Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Interview with Rosa Joy

Rosa Joy is a photographer based in Norfolk, UK. Her love for photography "came on so fast that she's still catching up with it." Rosa shoots both film and digital, and specialises in on-location, natural light portraiture.

Her work has been featured in several blogs, online magazines, and local exhibitions. Her debut solo exhibition was shown during summer 2011. She has recently returned from shooting an extended assignment on location in rural Tanzania for the charity READ International.

Now take a look into the interview to find out more about Rosa Joy and her work, especially her film photography.

Hi Rosa, can you introduce yourself?
Well, my name is Rosa Joy, and I’m an almost-twenty-one year old student from rural Norfolk in the UK. I shoot film with a Minolta x-300 and a Fujifilm Instax, and digital with a Nikon D700. I like to tell stories, and one day I hope to be a photojournalist abroad.

Why, when and how did you become a photographer?
My love for photography came on so fast that I still feel like I’m catching up with it. When I was in high school I suffered from really terrible acne, so I took up photography as a way of keeping myself out of pictures. Later I started a self-portraiture project which lasted for a year, and since then I have found my calling in combining my love for story-telling with my love of picture-making.

How did you get start and how long have you been doing film photography?
A couple of years ago my boyfriend gave me his old Minolta as a present and taught me the basics of using an analogue camera.My digital kit is bulky and demanding, but I love having my little film camera over my shoulder when I’m out and about, just in case a photograph creates itself in front of me.

You use both digital and film cameras. Do you have a preference between them?
I use digital for my client and portraiture work, and film as my visual diary. Film for me works like poetry: a tiny snapshot of a moment which summarises a whole depth of meaning. I never edit my film in Photoshop because I want to keep the moments I capture on my Minolta in their purest form. I enjoy working in digital to make beautiful art, but there is nothing more exciting than collecting a new roll of film from the developer’s in town and re-experiencing the memories they hold. I keep my film diary on my blog, and you can read it at

What makes you want to keep shooting?
I feel a real sense of accomplishment when my film achieves what I want it to achieve: forming a moment into an image which tells a wider story than it first appeared to. We are constantly bombarded with visual information, every waking second of the day, so to be able to identify and catch a specific second which speaks louder than all the others is a special gift – and one I’m constantly working to improve. The drive to be better at what I do is what makes me pick up a camera each morning.

Tell us what place does photography have in your everyday life?
The photographer Minor White talking about how he would “constantly mentally photographer everything” around him. Even when I don’t have a camera with me, I like to train my eyes to find the photographs latent in our everyday lives. Working on film has improved me in this way too; you only get one shot, one exposure, so you have to make sure it’s exact. Photography will be with me always, even if my career doesn’t pan out the way I dream it might, and I hope to always be able to find those dormant photographs surrounding me each day.

Rosa, thank you for the interview.

More of Rosa's work can be found here:

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