On Wednesdays, we will offer interviews with artists. If this is not possible, we will focus on a particular artist and showcase their work. This week, will start off this series with an interview with Isidoros, also known as ” Rossy Fox”. He is a photographer and a great vocalist!
I met Isidoros on a night out. The party was bad, the beers where quite terrible but he insisted on taking a photo of me with a bottle in hand. At the time he was a party photographer for Breaking Maas. A few months later, we meet again, through a project for Guru Magazine. As two shy people, we first didn’t quite know what to discuss but our common interest made us speak out: I quickly saw that photography wasn’t just a game for him and the camera was definitely not just a toy. Once our assignment was given, he was in his own little bubble, ready to go all the way to get what he wanted. The way he held his camera, the way he knew exactly what he expected from the models, the way he knew which place in the room would be most suitable for our photos, etc. This passionate character made me want to get to know him better and today I present him a selection of his work to you.
Isidoros AKA Rossy Fox.
1. Hey Isidoros, thank you for taking the time for us! First of all, tell us more about yourself and how you came to photography.
To begin with, this is my third year of living in Maastricht. Before coming here, I had been working alongside my photographer parents (mostly wedding photography) for years, even though my true passion and artistic direction always lay with singing and songwriting. By the end of my first year in Maastricht, I randomly decided to start taking my camera everywhere with me. People around me got excited, mostly because my camera and lens were really professional compared to most and so I quickly started getting job offers (of voluntary nature initially). That way, I thought of exploiting one skill, in order to develop a talent. It was in the beginning of next year, when I managed to get hired by Breaking Maas and started covering various events, that I got some local recognition for my photography, and eventually started working independently as well. You might not know my name (yet), but if you’ve lived in Maastricht the last one-and-a-half-years, chances are, I probably have your drunken face stored in my computer somewhere.
Shine a light Love into the light
2. Having parents working in the field comes as a plus but would you say your skills in photography are self-taught or were acquired from external education?
Well, technically self-taught. Due to my parents’ profession, I basically grew up either in studios or weddings, and around professional cameras and Photoshop – in fact, I used Photoshop instead of Paint on the computer as a kid. Even though I wouldn’t say they actively taught me a lot, besides some tips every now and then – they were always too busy working – being constantly around them in weddings, events, our local store etc. helped me learn a lot. In a way, I am more grateful to them for taking me with them at work from the moment I was born (no kidding, sort of), than I could ever be if they were teaching stuff me themselves. I learned to work, and I couldn’t be more thankful for that.
Newlyweds Gaze & Run
3. Seeing the wide range of styles you achieve, I’m interested in knowing what gear you use?
I have a Nikon D200 here in Maastricht, which pretty much does the work, with an AF-S NIKKOR 17-55mm lens and a Speedlight SB-800 flash. I have several other Nikons and lenses at my disposal back home (though I mainly use a D3 with mostly telephoto zoom lens, when I’m there). Your whole perspective about photography, as well as your work, vastly changes once you realize that it’s the lens, not the camera that matters the most.
4. Do you mostly do prepared shoots or instinctual photos? Why so?
I do both actually. In events, I gotta be as quick as possible, so I work almost solely with my instincts – including the technical aspects which I can now automatically adjust – as the frames I see can change in milliseconds. In prepared shoots, I might take my time to find the right spot and angle, but aesthetically, I base myself on instincts once again. Lately, I don’t do as many prepared photoshoots as I used to, cus it’s not where I want to focus right now, but I’m equally comfortable in both.
Apocalypse (Rosemary Photoshoot)
Reign of Terror Kreuz
5. So you enjoy translating your ideas into photoshoots. In that case, how do you relate to the instant use of Instagram?
I like Instagram a lot actually. I believe that bashing Instagram just for the reason that everybody can pretend to be photographer, is quite insecure. I’m not the only talented person – you’re not the only talented person, so why not showcase your work through a medium that might even help get your work seen by more people? A great picture will stand out. And if it doesn’t at the moment, try again. Quite often, it’s only a matter of marketing. And hashtags. #thatsright #lol #fineIllstop
6. Which photographers have influenced you? How did they influence your thinking and photographing?
Strangely (or not), music is influencing my work more than anything. I’ve noticed that my pictures get really affected by the sorts of songs I’m listening to or thinking about while editing them. To be honest, not many photographers have influenced me. I don’t really look at photography magazines or do research online – besides occasionally snooping around on tumblr.com. I love fashion editorials and magazines, like ‘Fucking Young’, ‘Schoen Magazine’ etc., but I don’t look at them as a photographer and I can’t really say I look up to any photographers in particular. I adore Nick Knight and Mario Testino though – they’re legendary. Oh, and my sister, MAM, who’s also a photographer. I think it has to do with the fact that, as an artist, I don’t intend on staying on the field of photography for long; it’s not what really makes me happy – or what solely makes me in general.
7. What do you want to transcript through your work? Do you have a certain ideal?
Most of the pictures I’ve taken, projects/stories that I’ve made or songs that I’ve written (which hopefully, you’ll get to hear soon) express a part of myself and my past, which is dug under layers of fictional characters (i.e. Alice Out of Wonderland, Rosemary) and allegories. There’s definitely a healing aspect to it, even though sometimes digging too deep might lead to the opposite. I don’t mind if people get offended by the imagery or the language sometimes, because there’s always more to it than they think. I try to be as unapologetic as possible in my work, but I would never do something with the sole purpose of shocking people; I believe in artistic integrity, which is something most people won’t always get or identify that easily.
Aftermath (from Alice out of Wonderland)
From Fun to Fright Triple Trippin
8. I see you mostly shoot people you know. Do you think in order to have a great shot, there must be a good connection between the photographer and his model?
No, I don’t. It’s just that I’m too pre-occupied most of the times to search for a model, and to be honest, every time wanted to do something specific in a photoshoot, there were always people around me who wanted to have pretty pictures or be part of something artistic. A good connection is not always necessary; a professional model doesn’t need to establish a connection with the photographer. I believe a good connection only helps in the case of friends who are generally uncomfortable in front of the camera, which helps in the sense that they all let loose, either immediately or after a few clicks.
I Shot Him Down
9. What motivates you to continue taking pictures in an overcrowded visual world?
I know my worth as an artist, as a photographer and a person, and I really don’t mind that so many people are doing it. I’ve seen lots of people who can do magic when they click the camera button, and I’ve seen hundreds of humiliating pictures through pages on facebook, some of them even taken by so-called professionals. Of course there are much better photographers than I am – I would be delusional to think otherwise, but no one will ever be me. And just as much as no one will ever be me, no one can ever be you as well. Everyone has a particular characteristic which makes him or her unique. I am competitive in myself, I don’t care how better or worse those surrounding me are than I am. I like sticking my nose in my own business. And besides that, as I said earlier, I’m (partly) exploiting a skill that I have in order to develop another. Apart from the artistic satisfaction I get through turning an interpretation of my life into fictional characters, stories or inanimate objects, paradoxically, it’s my goal to be successful in music that keeps me going. I just know how to work, and I do it.
10. What makes a memorable and timeless photograph according to you?
This is a good question, but I don’t think there is a specific formula to that. What might seem as memorable to me, might not appeal to others. For me, it has to give the viewer the ability to put it up for interpretation, whether the artist intended one or not. However, just like people who go down in history, having a character is a key.
11. Do you have an emotional involvement with photography?
Absolutely. I love photography, but I’d like to keep it as a hobby in the future. There’s definitely an emotional involvement, especially when I spend hours and hours on Photoshop trying to get everything right. I’m a perfectionist when it comes to my art, which is both good and bad. But it also depends. When I’m in an artistic mode, I’m investing my soul in my “canvas” (if I may); when I have to edit hundreds of pictures that have to be sent over in a day, that’s when I try to keep it short.
12. What pops up when you think of Autumn? Which photos represent Autumn according to you?
Whenever I thought of Autumn as a kid, I used to think of school. Now I think of warm colours and sweaters, even though the weather is not particularly warm, and ‘Orange Colored Sky’, by Nat King Cole.
Crossroads Autumn Faery
A Golden Lining
13. Any advice for those photographers or artists out there?
Every person is unique; embrace yourselves with confidence. There can be millions of people with similar skills or point of view, and maybe even better ones, but there can only be one you. Keep moving forward, and look at what you can do to make your work better.
If you want to see more work of his, just follow this link: rossyfoxx.tumblr.com