Andy Katz on wanderlust

28 April 2014

Filled with his love of photography and wanderlust, Andy Katz’s travels the globe. From the deserts of Namibia to the disappearing Jewish World of Eastern Europe to the rolling hills of the California wine country, his subjects range as broadly as his travels and adventures. Each journey for Katz is a new exploration of images. We spoke with Andy about his passion for photography and what places to visit are on his bucket list.

Describe the moment you knew photography changed your life
When I was nine years old, my father received as a gift a beautiful book by the famous portrait photographer Yosuf Karsh. Each page of that book mesmerized me more than the one before. When I finally came to the end, I knew for sure that I was going to be a photographer. I haven’t looked back since.

If you could sum up your work in one word or one sentence, what would that be?

What is the most remarkable person, place or thing you have ever photographed and why?
The most remarkable thing I ever photographed was a very rare Stradivarius violin worth millions of dollars. I was shooting with a 4x5, and had to couch the violin in more pillows than a bedding store! Getting to hold this instrument was a real honor.

I have been to so many remarkable places on this wonderful planet that it is hard to pick one, from the boundless beauty of Namibia to the horrors of concentration camps in Germany. Picking one would be impossible…and even if I did, I’d only change my mind the next time someone asked me!

However, one particular project does stand out for me. When I was in Egypt, I visited a synagogue. There I met four men, who explained that when they and their families eventually died, the Jewish religion would disappear altogether from Egypt. Even though I am not a religious person, I found the notion of a disappearing people quite powerful. It moved me to devote the next year and a half to a project on vanishing Jewish societies around the world.

Talk to us about your bucket list... what is on the top of that list of things to photograph?
So many places! But top of the list would be whatever captivates me in these incredible locales:

Myanmar, where I haven’t been for 35 years

If you had not become a photographer, what might you be today?
If I weren’t a photographer, I would be very, very sad that I’m not a photographer. What would my fallback be…maybe President of the United States? Or better yet, Vice President. Less pressure.

Give us your thoughts about the Global Imaging Ambassadors programme?
I feel honored to be a Global Imaging Ambassador. It’s a unique opportunity to use the finest cameras in the world, and to be part of Sony’s proud legacy of innovation. 

What is your favourite Sony camera of the moment (explain why)?
My favorite camera is the α7R. It’s beautifully built, with an amazing sensor and a whole lot of those wonderful megapixels. For all that, it’s super light. Perfect for a roamer like me.

Learn more about Andy Katz and his breathtaking photographs here