A portrait and fashion photographer born and bred. Ross Garrett born in Johannesburg South Africa began his career as a graphic designer opening a multi media studio shortly after leaving college. After a while he found himself in the heart of the industry as a photographer. Shooting portraits of musicians and working for a number of advertising agencies locally.
Known for his creative approach to all things photographic, yet humble in his outlook, he has grown prolifically over the years, always challenging himself on every project with a keen eye and an impeccable attention to detail.
Ross has worked for the majority of advertising agencies and magazines locally as well as some international magazines. His editorial clients include Dazed & Confused, , Numéro, V Man and Wall Street Journal to name a few. Some of his advertising clients include; Nike, Tiger Beer, Converse and Windhoek.
Ross has also delved into the world of moving picture, producing music videos for acts such as Die Antwoord and Zebra & Giraffe as well as some fashion films and commercials.
How and when did you become interested in photography?
I was at college whilst studying graphic design. A friend of mine who was a couple years ahead of me was printing images of Kubu Island in the Makgadigadi Pans. I remember vividly how amazed I was that one could manipulate at image to convey something more than what the eye sees. It was magical moment, after that, I had no choice!
Is there any artist/photographer who inspired your art?
I’m very inspired by classic painting from the Baroque era. Mainly Dutch painters like Vermeer and Rembrandt. There are many photographers who inspired me as well, Richard Avedon, Guy Bourdin, Man Ray, Paolo Roversi etc. I also love photojournalism, Paolo Pellegrin springs to mind.
Why do you work in black and white rather than colour?
I work in both mediums. I remember something taught to me a long time ago, that if the images wasn’t all about the colour, then it should be in black and white. I don’t know how true that is, but it has shaped my work somewhat. I also like what black and white photography adds to the immediacy of a portrait.
How much preparation do you put into taking a photograph/series of photographs?
I think it depends on the project and the content in the imagery. At times, no preparation is involved. Sometimes, I am just there, with my camera. Other times much thought and planning has gone into each image. Most of my personal work away from the commercial field involves a sentiment over a period of time in which I will gather images that could possibly work together as a series. Sometimes I will explore a shoot in one way based on a visual identity, fashion for instance and continue gathering images in a similar way. I wouldn’t say I’m prolific in terms of producing personal work, the body just grows slowly until I have something that I feel is right as a series. Sometimes, especially when collaborating with models and musicians, the process will be organic and combine my own and their own identity.
Where is your photography going? What projects would you like to accomplish?
I would love to collaborate with Die Antwoord on a large exhibition of work that we’ve worked on over a number of years. Music videos and short fashion or portrait films are also interesting me a lot at the moment. I think nowadays moving picture is becoming an integral part for a photographer. My career thus far has been very organic and doors have opened for me in ways that I never imagined and I believe one should take these chances and roll with them. So, who knows where I will be later this year for instance? I just hope somewhere with a camera in my hand photographing something that inspires me.