Stab Magazine | Andy Irons Is Alive In Brian Bielmann's Stills
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Andy Irons Is Alive In Brian Bielmann’s Stills

A tribute and interview about a long-term friend from one of surfing’s most prestigious lensmen. 

news // Nov 4, 2016
Words by Morgan Williamson
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Six years, six long years since the Andy Irons left this world. And maybe went on to the next, turned to nothingness or wandered the ether. No one knows the subtleties of the afterlife–what happens when we die doesn’t matter one bit. And thinking it’s all rainbows and butterflies or a fiery pit of eternal misery is chicken soup for the faithful soul–with that said, to each their own.

What’s important is celebrating life, and reminiscing on the good, the bad, the beautiful and ugly. That’s all it is and all it will ever be. “I wanted to present my favourite photos of Andy through this Plotagraph slideshow,” Brian Bielmann tells Stab. “It’s like breathing new life into some of my favourite times spent with him. And seeing him in these moving images perfectly portray the iconic personality that those who knew him closely love and miss dearly.”

AI

Brian shot some of the most iconic imagery of Andy Irons of the years.

We’ll let Mr Bielmann take it from here:
I first met Andy on a Transworld trip with Bruce. It was somewhere on a boat in Indo. It was funny; I had never known the relationship between the two: The love/hate thing. They were always arguing, fighting and trying to one-up each other. But then you could see the brotherhood bond and the love the two shared. It was a classic big brother, little brother situation.

After that, Andy and I became close. I think the best part about travelling with Andy was it was more travelling with Andy and Lyndie. We were all friends travelling together; it was more than a working relationship. To this day when I see Lyndie and we talk about the old times it brings tears to our eyes. The other thing was having that relationship with him spilt over into working with Andy’s friends like Joel Parko, Mick Fanning, Shane Dorian–my access to that whole world came from our relationship.

I remember the last Billabong trip Andy did. We went to Desert Point and scored. Andy was gone for a while, and when he showed back up he had no shorts on–just wearing those compression speedo shorts you wear out there to avoid rash–but he had beers. He goes “I traded my trunks for these beers” and passed them out.

Andy I

The big win before the biggest loss.

The last photo I ever took of Andy is the one of him holding the Hawaiian Flag after he won Tahiti. And after that, the last time I saw him was at the airport. He was so happy, we hugged and went our separate ways. From there he went to Europe, lost, and started partying his brains out. Unfortunately a lot of people’s last memories of Andy are negative, I’m happy ours was in a positive light that represented our friendship.

The way I put together these photos, first, I wanted to get personal shots with his closest friends in there. Also working with Plotagraph I wanted to take photos that would work well with the movement and still be relevant years later. I also picked some shots that no one’s seen before–it was an emotional thing.

Out of all the incredible things that have happened in my career, my highlight was just being friends with Andy. Looking back on it, it was the most exciting time in my career, and I’m so stoked I was along for the ride.

The above clip was made possible by Brian Bielmann, Developing Legends and Plotagraph.

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