Andy Beales

Focused on Adventure

My passion for travel started two decades ago when at just 18 I backpacked in rural China.

I was born to be outdoors – to get hot, cold or soaking wet, and love every moment! So much so that by the age of 21, I had already worked as a ski instructor in Switzerland and Austria, qualified in hang gliding & paragliding, and made a cross-country paraglider flight over the Eiger. I had worked for an NGO in Hong Kong for two years and visited all but three provinces of China.

During those years, I first picked up a (film) camera while leading a New Zealand NGO trip to the nomadic people living on Mongolia’s vast remote plains. That was back in 1996, and many years went without me touching a camera again, but the love of photography stayed with me. Today I’m 39 and everything I do revolves around photography and travel.

Travel Photography

I’m lucky enough to be able to photograph landscapes that few have seen, people with stories to tell, and cultures that are changing fast. My passion for travel adventure and photography has taken me all over the world, from remote monasteries in Asia to the stark landscapes of Iceland. I’ve even been hired to photograph a wedding at 12,000 feet on the top of the world’s most dangerous volcano, in no-go-areas of war-torn D.R. Congo.

Photography has introduced me to destinations I would never have dreamed of visiting.

While living in China for the last eight years, I have learned to read, write, and speak Chinese, climbed forlorn peaks, waded freezing rivers, and shared the homes of tribes (ethnic minority groups), earned their trust and become friends.

Awards & Media Exposure

My images have featured in the Guardian, Telegraph, Daily Mail, National Geographic Traveller Magazine ads, Luxury Travel Magazine, and on ITV.  I was the Winner of The Telegraph’s  Travel Photographer of the Year Competition called ‘Big Picture’ in January 2016, and a final finalist the following year, January 2017.

Last summer I exhibited a collection of images at the International Photography Exhibition in Hong Kong. Thousands of images were submitted, 80 photographers were shortlisted and selected to be exhibited. I was surprised to get a call from the event organizers to ask me to attend the press conference and prepare a keynote speech on travel photography. It turned out I had won the title of Photography of the Year, and my first actual trophy. 🙂

Andy Beales Photography in the Media
Photography Tours

From first-hand experience, and from my years of consulting in tourism, for China’s best operators, I know that standard tour operators just cannot meet the unique needs of photographers. So Mia (my wife, also a photographer) and I started a bespoke photography guiding service called Gatsby, and run Guilin Photo Tours.

Trey Ratcliff of Stuck In Customs says this about us:
“These guys are awesome, understand cameras and know all the cool places.”

Jim Harmer founder of Improve Photography says:
“I’ve worked with photo guides all over the world, but these guys are the best I’ve ever worked with!”

Gatsby Photo Tours

Gatsby Travel is a one-of-a-kind service that’s growing slowly, as we painstakingly select and train passionate photo guides who understand photographers needs and have a rapport with the locals. Our professional (extremely flexible) guides and drivers are willing to serve you for 16-18 hours a day so that you can photograph a river before dawn, or a mountain village at night. Whether you’re looking to take stunning photos or seeking adventure, we can tailor an expedition to your needs.

Andy Beales Photography Tours TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence
Guilin Photography Tour is a brand of Gatsby, offering a bespoke service for China’s Guangxi province, covering the Guilin area. We also run China Photography Tours to provide solutions for photographers interested in the wild Great Wall photography, Zhangjiajie’s Avatar peaks and other regions of China. We have had the privilege of serving VIPs, National Geographic photographers, ambassadors for camera companies, award-winners, and even run trips for other tour operators, photo tour providers, and photography clubs from around the world.

Tourism Consulting

When I’m not shooting, guiding or leading photo tours & workshops, I also consult for travel companies in digital marketing and business strategy, helping China’s largest operators research and design tours, while also training digital staff and local tour guides.

I’d love to work with you! I’m based mainly in China, England, and Finland. I’m constantly traveling, but wherever I am, you can always contact me, commission me, or join me on a trip!

Let’s connect, my Instagram’s @andybeales

Signature of Andy Beales