Andrew Faulk is an award-winning photographer in Tokyo, Japan. His work has been published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Ritz Carlton Magazine, and San Francisco Chronicle.
Viewing the breadth of his portfolio – portraits, fashion, travel, editorial, live events – and noticing his talent for storytelling, one might guess that Andrew grew up with a camera in his hand, that he learned the lessons of light and composition from an early age.
But this story begins on the streets of Seoul, South Korea when a 30-something schoolteacher needed an excuse to get out of the house.
“In 2009, my wife and I moved to Seoul to work at an international school,” Andrew recalls. “We left America to navigate a different path, one that would hopefully add some spice to an otherwise monotonous grind.”
Housing was provided by the school where Andrew and his wife worked. “There were many positive aspects of living alongside our colleagues,” Andrew says. “But, for me, the drawbacks tipped the scale. I found myself in an expat bubble and life outside of work felt more like the adult version of Saved By The Bell than anything else. I wanted to remove myself from that environment. I wanted to see Korea through a different lens – pardon the pun – and desperately needed to engage with those who didn’t live, work, sleep, and play in the same neighborhood. I wanted to embrace something different, something new, something else.
“With a camera in hand, I had a socially acceptable ‘out,’ a hobby that would allow me to leave the physical compound and explore my surroundings. I didn’t really know then what I was doing with my camera. But that didn’t matter. Photography was a necessary excuse.”
Andrew needed fresh air and a new perspective. He found a creative passion energized by travel and living abroad. “Throughout the rest of our stay in Korea, I challenged myself to learn as much as I could about my newly found hobby and to meet other creatives,” Andrew remembers. “Soon enough I was absorbed by photography and embraced it as an outlet for stress relief. I found that the camera filled my need to create. Photography nurtured the artistic side, a part of me that I had neglected for years.”
Andrew and his family have since moved from Seoul to Tokyo, Japan where Andrew has embraced his new profession as a photographer. “My passion for photography is still growing and expanding. Instead of learning how to work a camera, I get to ask myself what else is possible with the medium. I feel like I have just started the creative journey.”
Andrew’s creative journey may have just begun, but he has already traveled far. Among his published assignments, he has captured the culture and pristine beaches of Okinawa, documented a Yakushu bartender serving medicinal liquor in the Setagaya district of Tokyo, shot live shows in the Korean punk rock scene, snapped intimate jazz performances in a Tokyo nightclub, and photographed the Boston Symphony Orchestra.