From enthusiast to full-fledged career, Andrew Lau aka @thendrw turned his passion for sneakers, basketball, and fashion into a full-time career with a click of a shutter. Andrew’s photography work has been featured in many online publications and all over social media (over 50K followers on Instagram) with notable clients like Nike, BMW, adidas, I.T Hong Kong, NBA, and more. Check out our conversation with Andrew as he shares his thoughts on fast foods, photography philosophies and who he thinks will be the 2018 NBA champions.

TEAMCHOMP: Hey Andrew, can you tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?

Andrew: My name is Andrew Lau, born in Hong Kong and raised in Vancouver, and I’m a photographer. I’m currently based in Vancouver and I do product, lifestyle, fashion editorial, and event photography. Some notable clients I’ve worked with include Nike, BMW, the NBA, and I.T Hong Kong, to name a few.

T: What was the process like turning a past time into a career? Some of the challenges you faced?

A: Photography first started out as a hobby for me but soon turned into something more. Using social media platforms as a form of outlet to showcase my work, I soon began receiving recognition from companies and brands. That stamp of approval eventually motivated me to become a full-time photographer. There are always challenges because of the unstable nature of a freelancer. I’ve had my share of struggles but at the end of the day it’s all about staying motivated. A lot of times you just got to be proactive and create your own opportunities.

T: Can you walk us through your creative process and how your hobbies and lifestyle influence your work?

A: I’m a huge fan of sneakers, streetwear, and basketball and you can definitely tell if you’ve seen some of the content I’ve created. I don’t think I really have a set creative process because a lot of times I just capture whatever that catches my eye. Symmetry, reflections, and shadows all appeal to me though.

T: Being born in Hong Kong, does that effect your palate for food?

A: It’s safe to say that I need Chinese food in my life. It’s probably what I eat most and will always be down for it.

T: Do you frequent HK Cafes “Cha Chann Tengs”? If so, How do you feel about the Cha Chann Teng culture in Vancouver compared to Hong Kong?

A: HK Cafes are definitely a go-to for me, especially the fact that I live in Richmond, which is known for that. I can confidently say that the HK cafes here are equally as good as, if not better than, Hong Kong.

T: What do you think of the Vancouver food scene?

A: I think Vancouver has a good variety of cuisines. Most of them are quite authentic and up to standards. We are definitely lucky to be by the coast and have access to fresh seafood.

T: Having the opportunity to travel as a photographer, what are some of your favourite places and the food they offer?

A: Because of a packed schedule when I’m traveling for work I just end up eating fast food or whatever is convenient. In-N-Out is always a go to if I’m in LA, and Shake Shack if I’m in New York. I actually don’t like eating fast food but sometimes you just gotta do it. If I had to choose a place though, I’ll say Japan because everything taste amazing there.

T: What’s your favourite city to photograph?

A: Favorite city to photograph is definitely New York. I can never get sick of the busy streets during the day, and the vibrant lights the city offers at night.

T: You’re not known for food photography, but If you had to shoot 3 types of cuisines, what would they be and why?

A: If I had to capture 3 types of cuisines they’ll be Chinese, Japanese, and Hawaiian. My selections will be dim sum, ramen, and poke bowls, respectively. As for why those options, it’s because I like them and I want to photograph something that I’ll enjoy eating. But to be honest I rather not because I’m not down to watch my food get cold.

T: What are 5 sneakers in your current rotation?

A: Nike Air Max 97s “Silver Bullets”, Nike Flyknit Trainers in white and black, Adidas Ultra Boosts in triple black, Nike Air Force 1s in wheat, and Air Jordan 1s “Chicago”.

T: Top 3 streetwear brands that you’re feeling right now?

A: In no particular order; Stone Island, Noah NYC, and Uniqlo. I know Uniqlo isn’t a streetwear brand but they carry everything essential and can’t beat that quality and price combo.

T: Best hangover food and when’s the last time you had it?

A: Best hangover food for me is anything with soup, but specifically Ichiran Ramen in Hong Kong because it’s open 24/7. Had it this past summer.

T: Favorite NBA player of all time? Who’s going to win the 2018 NBA Championship?

A: Favorite NBA player of all time is Kobe Bryant. I think Golden State Warriors will repeat as champions.

T: What’s your favorite project that you’ve worked on to date and why?

A: My favorite project I’ve worked on to date is with NBA. As I mentioned in the beginning I’m a huge basketball fan and being able to capture the pre-season game last year between the Toronto Raptors and Golden State Warriors was a surreal experience. The fact that we don’t have a team in Vancouver makes this rare experience that much more special.

T: Advice for photographers on the come up?

A: Word of advice is to constantly practice. Repetition is key to becoming better. Get comfortable with the camera you have and understand the use of different settings in different environments. You don’t need the most expensive gear to get better. Just like you don’t need a Ferrari to become a better driver, though it would be nice.

Written: Jason Chow
Photography: Rich Won

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