[ DOUG ROBERTSON
I was first drawn to photography
at the age of eight when my parents gave me an old Kodak 126 camera.
On my tenth birthday, I received my first 35mm camera. Even at this
age I had a passion for photography and began to hone my skills
as a photographer.
At the age of seventeen I was offered a job at the local photo shop.
I worked there for three years and learned a great deal about photography
as both a business and an art form.
At the age of 20, I decided to step out on my own so I started Design
Café, a graphic design firm. My photographic skills enabled
me to secure numerous commercial jobs for products ranging from
plush toys to high-end commercial electronics.
However, over time I became disinterested in commercial photography.
The commercial focus of the business seemed to drain me of my creativity
and slowly began to erode my interest in photography as both a profession
and as a means of artistic expression. After ten years of running
the business, I came to the conclusion that I needed to move in
a different direction in order to grow as a person. As the first
step on my new journey I put the business up for sale.
After selling the business I put down my camera for a couple years
only taking it out for an occasional snapshot. As time passed my
passion for photography reemerged. Slowly I began to focus on photography
Currently, I work for a small commercial print-shop managing the
production as well as providing graphic design and pre-press services.
Not having the burden of ownership, I now have time to pursue my
photography career at my own pace.
On this career path, I like to utilize many different techniques
when creating my images. I have a tendency to learn and master techniques
quickly and, subsequently; I sometimes grow tired of them quickly.
To overcome my restlessness I continually challenge myself by frequently
exploring new ways to create unique images. My “Painted”
and “Polaroid” images are excellent examples of my never-ending
experimentation. I also enjoy more rudimentary forms of photography
such as shadow prints, a camera-less form of photography.
As with the use of shadow prints, I don’t always abide the
traditional guidelines for photography. I will often push the envelope
by moving the focal point way off-center or creating images with
only a small portion of the subject in sharp focus.
Each of my images seems to develop a life of its own. I listen to
my artistic instinct and let the image tell me what it wants to
become. By allowing the image to create itself each image brings
forth uniqueness. It’s very common for photographers to create
series of images because it typically increases their marketability
however, I’m not much of a conformist in this respect. I firmly
believe that an artist can never do their best work unless they
feel the freedom to do it their own way without limitation or constraint.
I’d rather create images that spark my passion and creativity
without worrying if they will sell. For me, the process of creating
the images is far more rewarding than selling them. I will continue
to create my images keeping this tenet in mind. No matter how high
my achievements reach, I always feel that my best work is yet to