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Andrew Hancock is an advertising and editorial photographer currently based out of Indianapolis. He is a Nikon Ambassador with a passion for creating dynamic visuals for a broad range of clients. His work has graced the cover of Sports Illustrated on multiple occasions as well as the cover of TIME magazine and the front page of the New York Times. He has worked on national ad campaigns for various advertising clients as well as in higher education.
By the time Andrew Hancock reached college at Texas A&M, he didn’t have a clue what major to pursue, but he did know that he had liked taking pictures ever since growing up with a Kodak Fisher Price camera. Hancock received his degree in written journalism, but it didn’t take long for him to weave his old passion for photography in with his job. He wanted to be able to tell a story in as many ways as possible, and photojournalism simply offered more flexibility.
"I like diversity not only in clients but in storytelling and what I like to pursue," he says. "I’m very restless. I need a lot of change. I completely reject the notion that someone has to focus on one thing in their career. My whole thought is, why can’t I be the best at everything that I want to do?"
Today, Hancock describes himself as a sports, portrait, travel, and documentary photographer, but the element that ties all of his work together is action. In most of his portraits, subjects look to be in mid-thought, or the environment is changing around them. For every one shot in his “Energy Production” gallery of some distant piece of equipment, there are three or four up-close shots of people engaged in visually fascinating work. Perhaps Hancock simply loathes the idea of being static. He feels some restless force so powerfully that it shapes every facet of his craft.
Somewhat ironically, photography is no place for those who sit still. The industry changes on a nearly weekly basis. Hancock still has the film-filled binders he shot in college. Today, though, those binders sit in his closet surrounded by stacks of hard drives. Hancock keeps waiting for the flood of data to recede, but it never does. File sizes keep getting bigger, and, as his career matures, his client list keeps growing along with the size of projects requested of him.
Along with the need for larger capacity comes the necessity of higher throughput. Sports projects may involve over a dozen cameras scattered around an event. Over the course of a day, all of those cards and/or drives may need repeated ingesting into centralized storage for processing, editing, and perhaps even turning around to clients for as-live-as-possible social media content. All it takes is one bottleneck to slow the entire workflow. The longer a creative pro like Hancock spends waiting, the less time remains for shooting.
These two demands, capacity and speed, have led Hancock to many storage products over the years.
"I can’t even count how many different types of hard drives I’ve used," he says. "But the ones I kept coming back to were by G-Technology. I found them to be the fastest, and most reliable. They’re great when traveling around the world,and they do everything I need whenever I’m at home." Ultimately, Hancock’s criteria for selecting storage ties straight into his overall business model. He is in the business of capturing speed. He has an eye for strength, efficiency, and power. It’s only fitting that Hancock is adept at employing these characteristics in his equipment choices as he is at capturing them with a camera.
Andrew Hancock found himself in New Mexico covering a horse racing event, fresh on the heels of doing a shoot for Sports Illustrated in the Midwest. In the rush following the race, he returned home and sank immediately into editing, with only hours until his deadline. Hancock made his delivery window, but he didn’t have time to copy the assets off to a redundant drive. Before he could get to this step, the drive started to die. Out on assignment once more, he ran to the closest store for another drive. It took 20 hours to copy 300 GB or so of data from the failing drive to its replacement.
Then the replacement failed.
Hancock learned several lessons from this double drive death. First among them: Buy quality. Learn which brands can be trusted not only on the job but for years beyond it, because every image that doesn’t get used by a client is a source of potential revenue — including from the original client. Hancock notes how, on multiple occasions, he’s sold the “perfect” image to a customer months after that image was passed over in the original batch submission. But if his storage had failed, that image might have vanished forever, leaving him with nothing more to offer that client. For Hancock, his choice in storage gear reflects every other facet of his business.
"I like integrity," he says. "I like reliability. I’ve done a lot of work with things I trust, things that empower me to do my job to the best of my ability — like G-Technology drives. When people say, ‘you’re only as strong as your weakest link,’ I think that boils down to technology, as well. My clients expect me to bring and use the best equipment possible, and whenever I don’t, I know what that can mean for me."
While shooting, images move from Hancock’s cameras straight through his notebook and into USB 3.0-based 1TB G-DRIVE ev units, which he designates with alphabet letters for easier tracking in his logs. As soon as there are available minutes, either Hancock or an assistant will pop the ev drive into a G-DOCK enclosure and clone the data to a second ev drive for safety. This also makes it easy to separate the drives so that data always lives in two physically disparate places. If Hancock needs to rush files to a client, he will typically use either another G-DRIVE ev or a G-DRIVE slim, depending on the customer’s needs.
Once back in his office, Hancock copies off his G-DRIVE ev units onto a series of 4TB G-DRIVE Pro units. The Thunderbolt port of these drives allows Hancock to daisy chain them into higher-capacity volumes, but it also provides for wicked fast copying from the Thunderbolt-based G-DOCK enclosure. This is also a big deal for Hancock, who wants to spend as few minutes as possible on routine mop-up at the tail end of a job and instead get back to his wife and young daughter.
This need for speed, plus the ever-growing need for more storage capacity, is why Hancock plans to make a Thunderbolt 2-based, RAID-protected G-SPEED Studio his next storage addition. The four-drive enclosure not only boasts capacities of up to 24TB and transfer rates of up to 700 MB/s, but the HGST drives inside are all Enterprise-class. The G-SPEED Studio carries a three-year warranty and everything Hancock needs to make sure that his creative assets remain safe and that his business can scale as needed. Of course, scaling doesn’t end with planting a new storage enclosure on a desk. Half of any business effort, including growth, involves having good guidance from trusted partners.
"I’m not an expert in setting up archives, and I’m not as proficient in data management as I probably need to be," says Hancock. "Fortunately, G-Technology has some of if not the best people in the business for that. I look forward to leaning on their expertise and having them help me into a position to succeed and do even bigger and better things with my craft." G‐Technology external hard drives serve as an element of an overall backup strategy. It is recommended that users keep two or more copies of their most important files backed up or stored on separate devices or online services.
G-Team members are leaders in their respective fields who use G-Technology products in their day-to-day work lives. G-Team members are compensated for their participation.
G‐Technology external hard drives serve as an element of an overall backup strategy. It is recommended that users keep two or more copies of their most important files backed up or stored on separate devices or online services.