Andy Fiord, the agency putting St. Petersburg on the fashion map
Andy Fiord noticed a niche in the market for a top creative agency in St. Petersburg; the city had so much beauty to offer, yet there were inadequate facilities to capture this. So in 2010, Andy set up his eponymous production company, which now also includes a modelling and casting agency, fashion event management and photo & film production. What sets the Andy Fiord agency apart (other than their location), is that a client is guaranteed to receive both top creative talent and attention to the utmost detail. Andy describes how the agency is always thinking a step ahead, "[the agency] solves those problems which the client has never mentioned and never even thought of". It is therefore no surprise that they recently shot for Vogue Russia with the talented Patrick Demarchelier and we are excited to share our interview with their producer, Alexandra Kovaleva.
What’s the story behind Andy Fiord? When and where did it all begin?
Andy Fiord Production is a photo and film production company born in Russia. Everything began in 2010 in St. Petersburg, our home town. What started as a local production house – became an international advertising company with several departments: photo & film production, model & casting agency and fashion event management. The company was born to work with foreign clients. We understood from the very beginning, that our home is an incredible location, but the services provided here by others are not good enough. We wanted great artists to come to St. Petersburg and shoot all this beauty. But they couldn’t do this without professional support. Now the mission is accomplished. Another important direction: our shootings for Russian clients abroad. Because of this constant work, today we have branch offices in Barcelona, Milan and NYC, that allows us to produce projects on any continent.
Where does the name Andy Fiord come from?
Our company bears the name of its founder – Andy Fiord, a photographer, entrepreneur, scientific researcher and mathematician. Actually, the company was created to provide him with all the necessary services for his photo projects. Today Andy doesn’t participate in the operating management of the company. The mechanisms and business procedures created by him allow the company to function independently these days.
Who is the typical client for the Andy Fiord agency?
It’s a fashion or lifestyle brand aspiring to transmit its image, mission and values across different regions. They communicate with their clients via emotions. Because of that such brands are looking for new powerful locations and our company helps them wherever they wish to go: Iceland, France, Dominican Republic– whatever. These are certainly demanding clients and our team is constantly improving in the process of providing these clients with really cool services.
What were the biggest difficulties Andy Fiord had starting out?
To create the dream team and find the right people who would share the same working standards as we do. Hopefully, we have successfully completed this task.
How does your agency differentiate itself from others?
Absolute devotion to our work and a unique combination of a very creative approach to solving any problems with a mathematically precise management (Andy Fiord is a mathematician as you remember). Our management style derives from other businesses (like the Russian aerospace company, for example) and is tailored for creative businesses, which photo and film production definitely is.
What is key to making a successful shoot?
Skilful logistics plan and careful attention to details. Our team always pays a lot of attention to local peculiarities. The ability to solve those problems which the client has never mentioned and never even thought of. We can not only perform tasks, but also think strategically, anticipating any difficulties in advance and eliminating them.
How has social media impacted your work? Has this impact been positive or negative?
It definitely gives us more inspiration for our projects and helps to find new aspiring talents for our shootings. For example, Instagram helps us a lot in finding new photographers and filmmakers. We’re also doing castings via this platform. And of course, it allows us to keep an eye on the work of other production houses. No doubt, the impact is super positive.
What has been one of your agency’s most exciting projects to work on?
We’re lucky as all our projects are incredibly interesting and inspiring. Can we mention not only one? Among the most memorable projects are shootings for Vogue Russia with Patrick Demarchelier in St. Petersburg, all our shootings with one of our favorite clients – a Brazilian fashion brand Lança Perfume around the world (Venice, Paris, Chicago, Hong Kong, Berlin, London, etc.).
What would be your dream project to work on?
We would love to produce a shooting in an exotic location like Australia, South Africa or maybe in Antarctic, why not? And of course, it would be an honor to work with inspiring brands such as Dior and Chanel, for example.
What can we expect from Andy Fiord in the future?
We're going to start creating powerful content for global nature and scientific channels (like Discovery, National Geographic, etc.) Here is a clue to what you’ll be able to see in the future –a movie shot by Andy:
Advice for up-and-coming photographers?
Never stop learning. This is a good advice for everyone.
Some of Andy Fiord's incredible film locations: