Photograph of An Teallach in Scotland
Catching the light whilst climbing An Teallach. Scotland

Growing up in rural Cumbria with The Lake District on my doorstep I believe laid the foundations for my affinity with the landscape.  Once I’d realised that I couldn’t kick a ball around for the rest of my life, I started looking up and taking more of an interest in the great outdoors and the activities it had to offer.  I still kicked a ball around, but other interests came along and accelerated when I went away to study Landscape Architecture.

Andy Haggar looking towards a glacier in Patagonia
Trekking above Glacier Grey, Parque Nacional Torres del Paine. Chile

I started taking photographs at about the age of 12 when I picked up my Dad’s old Kodak Brownie camera.  By the time I was reaching the end of my teens my interest in photography had developed to a level where I wanted to know much more about the art, be able to do more things with a camera and take better pictures.

That’s when I got my first SLR film camera which lead to many years shooting film, both print and slide, colour and black and white.

Backpacking trips at home and abroad to the mountain regions of Europe together with the interesting and inspiring bits I’d mentally picked out of the Landscape degree course served to shape the development of my photographic eye.  Having an appreciation of the amazing landscapes I was seeing made me want to take the photographs that would do them justice.
Andy Haggar walking up a dune in Morroco
Backpacking in the Moroccan sand dunes
After time away, I now live back amongst the hills in the county where I was born.  There’s a great northern word that is ‘hefted’.  Herdwick sheep are ‘hefted’; which means they naturally keep to a place on the fell, unfenced, because they are taught a sense of belonging by their mothers. This stretches back centuries having been passed down the generations.  I like to adopt this word to describe myself, and a bit more tenuously, relate it to landscape photography.  In a similar way to the Herdwick sheep I have always felt ‘hefted’ to my native Cumbria, leaving when school days were over but instinctively feeling the strong pull to return.   Hefted describes livestock that have become attached to an area of upland pasture and similarly to be a landscape photographer I feel the need to be in, and attached to, the landscape, especially my native upland landscape.

I very much feel that the connection I have with the landscape and the outdoors, and the bond I have with it is necessary for the success of my photography.  It gives me an invaluable feeling for the subject, and therefore gives my photographs the soul I’m often looking for.

My work is inspired by the natural world in all its different guises.  The beauty and varying interest of the landscape – the wilder the better – really has a powerful hold over me.

Andy Haggar photographing in Patagonia
Photographing in Patagonia
Andy Haggar in snowy Scotland
Climbing Ladhar Bheinn, Knoydart. Scotland

I find the richness of the landscapes the UK has to offer, especially when combined with the changing weather and seasons, is inspiration enough, but I have also been lucky enough to experience many wonderful places abroad; the National Parks of America and places as diverse as Patagonia and Cambodia for example.

Variety is always stimulating.  However far I travel though, the landscapes, countryside and wild places of home still resonate with me more than any other.

I am a qualified Landscape Architect and consider myself to be a designer as well as a photographer.  The two complement each other as do my other interests.  Walking, climbing, backpacking, cycling, running and skiing count among my favourite outdoor activities, most going hand in hand with my photographic adventures.  I still kick a ball about but have yet to try that with a camera in my hand!

Black and white image of someone standing under a goalpoast
The Long Shot
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