Posted on November 15 2017
Today, we interviewed the fantastic Christin Rose, a much-admired photographer with a decade of documentary, lifestyle and fashion photography under her wings.
Whilst looking for a cause she was passionate about, Rose remembered the impact of athletics on her childhood and began shooting pictures of young skater girls at Venice Skate Park in LA which led to a project which became the hugely important #ShePlaysWeWin highlighting young girls playing sports. She had reached out to other young athletes and started to created a photo series she hoped would speak to these girls and encourage them to keep being their bad and bold selves. Here's her story:
Newnham: Can you tell us a bit about your background? What were you like growing up, how would your family have described you?
Rose: My parents had this thing that they used to say to me when I was little “Sis, everyday can’t be the super bowl!” Ha, it meant everyday can’t be a party or a life changing kind of day. As a young girl, I just wanted so badly to travel the world, run a business, learn new things, just go go go! I hated downtime…and to be honest I still do. So yeah, I think they would’ve described me as passionate and perhaps…. Excited.
I grew up in Southern, Oregon…just over the California boarder. As the daughter of a football coach, I grew up around sports and was always encouraged to play….something that ended up being a defining point in my career later with my project ‘She Plays We Win.’ A project that is dedicated to girls in sport.
Newnham: When and how did you get into art/photography? What made you want to pursue photography as a career?
Rose: Is it crazy to say ALWAYS!? From the moment I found out that photography was a career, I wanted to do it more than anything. I would say about 14 I started to get really into it, and by college I was obsessed and doing everything possible to get better. I started shooting sports and doing photojournalism in college, quickly finding out that I wanted to tell stories. I wanted to tell stories of joy, of triumph, of celebration and ultimately sisterhood and sport.
Newnham: You did a project #ShePlaysWeWin - can you tell us a bit about it and why you think it was such an important project?
Rose: Yes! She Plays We Win is my everything. It is an ongoing photos series and movement that I started two years ago. The project supports girls athletics and the positive lifelong effects that come with participating in sports. It has become my whole world to be honest. Photographing these young girls and telling their stories…. Well it’s something I take a lot of pride in and to be a young girl in society today is so hard, but sport comes through and can combat doubts that young girls may have about their confidence – by making girls feel powerful, confident and talented from the inside out.
If a young girl can get through the challenges of learning a sport, failing, succeeding, learning the skills it takes to meet their goals, you can bet she’s going to feel a lot more confident in everything she does. It’s so incredibly important to highlight to these young women now, before they even get to an age where they can question themselves.
Newnham: What has been the biggest challenge as a female photographer that you have faced and how did you overcome it?
Rose: Oh man, first off to make it as an artist comes with its own set of challenges every day. Number one is not worrying about what people think, having a point of view, a passion that you believe in and then working into that every single day. There are days where you feel like your not making any progress and you start to doubt yourself. In order to make it, you have to push that and believe - it's truly the only way other people will believe in you too.
Newnham: What / who inspires you and why?
Rose: Women who know exactly who they are. I read a quote the other day that said, “For the girls with messy hair and thirsty hearts.” I’m constantly trying to read about entrepreneurs, trailblazers and self-made women. That could be Oprah to the amazing shop owner I met in Austin the other day.
Newnham: Finally what advice would you give a younger Christin?
Rose: Trust yourself girl!! Please Don’t try to fit in. Dress Funky, standup for what you believe it. Do it as soon as you feel like you have a story to tell.
Photos by Christin Rose / She Plays We Win / Under Armour