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In Talks Ep 2: George Robson

In this Episode, we meet George Robson in the bustling & lively Brick Lane - to understand his passion & process for portrait photography.


Who are you?

My name is George Robson and I am a Photographer,

What do you do?

I specialise in portraiture, that is the umbrella of everything that I shoot, within that a little bit of everything, I really enjoy music and working with musicians, fashion and then I’ve also done some smaller documentary pieces.

Why are we in Brick Lane?

For me, this is where everything happens and has happened. All the studios I’ve worked in and labs that I go to are here, I always find myself here and have grown to really enjoy it.


What inspires you to create?

People. That's the main thing. Obviously my work is with and of people, I like to shoot and I make work about my relationships with people whether it's strangers or people I know and share, I think that's what photography is documenting and commenting and sharing what exists. In life I’m a very visual person, that's how I learn and so naturally I use that and my relationships with people and like to bring the two together and that is what inspires me to make the work I do.

Where are you from, and how does that affect your work?

I'm from Pimlico thats where I grew up, which is just about south London and that's right by the river and now I’m based in south still but a little bit further down across the river, I think that I get a lot of inspiration from where I grew up and who I spent my time with which has built me as a person, I’m a big believer of nurture and I have been nurtured by my area.

The practice of photography; process and discipline, how does it affect you in other areas of your life?

My practice helps me a lot in many different areas, First of all shooting itself is the most enjoyable thing I could do with my time, there's nowhere i'd rather be then in the studio or on location making images, I think because my work is so centred around people it has helped a lot with my relationships with people and having conversations I may not have had and meeting people I may have not of, which has had a huge effect on my life and me as a person.


What's driving you right now?

My motivation to make work is something I can’t avoid and something I don’t have much of a decision over. I love photography, I love print, I love music, I love fashion, I love a lot of things in the industry as a whole. I’m constantly consuming. I will see something I like and that will naturally trigger a response for me to then want to go and make something myself. Being able to make work naturally and not restrict myself and work freely without thought of how it may be received on a technical level has been really liberating for me and I’ve been able to enjoy it more and make work for me.

Do you think you’re quite methodical?

I am to an extent and that changes, I definitely have phases. I'll go through a very specific editing style or way of lighting things if I have a certain taste or preference at the time but I can never stick to one thing.

You're shooting a majority of portraits, is that mainly a subject that interests you? What is it about portraits that are so attractive?

It's always been portraiture and people, I can’t remember ever wanting to shoot anything else. I think it's a very distinct subsection of photography that as someone who doesn’t know much about other areas I feel like its its own thing that requires its own skill set or reasons for doing it.

I’ve never had any intention or desire to make other work. I think a lot of the time photography can be grouped together too much. When you’re making work for arts sake as opposed to whatever other reason, it's important to be specific and have a reason. For me that has been taking images of people and celebrating them.


What would your dream project be?

My dream project would be to shoot a front cover for Brick magazine, ideally of a musician that I was a big fan of. I used to work in retail In Soho, and on my lunch break I would go to the corner shop on Berwick street and started buying magazines. The first ones I bought was issue 4 of Brick and the I-D cover of Santandave, who I am still a huge fan of. I fell in love with print, reading them in the staff room. Those two magazines were massive for me and I probably know them inside out and back to front.

What was the moment you realised you were capable of doing photography?

I wouldn’t say there was a specific moment that I knew this was what I wanted to do I think I discovered it, started shooting and suddenly became self aware throughout doing it. I realised that I wasn’t going to be doing anything else and this is what I'll be doing, its less of a choice and more of a necessity, a very enjoyable necessity.


If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be?

I think this extends further than this industry in particular, but in an ideal world not having to monetise our passions would be incredible. Obviously we don’t live in a world that would facilitate that unfortunately, it's just not a reality. Having to make a living definitely impacts the work people make, it's definitely happened to me and it's something I’m trying to grow out of. Sometimes I’ve caught myself changing the work I make or making certain decisions to make my work more palatable and can remove the intention. Having said that I am in the incredibly privileged situation of doing what I love for a living so it's a double edged sword, if I had a magic wand I would wave it and change it.

To watch our video interview with George: click here.

To see more of Georges work, and enquire about booking: click here.

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