Rob Woodcox is a fine art and fashion photographer who exercises his talent for photography with an unquenchable, contagious passion. As he creates each piece of artwork, Rob strives to capture fragments of vivid life—embracing reality, memory, and dream. Each concept is a declaration of his experience and seeks to tell a meaningful story to every individual who views it.
Holly Hoover: What is it about dance and movement that intrigues you as a photographer?
Rob Woodcox: I guess what intrigues me about movement in dance is its correlation to my experience as a human being; life is always moving and changing and dance quite literally replicates that using physical form. The shapes and stories that dancers can create using their bodies make the perfect subject to photograph and capture the whimsical concepts in my mind. I’ve been working on my dance series for a couple years now and the process has only opened my mind to more surreal ideas and constructs. Its an honor to pair my art form with the art of others.
HH: In many ways, you seem to use the human body as a building block to sculpture. What's your creative process for pulling together your compositions?
RW: I typically have a visual in mind before I even reach for the camera or call a team of performers. Usually I’m inspired by a physical space I’ve seen, or an abstract dream that passes my mind- I can visualize bodies filling a tangible or imaginary space. I always write my ideas down as soon as they come to mind; once I’ve mentally paired the human construct with an actual location, I reach out to my dance teams in various cities. Many of my compositions require the aid of Photoshop, so I have to shoot with that in mind. Nonetheless I always shoot on location and create as much as I can in-camera. All of the light and poses in my images are created on location and I carefully shoot at angles that allow the final image to look seamless and natural.
HH: Your website mentions your passion for using photography as a way to get involved with advocacy. Why do you think it's important for artists to use their creativity to shed light on social causes?
RW: When the people in power aren’t doing their job, who is responsible for taking charge and educating people on the realities of others? I believe we are all responsible for spreading truth and hope, in whatever way we can. Artists hold a special power to do so because they rely on more than just words or personal connections- they can tap into other universal languages that have potential to reach vast audiences. I believe all artists should make a statement of change with their creativity, whether its simply an expression of beauty or a direct exclamation to change based on a specific cause.
HH: How did you get involved in teaching workshops and education?
RW: After sharing my work online I began to receive a high volume of interest in my shoot process and my editing skills in Photoshop. I started teaching small editing courses in my hometown and kept selling out seats. I decided to take that experience on the road and broadened it to include live shooting experiences and full business and editing sessions to help my students improve both their art and their business. I find it inspiring to see others learn and grow, and to see them succeed as well. I love sharing with my students to help them be their best selves as artists.
HH: What do you hope people take away from your work?
RW: I hope people feel compelled to spread light to others around them and more interested in making the world a more equal and attainable place to live for people of all backgrounds. I hope people set aside their differences to celebrate the uniqueness we all possess. We are all connected after all, and we each possess something valuable to contribute to society.
HH: What are some upcoming projects you’ll be working on?
RW: I’m currently working on an art book of my photographs with a limited edition publisher Thought Catalog- you can order your copy here: https://shopcatalog.com/bodies-of-light/
I’ll also be teaching photography workshops in Northern California, Colombia, Portland, Oregon and Canada through 2019-2020, I’d love for you to join. You can register here: http://robwoodcox.com/workshops
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