Tobias Rowles is a Sydney-based photographer who is managing to have a successful career in both the art and commercial world. One of his photographic portraits has made him a finalist in the National Photographic Portrait Prize 2011. And last year he also rated an honourable mention in the International Photography Awards. Yet Tobias has worked extensively for commercial clients including Nike and fashion brand One Teaspoon. You may recognise the road image, above, which has been used in collaboration with Pony Rider as part of its wallwares range.
Which five words best describe you? An all round nice guy.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I completed a fine arts degree after high school. I was trying a few different things out at the time but still remember the day I shot, then processed and printed my own film. I remember being really happy with both the end result and the whole image-making process. Ever since then I knew photography was what I wanted to do. I am still drawn to the magical feeling I get from shooting film. Following my degree I did the hard yards, working in studios and assisting photographers in London and Sydney. The last two years I've focussed solely on my own work and am starting to see it all come together.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? There's only one light in the sky and nothing worthwhile comes easy.
What’s your proudest career achievement? Completing my first solo show last year was rewarding, but nothing has beaten seeing my picture hanging on the wall in the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra.
What’s been your best decision? To keep shooting what I love, and getting married.
Who inspires you? My parents have been pretty inspiring, but I'm also constantly inspired by everyday people. Often it's people who are passionate about what they do but it can also be simply because someone has something interesting to say.
What are you passionate about? My work, documenting the world I see, looking after the environment, animal welfare and the St George Illawarra Dragons.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Henri Cartier-Bresson and Larry Bird.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? The list is long but I'm slowly ticking them off. This year I'm super focussed on completing and publishing a long-term book project.
What are you reading? Factotum by Charles Bukowski.
images courtesy of tobias rowles