adore shooting. When I first began, I wasn’t being mindful of subjects or my particular aesthetic tendencies. I think that loving your subject helps develop style. I have begun to focus my energy on the specific things that I admire in subjects. Whether it an article of clothing, the lobe of an ear or a dirty foot, I find the frame I love. Concentrating on that, the photographs come out how I envisioned then when I clicked the camera’s shutter.

andy girl lights


I’ve noticed that there’s a recurring theme of repetition in your work, whether it be a multiple exposure or repeating words and captions. Discuss the theme of repetition in your work and how you feel it is effective.

There are layers and rhythm to everything: personalities, movement, cities, people, and consciousness. There is just as much to learn from shadows and what is not seen than what is. Our past influences our present and future whether we want it to or not. We are creatures of habit and thus repetitive beings. I think that repetition or double exposures and the visual effects that they create remind me of these personal truths. I am perhaps attempting to remind myself of these things.

As well as model work, you are a keen travel photographer. Travel has the tendency to enlighten us and help us grow. What do you like about traveling, and how has it shaped you a person and photographer?

It is from travelling that I owe my enthusiasm towards photography. Most of what I assume to know about life has been learned from travel. In 2004, my father and I took a trip to the Sacred Valley in Peru. One of the most powerful moments in the trip, or in my life, was in Cuzco. There I met a young street girl named Violeta Garcia Vargas. She sold finger puppets. She was talkative and curious. Bubbly. By using superb English and humor, Violeta developed rapport with me, her customer, because it was crucial to her sales. We chatted for an hour or so before our conversation was abruptly interrupted. Before I could even realize what was happening, police had ransacked all of her goods and stolen them from her. I guess the Cuzco fuzz was “cleaning up the streets.” After the cops stole all of her wares, Violeta was anything but defeated. Instead, she just asked me to take her to get some ice cream. I mention that experience because it taught me more about Peru and myself than Machu Picchu ever could. Taking the time to create personal connections is the crux of travel for me. By knowing the people, you can better know a place. Knowing places means that I can better know myself.

andy mud EZ3A9092-Edit-Edit-Edit-2-2

You have a great ability to not only reflect an intimate atmosphere with your portraits but also bring out some intense emotional expressions. Can you talk about the process of working with a model to bring these expressions out?

My main goal with any shoot is to connect with a person, not an object. I want to my photographs to look intimate because they are intimate. To create that atmosphere, I first identify how a model feels and then make adjustments in relation to those feelings. I think it takes a keen social sense to develop that atmosphere. Each and every person is different. A model’s mood changes from one moment to the next. Everyone brings their past as well as their present into a shoot. I don’t think that I do many things well in life. However, one thing that I do well is intuitively reading body language. To me, that unspoken communication is far more important than speech. Without emotional intelligence, a photographer will never bring out the desired expressions or emotions in others.

If art is theft, as Pablo Picasso once said, then who are the top three people you have stolen from in regards to your increasingly imaginative portraits and what do you want to attempt in the future with your portraits that you feel is beyond your talents at present? Is there a photographer you’re looking at right now and thinking ‘I want to be able to do something like that too’?

Just three? I pillage tricks from everywhere I can find them. Locally, Dylan Goldby and Jessica Berggrun have had the most impact. While I do not think my work resembles theirs, I do admit that there is a large possibility that I have nicked their tricks without even realizing it. That is to be expected when you spend a large amount of time looking at someone’s work or, better yet, spending time with those artists personally. By osmosis or proximity, I have picked up their energy and am a better photographer for it.

There are many things that I would do that are out of reach for me at the present. I would love to create images with as much beautiful impact as the Spain’s Eugenio Recuenco. But, until I have decent post-processing skills, that is out of reach. Likewise, I would love to be able to shoot the dark side of humanity in a way that is as hauntingly emotive as the work of Antione D’Agata. There are also images that I would jump to create but lack the budget. Tyler Shields, for example, is a photographer who can create his vision because he has both the technical expertise as well as clients with deep pockets. With that said, I am happy with where I am as a photographer and realize that I have plenty of time to learn and grow.

Andrew Faulk Photography is where you can view Andrew’s work and contact him for inquiries, He also has a Facebook page.

You can see and read more from Simon at his blog The Secret Map and it’s Facebook page.

Cover Photo by Dylan Goldby whose work can be seen at Welkinlight Photography as well as his Facebook page


More from Andrew Faulk

andy angel andy gyeongju andy knockout IMG_0489-2 monky scream andy



The Latest Haps

busan hang bridge

Traffic Closures During the Busan International Ocean Marathon

The Busan International Ocean Marathon takes place on Sunday, October 2. Some streets on the marathon route will be closed.


US Ambassador’s Attacker Gets 12 Year Prison Sentence

The country’s top court has sentenced a South Korean man to 12 years in prison for attempting to murder the U.S. ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert.


Anti-graft Law Goes into Effect From Today

The Kim Young-ran anti-graft law is taking in effect starting today. The law aims to prevent government employees and various officials from receiving bribes.

busan subway station

Subway Service Disruptions Expected Due to Union Strike

Busan Subway Lines 1, 2 and 3 have begun emergency services today due to a general strike of the Busan Metro Labor Union.


Music, Food and Culture: Busan One Asia Festival Gets Underway

Busan will light up with K-Pop stars, food and culture for the month of October.

Image: BIFF

Movie Stars from Around the World Are on Their Way to Busan

The tentative lineup for guests visiting the 21st Busan International Film Festival for the opening day on October 6th is near completion.

biff-opening1 (1)

21st BIFF Closing Ceremony Hosts Announced

The Closing Ceremony hosts of the 21st Busan International Film Festival will be actor Kim Min Jong and actress Choi Yeojin.


Korea’s Biggest Shopping and Cultural Event Underway

With the nation’s biggest shopping and cultural event “Korea Sale’s FESTA” beginning today, Busan’s distribution industries have begun participating in an all-out competition.


2016 Busan One Asia Festival: Two Free-admission Events for Foreign Tourists

The Busan One Asia Festival is offering free admissions to Taste Busan and the Korean Wave Star & Beauty Collection for foreign guests at BEXCO.


Cancer Still #1 Cause of Death in Korea

Cancer remained the leading cause of death in South Korea in 2015, with fatalities from pneumonia rising sharply amid a rapidly aging population, government data showed Tuesday.

the bay 101

Win Tickets to the WAVE Yacht Closing Party

BeFM’s “On the Road Busan” team invites you for a final FREE trip around the beautiful Busan Bay at the Wave Yacht Lounge Closing Party on Saturday, October 8th.


Busan International Food Expo to Run Oct. 6-9

The Busan International Food Expo 2016 will be held in BEXCO from October 6th to the 9th.

Image: Pei Wei

Pei Wei Asian Diner is Coming to Busan

Pei Wei Asian Diner is set to open a location in Busan by the end of 2017 according to a company press release.


Travel Korea: Jinju Lantern Festival Returns

The “2016 Jinju Namgang Lantern Festival” will begin on October 1st and end on the 16th at Jinju Namgang Ilwon.


Seoul #10 Most Popular Travel City

A new survey by MasterCard shows that Seoul is once again the 10th most popular city for travel in the world.


Travel Korea: Daytripping in Ulsan

Busan’s neighbor to the north has a lot going for it for a fun weekend that’s not so far from home.


Come Have Fun at the 2016 Superhero Comic Dash

Join forces for good and come participate in the 2016 Superhero Comic Dash! Presented by The H.U.G.S (Helping Us Grow to be Superheroes) Association.


Ocean Marathon Traverses Three Bridges

Runners from around the world will gather at the 2016 Busan International Ocean Marathon on Oct. 2.

Image: YouTube

Is this the Worst Goalkeeper Blunder Ever?

North Korea’s goalkeeper gives up one of the worst goals ever — to the opponent’s goalkeeper in an AFC U-16 championship match.





About Simon Slater

Simon Slater is a freelance journalist and photographer currently based in Seoul. As well as contributing to various media outlets, he writes photo-led stories about Korea and the rest of Asia in his blog 'The Secret Map'.

Check Also

gwangalli beach

What’s On in Busan: September 26 – October 2

Find out what great things are happening around Busan this week.

Leave a Reply