MC Photo Comp Music winner Andrew Bibby had not one, but two, photos in the final 10 of one of our favourite categories.
The Melbourne-born photographer eventually took out the top prize with his photo of the Aussie band The Pinheads, but his insane photo of James Murphy from LCD Soundsystem—bathed in disco ball light as if some form of celestial being—was also a close contender. Now based in Vancouver, Canada, Andrew’s first foray into the photography world started when a skate injury had him sidelined, which forced him to amuse himself whilst out of action. A decade later, he’s made the transition from skate photographer to shooting snowboarding, lifestyle, and particularly music—a move that’s worked out quite nicely for him and resulted in $5k large in his pocket. We caught up with Andrew and found out what he’s going to blow the money on, his most memorable shots, artistic inspirations, and more.
What are your plans for the $5k?
Probably take care of some credit cards. Pretty boring really but taking photos the way I do doesn’t make much money. But gonna take some of it and put on a party and buy myself something nice.
What do you dig most about your winning photo?
I almost didn’t enter it. It’s a pretty raw shot and I knew I liked it and the action in it, so I took the risk and it paid off. Everyone should go out and buy a Pinheads record or at least get to one of their shows. Also a big thank you to The Drunk Mums for letting me into that show.
Has taking a photo ever gotten you in trouble?
Yeah sorta? Nothing too crazy, just getting moved along from sketchy spots backstage at gigs and festivals. A few times I’ve been sat down by the cops shooting skate photos in California. They handcuffed us once. But yeah, never actually got in trouble, guess I’m not trying hard enough. I’ve definitely made my ex-girlfriends really mad by shooting photos with models. That’s an interesting and dangerous conversation to have.
What’s the one shot that got away?
I’ve missed a few bands that I’ll never have a chance to shoot again. I wish I caught Black Sabbath’s last tour. Shooting LCD Soundsystem was a big bucket list thing for me. I’d love to shoot more gigs, in more countries.
Who’s a photographer that inspires you and why?
I’m super inspired by old wartime photographers. To be in those scenarios and have to focus and capture powerful images is nuts. A great one to check out is Larry Burrows, his book Vietnam is one of the best books I’ve ever bought. Also James Nachtwey and his take on modern conflicts.
You’ve got to escape from a burning building and you can only take one of your photos. What is it?
It’s probably the other photo that did well in the contest. I’ve always wanted to shoot James Murphy and when I saw the light and caught the mirror ball just right I knew I’d shot one of my best images so far.
What’s your favourite gear to shoot with and why?
It’s a close tie for me. I love my Hasselblad but I also love my Polaroid 600SE, I just wish the film wasn’t going out of print as those large peel apart polaroids are stunning.
Your dream subject to shoot?
Any of the old gigs at CBGB’s would be awesome—the early days of rock and punk. The stories I’ve read about Iggy Pop and Patti Smith shows sound amazing to shoot. As far as realistic things, probably some crazy big mountain snowboarding in Alaska.
What was the first photo you remember being proud of?
It was probably a skate photo that made it into the finals of an MC comp a few years ago, 2011 I think? It’s of Deon Williams doing a Nollie BS Heel in an underground pipe. It’s a surreal looking spot, very alien.