Artist Interview: Reece Robinson
Olivia: Can you tell me a little background about yourself?
Reece: “I grew up in Manhattan to brilliant, creative parents that still managed to find themselves working in the corporate world. Growing up in Manhattan and going to school on the upper west side, many people are surprised to hear I’m outdoorsy. I like to think that that is exactly why I am outdoorsy- making friends at Skidmore that were into adventures in the Adirondacks definitely helped too.”
O: When did you start taking photos/ videos?
R: “I started making films when I was 10. I would film myself on the photo booth app on those big old Mac desktops, and invite friends and babysitters to be characters in my action flicks. Photography started coming along once I got command over real cameras and learned about life.”
O: Are you doing photography professionally?
R: “Yes, I photograph the occasional wedding and shoot headshots. My professional interests have taken me to doing more video, however, as it really is the rising medium. Everyone needs film content nowadays, and I’ve been doing freelance work for documentaries and YouTube channels.”
O: When did you realize you wanted to pursue it professionally?
R: “It was never a question for me whether or not I was going to pursue photography and film professionally. It’s more of a question of what else. I have aspirations to do business, non- profits work, and more!”
O: Where is the coolest place your photography has taken you?
R: “The coolest place my camera has brought me might be South Nepal where I made a documentary about police brutality and a humanitarian crisis on the Indian border. The topic was contentious, and the Nepali government had previously deported a VICE journalist covering the same issue. At one point, my translator turned to me and said that he thought we were being followed by the secret police. So, that was a time.”
O: What is the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome with being a professional photographer?
R: “The world of content creation is so saturated right now, and it’s hard to break through the haze. Everyone considers themselves a photographer in this day and age, so I’d say crafting your own voice is difficult.”
O: What is your favorite photo that you’ve ever taken?
R: “I love taking photos of the stars. I’d say my favorite one I’ve taken is of star trails in the desert in Arizona where I did a long exposure. The moon illuminated the rocks in the foreground and the concentric rings of the night sky are above.”
O: Are you continuing with photography after you graduate?
R: “Yes, I’ll be moving out to LA this summer to pursue opportunities in freelance video production.”
O: What has taking photos taught you about yourself?
R: “Being behind the camera has taught me to be more engaging and a better listener. During an interview or a portrait photography shoot, you have to 100% present and so that has carried on to life in general, I’m happy to say.
O: What advice would you give others trying to pursue a career in photography/ videography?
R: “Advice I would give? Not sure I have advice as much as I need more advice myself (laughs), but I would say the best advice I got was to tell the story that people don’t know. So many will pick up a camera and not use that opportunity to capture angles different from what everyone sees normally. Don’t go to Times Square and just hold up your camera- take the picture where I can’t tell that it’s Times Square at first glance.”
To check out more of his work, go to http://www.reece-robinson.com/