If you don’t pay attention to the commerce, you don’t get to create the art. Of course, it might be the pressure of the commerce that drives the creation of that art.

That’s what we got from the first few minutes of talking with Andrew Hancock, who shoots sports and action images for a number of clients, perhaps most notably Sports Illustrated.

“When you’re on assignment for SI you have to come back with the best photos,” Andy says. “That’s what they expect, and that’s what I expect from myself, but there are a lot of good photographers out there and it’s a constant challenge. There’s always the pressure of being surrounded by the best shooters in the business and trying to outthink them.”

So for a swim event, put the camera in the water. Motorcycle race? Bring out the tripod for extreme pans against a graphic background. Basketball game? Set up the strobes for some creative shadow play.

“There’s a lot of stress,” Andy says, “but I enjoy it. It motivates me to always be thinking out of the box, always trying to come up with something different, something no one else is going to get.”

What did we get from many more minutes talking with Andy? That every picture has its competitive edge.

Andrew Hancock is a Nikon Ambassador.

Learn more about his work on his Ambassador page.