The Life Without Andy crew are an energetic, late-night photography team that manages to not only capture the essence of Sydney’s local party and music scene, but does it in a way that makes you wonder why you’d ever consider looking anywhere else for a good time.
Jack Bennett has been shooting for the team for nearly six years. His photos make you feel an instant whack of FOMO, taking you back to front row at Laneway Festival, sun drenched and blissing out to your favourite tune. Photography was initially a side hustle to his career in IT sales, a chance to do “something creative that wasn’t me just sitting around drinking my mates’ bar tabs,” he says. Quickly, that little side hustle snowballed into something more robust. He started following his DJ mates to festivals every summer to capture them on camera, and his photography now takes him around the world to New York Fashion Week, music festivals in Turkey, Croatia and India – “pretty much everywhere,” as well as the best of the best back home to Sydney. He’s never felt the need to move from Sydney, and why would he? “It’s too good here,” he says. “I love it way too much. It has everything in short reach - amazing food, the beaches, great parties. I’m super inspired when I’m home.”
The way Jack sees it, Sydney’s party scene has changed a lot. “When I first started taking photos in clubs, Wednesday nights were massive at the Back Room and World Bar, while Fridays were the night for Hugo’s in the Cross. Now, it’s more about amazing parties in Sydney curated by really talented people. Installations, light shows, live art, really cool one-off events that stick in your mind.” Vivid Festival is one that stands out as most impressive, as well as the waterside festivals that people from cities like London can only dream about. “To show friends from overseas something like Field Day or Harbourlife, it makes you proud to be from Sydney,” he says. “I always hope my friends from afar are here for those kinds of parties, they never forget them.”
What the Life Without Andy team does best, says Jack, is “try to portray the best party or festival you’ve ever seen” via photos that are candid and fun, colourful and interesting. They don’t discriminate. “Every party we’re at we’re trying to talk to everyone,” he says. “Especially the people who are dressing up and expressing themselves. Some of my wildest, craziest photos are from festivals or parties in Sydney. When those moments happen, it really makes me remember why I live here - there’s always something going on, you can quite literally never be bored.”