Recently I had the pleasure of speaking with Conceptual Photographer Rob Woodcox. You may remember him from a recent article in which he discussed the power of perspective or the awards and nominations he has received this past year. In his most recent project, Stories Worth Telling, Rob decided to embark on a journey to depict emotion, challenges, victories, and discoveries of foster children. In many ways, our own youth lost among the masses. Each image is contains beautifully orchestrated cinematic inspired scenes. When asked about his inspiration, Rob stated:
“I am telling the stories of children that have been abandoned, neglected, and abused. I am shedding light on the desertion, the lack of attention, the harm and abuse that these children have been put through.”
The results – nothing short of remarkable.
Behind the Scenes: Stories Worth Telling Photoshoot
A Late Night Conversation with Rob Woodcox
What sparked the project, Stories Worth Telling?
Working with foster kids over the past year sparked my idea for this project, Stories Worth Telling. After seeing the hardships they’ve endured firsthand through their emotional outcries, and seeing that some of these children live in a group home, I knew I needed to use my photography for a better purpose. I will never forget seeing my boy from camp cry as he had to leave my care last summer. It brings tears to my eyes now just thinking of it, but thankfully I get to see him once a month for mentoring. This project and fundraiser will enable more positive moments like this for foster children.
What has been the most memorable moment?
I think one of the most memorable moments for me was when a good friend of mine donated his entire first paycheck to the project. He had been looking for a job for months, and yet still saw enough value in our campaign to donate all of his first earnings to these kids. It is stories like that which encourages and assures me this initiative was worth it!
Some safety issues must have made you nervous during the shoots, especially with the glass. How did you work around those challenges?
Throughout this shoot, whenever there was potential for flying glass, the whole team wore safety glasses. Also, I asked the team to where long sleeves and pants, as well as close-toed shoes. For the actual shoot, the model was guided to each spot amidst the suspended glass and we left enough clear spots that she had space to stand free of the glass. We have had amazing assistants at every shoot to ensure the comfort and safety of children while we create!
What was that “wood stick” in the in front of your camera in the video?
The wooden bar, seen in a few shots in the video, is a little tool I used to add some depth to my images. Attached to little strings were small pieces of glass that I dangled in front of my lens. The shallow depth allowed these small pieces to create interesting blurs around the frame of the images, adding some whimsy effect.
Where do you feel you want to go from here?
As far as this project is concerned, we are publishing a book from all of the artistic photos I am creating, which portray the emotions, struggles, and triumphs of foster children. Included alongside the photos will be true short stories collected from former and some current foster kids. We are hoping to continue selling this book to provide further income for the camp this year, and for years to come. The need for funding won’t end in 2013, but rather will grow.
I am also excited to announce that I will be touring North America next summer teaching workshops, and will begin teaching locally in Michigan this summer!
The most important thing I can say right now is a huge THANK YOU to every individual who has come alongside my team and I during Stories Worth Telling. From encouraging counselors, to assistants on shoots, to the incredible funders who have gotten us to 10k at this point. So many people have shown us the beauty that lies within humankind!
To see the full campaign and contribute, please visit Stories Worth Telling here.
To see more of Rob’s artwork and stay updated, check out his fan page on Facebook.
Until Next Time . . .
Stay Inspired ~ Jules
CREDITS : Photographs by Rob Woodcox have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist.