“When I started to become serious about photography I was motivated by breaking or on-going news events. Certainly the urge to ‘be there’ still exists and I keep a keen eye on developing situations, however, I have become increasingly aware of the interconnectivity of the events, places and people I have photographed.”
Rob Stothard (born 1985) is a documentary photographer and photojournalist currently based in London, UK.
He first studied Mathematics at the University of Leeds. Later he got a degree in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at the LCC, University of the Arts, London. In 2013, Rob Stothard won the “Times/Canon Young Photographer of the Year” award.
Rob Stothard, born in 1985, is a photographer based in London, England, working for editorial and commercial clients, and on self-motivated projects at home and further afield. Previously based in Cairo, Egypt, Rob relocated to London in 2013 after being awarded a contract with “The Times” newspaper.
“Artist Profile” – Rob Stothard
Rob, why did you become a photographer? And what does photography mean to you?
I use photography to nurture my curiosities, sated previously by travelling as much as I could. It’s a to engage with people I wouldn’t normally meet and enter situations that I would not normally have access to. Photography is my platform to learn about history and cultures and immerse myself in political discourse.
How would you describe your photographic language and creative process? How do you plan and execute a project? Both technically and conceptually?
“I have continued to work with history and politics in mind and an understanding of how it can affect the dissemination of my images.”
When I started to become serious about photography I was motivated by breaking or on-going news events. Certainly the urge to ‘be there’ still exists and I keep a keen eye on developing situations, however, I have become increasingly aware of the interconnectivity of the events, places and people I have photographed, my broad understanding of regional history and politics being the most valuable form of research.
The work I have done in North Sinai influences the work I have done in Israel and visa versa, for example. I have continued to work with history and politics in mind and an understanding of how it can affect the dissemination of my images, but also how I can control the way my images are understood by conceptualizing them with in-depth text elements.
Which photographer has inspired you most?
There are many photographers I could mention but I currently find I’m most inspired by my contemporaries who I see trying to work in a fresh and exciting way.
I admire the way Guy Martin shot the Gezi Park protests in Istanbul, turning his back on the much seen images of tear gas, riot police and the bravest of protestors, giving us less sensational and more relatable images of the people on the fringes of the violence.
I am also really excited about Mari Bastachevski’s project State Business in which photography accompanies her research into international arms trading. I am interested in how photography can be used to illustrate the invisible whilst remaining within the realms of documentary photography and journalism.
What’s your favorite inspirational quote about photography?
I recently read an interview with Moises Saman where he succinctly remarks that whilst photography may not be able to change the world “at least you can be a factor in the discourse about what’s happening”.
What kind of camera and equipment do you use?
Canon DSLR with a 35mm or 50mm lens.
What’s your favorite website about photography?
I wouldn’t say I have a favourite, so here’s a shameless plug. I co-edit www.panorama.madrmasr.com which provides a platform for Egyptian and other photojournalists to publish in-depth documentary work that doesn’t make it into the local media.
We also look for work by non-Egyptian photographers working both locally and further afield to have their work presented bilingually and seen by a young, vibrant Egyptian audience, hungry to critique and disseminate visual journalism that they may not otherwise encounter.
What book about photography would you recommend?
Tim Hetherington’s book “Liberia: Long Story Bit By Bit” is a book that I often refer to and in my mind it’s the ultimate book.
Beautiful pictures of action, details, landscapes and portraits all contextualised by compelling interviews and other information.
Which advice would you give someone who wants to get started with photography?
Try to understand what your interests are outside of photography since this will be what drives your work and influences your practice. Ultimately it is your passion for an issue or the depth of your knowledge of a subject that will make your work successful.