Posted on May 24 2017
Today, we talk to Mollie Rose, photographer extraordinaire. Mollie epitomizes girl power and has worked on numerous campaigns for clients including Skinny Dip London, Puma, House of Holland and Tommy Hilfiger, to name a few. Here's her story ~ how she got started, where she draws inspiration from and her advice to help you kick-ass at work:
Newnham: What were you like as a kid? Were you always creative?
Rose: I loved to dance. From 3 - 15 years old, I danced five times a week purely as a hobby. It was the rhythm that gave me such a buzz. It’s the same rhythm that gets me going as a creative now.
Newnham: When and how did you get into photography?
Rose: I always feel I should have a super romantic answer to this question. The truth is, I entered an old people's competition they put on for the kids in my school. We had to use a disposable camera to take pictures of ‘our beautiful town’. I took a photo of a bridge and I won. Made it to the local paper and thought I’d found fame. Hahahaha!
Newnham: Can you tell us more about your work? What have been some of your favourite shoots and why?
Rose: One of my favourite shoots this year was for PUMA’s #DoYou Campaign. I was honoured to shoot for a brand who have such similar concepts to my own. Last month I shot a campaign for SkinnyDip London. Again, they’re a young, fun brand with a great gang behind them. We just have such a laugh on our shoots and sometimes I have to pinch myself that this is my job. In my spare time I tend to hang out with models as much as I can. Take them to a coffee shop or a park and just mess about for an hour or so.
I shoot a lot with stylist Jessica Tarbard. She’s just a bloody gift to fashion and all round girl boss. I often find myself just staring at her on a job being like... I love you so much. It’s a rare and amazing feeling to find a mirror of yourself in other people that you can trust your life with.
Newnham: Who/what inspires you and your work?
Rose: Colours and cinematography. Attention to detail. Movies like Thelma and Louise and my love life. I’m actually working on an ongoing personal project called ‘The Tinder Issue’. I overthink and over feel everything and I’ve found turning this into art is one of the best ways to process, heal, love and let go.
Personalities inspire me too. The connection of photographing a person is like dancing. You need to find your rhythm with that model or talent’s personality. They keep moving and you capture at a moment maybe another person wouldn’t choose. This is when the connection begins to flow and then you’ve hit gold. Finally, attitude. If it was down to me and only me, every one of my photos would be of someone looking a little bit pissed off.
Newnham: There is a movement to get more women's creative work into the public eye - what advice do you have for women entering the field and how can they get their work noticed more?
Rose: Kindly tell anyone who tells you to sit still and look pretty to f*ck off :) Apart from that - I personally believe there is no difference in the difficulty for both men and woman entering the creative field. If you view yourself as an equal then others will too - there’s no time for pity parties and there’s just as many women who want to hire you as men. Stay strong and keep focused. Be a girl boss. Work out what success means to you, then eyes on the prize darhlinnnn... eyes on da prize.
Newnham: What are some of the more important lessons you have learned along the way? If you could go back to the start of your career, what advice would you give yourself?
Rose: I’m going to bend this question slightly. I’ve just turned 22 and therefore only recently have I earned my wand to go make magic. I am at the start of my career. Saying that, it’s been a crazy year. The biggest factor I’ve learnt is to not let age intimidate you. Don’t be told you’re too young to achieve whatever you’ve set out to achieve. As a young female (who looks about 12) it’s been my biggest battle to prove I’m capable of doing my job, going beyond client expectations and being successful enough to charge what I charge. It was a battle until I stopped caring.
Get some self belief and grow some balls! Play on it in fact. There’s something very satisfying about rocking up to a job in pink fluffy sliders and being asked by the receptionist, at a brand's global HQ, if you’re the assistant.
A brand no longer wants a photographer; they want a person who can endorse their brand. They want Instagram posts, Snapchat stories, boomerangs, event attendance, and the photographer.
It hasn’t been plane sailing - and I won’t go into the types of questions that have been thrown at me by boardrooms full of men… but that's not the point. The point is not to care what people think. They didn’t doubt your talent before they saw you. Prove them wrong!
All images by Mollie Rose (for Noctis magazine and Puma)