Rob Woodcox / Member Interview

Rob Woodcox is a surreal portrait and fine artist born in Houston, raised in Detroit, and currently residing in Portland Oregon. He exercises his talent for photography with a passion that is unquenchable and contagious. As he creates each piece of his artwork, Rob strives to capture fragments of a vivid life sewn by the threads of reality, memory and dream. Each concept is a declaration of his experience and seeks to tell a meaningful story to each individual that views it.

His interest in photography began in the fall of 2009 and he started pursuing a full time career in the fall of 2013. He brings his natural sense of adventure, innovation, and youthful spirit into every interaction, and incorporates these facets into every image. Rob thrives on sharing his imagination and dreams with others; in the fall of 2013 he had the opportunity to have an image turned into a film as a part of Project Imaginat10n with Ron Howard and Canon.

Rob is also passionate about raising awareness for those in need and in 2013 used his photography to raise funds for foster kids to attend camp and to further knowledge of the need in the foster care system. His collaboration with 4 others artists, Stories Worth Telling, raised the necessary funds to launch a new foster camp that allowed 40 new children to attend in the first year; that camp now has over 70 attendees each year.

Throughout 2014 he had the privilege to excel teaching other artists through interactive portfolio and technique building workshops. He has taught in over 15 cities around the USA and Canada. In November of 2014 Rob's Stories Worth Telling series was featured on Yahoo, ABC and various other large media sites, re-energizing the project and sparking a new initiative to raise funds for foster children.

In 2015 Rob showed his photographs in the historic Chinese Theatre in Hollywood to continue supporting foster children. He also brought his workshops to 3 new continents, South America, Asia and Australia, teaching in over 10 new countries. He reached a physical audience of over 1000 students in person over the course of travels and reached millions online.

Starting in 2016 Rob will be focusing on a 3 year passion project to weave the threads of human experiences he witnessed in his travels in the USA and abroad, highlighting and educating about social justice issues that touch us all. His work continues to receive attention online and in print and he remains open to new opportunities in his free time.


Portland, Oregon

What inspired you to become a photographer?

Ever since being a kid, I had a strong imagination and loved painting and drawing. As I grew up being photographed casually by my mom and working on the yearbook in high school, I fell in love with the joy of capturing moments and getting to relive them with friends. When I really started focusing on photography in college, legends like Richard Avedon and Tim Walker pushed me to see beyond a simple portrait and dream up larger scenes and stories.

Tell us about your first photo that really validated your interest as a photographer.

When I started focusing on photography, I practiced on my dads old 35mm Canon; I remember the thrill of the darkroom as I’d watch a photograph develop slowly around the edges until becoming a fully realized image- similar to how my brain develops ideas. I had a very close girl friend that I photographed for my first little mini series, and I remember thinking I wanted to keep creating stories forever after developing that roll.

What do you enjoy photographing the most?

Whimsical characters that play a role in a bigger story are my favorite subjects to photograph.

What has been your proudest moment as a photographer?

Getting to hand a crowd funding check to the director of a foster camp, raised completely through creating a photo series featuring foster children, was my proudest moment thus far as a photographer.

How do you feel photography has impacted the way you see the world?

Before photography I missed all the beautiful details of the world. I never paid attention to colors of light, textures, or little hidden corners of neighborhoods, houses and forests. Now all I can do is see the beauty in every inch of the world.

What is your best photography related tip?

Create for yourself, whether you’re a hobbyist or professional photographer. Make time to create just for you, and your skills will grow or stay fine tuned as you become more attached to what you’re creating. If you only create for others, you’ll get lost in the cycle and potentially lose passion for the craft.

What would you like for people take away from your work?

I would love for people to be in awe to the point that they take time to ponder about the meaning behind my images. I think art is supposed to make people stop and think, so whether they know my intentions or not, its important they are moved to think or act in response to my images.

What are some ‘must have’ items in your camera bag?

Aside from the obvious camera and lights (I use Canon and Profoto) I have a few basic items like clamps, lighter, smoke bombs and fishing line that all come in handy in various ways to add support or atmosphere to any given scene.

If you were stuck on a deserted island, what is the ONE photography book you would want to have with you?

I would bring a fictional book that would inspire me visually, some of my favorites are The Hobbit, The Road, and Shantaram.

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