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Toledo is my home, my playground.

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People always ask me “Why do you still live in Toledo?” I am going to explain why.

I grew up in Perrysburg, had some great friends and fun times in high school and then college came along. I attended the University of Toledo where I was fortunate enough to play DI Football, and built what some people call a “band of brothers.” People will never understand what that means unless they’ve played a competitive sport.

In 2012 I dropped out of college to pursue my photography career. It was difficult at first. I was truly a starving artist. But I sat down, made a list of people I knew working at big companies and at the time, that list was very short. But I knew someone working for Under Armour. A few emails and phone calls and BOOM! I was on a plane to Salt Lake City to shoot my first football game for them.

From that day in 2012, my career couldn’t have gotten any better. I was jet-setting across the country covering Olympics, Super Bowls, NASCAR, NFL, and College Football games for USA Today, Sports Illustrated and ESPN.

To this day people tell me I have the best job in the world, and I am very lucky to be able to work in sports; something I have always enjoyed.

Being able to photograph athletes such as LeBron James, Dan Wheldon, Tom Brady and many others has taught me that greatness comes from within. Honing a craft and being able to compete at such a high level is something that everyone dreams of achieving, but I think everyone in Toledo has a chance to do something great. You just have to wake up with the right attitude and surround yourself with great people.

But why Toledo? Why haven’t I moved to a major market like Chicago, where the city is loaded with professional sports and endless amount of creative agencies. A city where I can work with huge companies and corporations.

The answer is simple… The arts, entrepreneur and startup community that is revitalizing Toledo. I have planted my feet in so many different circles and I love it!

Being involved in StartUP Toledo and Seed Coworking has helped me refine my craft as an entrepreneur. Being a one man company isn’t for everyone, it takes a unique individual to be able hustle for work and create relationships to be able to grow and succeed.

I was able to create a new part of my photography business right in downtown Toledo. In February, I opened a photography studio where I am focusing on headshots, portraits, product photography, and much more. Something I wouldn’t have been able todo in a larger city like Chicago.

I am also starting to teach myself the art of film and video. I have been producing the StartUP Toledo teaser videos – Matt Braun and the Etch a Sketch and the Adam Levine / Gene Powell drawing battle.

To increase my video skills I am also starting to get into daily vlogging, something Toledo has never seen. Sharing my life and creations through my lens using Toledo as my background.

I see the world through my lens so differently then most. I spend a fair amount of time hanging out of helicopters and hot air balloons photographing Toledo. So I get to see the beauty from a birds eye perspective. Most only see it from the ground.

Being able to work with some great companies that are located right here in Toledo: Andersons, Balance Grille, Toledo Musuem of Art, WellTower and all of the small business I have helped along the way.

Toledo is my home, my playground and where I will continue to build my business and grow as a photographer and as a person.

Toledo the rest of 2016 is going to be amazing and I can’t wait for you to be apart of it!

Andrew

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