Olivia Rose | Thinking Big
Thinking Big with Maisie Williams is a monthly podcast where our Co-Founder, Maisie Williams, sits with influential creatives paving the way in their industries. In the third episode, Maisie meets London-born photographer and director Olivia Rose to talk about gender equality, her work process and the reality of making it in a competitive industry.
Olivia Rose never intended to become a photographer. In fact, it was something that she actively avoided throughout her earlier life, wanting to become a journalist or a fine artist instead. She didn’t want to go down the path that was almost laid out for her, with her father being a photographer. Despite this intent, she found herself falling into photography anyway, saying she’s sure this is where she’s meant to be, as her journey into photography was so organic. Olivia studied Fashion Photography at the London College of Fashion, where she found that her work was different to those intent on shooting high-fashion editorial pieces. It was here she met Itai Doron, who encouraged her to embrace her differences and helped her form the intimate, subject-focused style she is known for today. Now she’s turning her hand to directing, explaining that it brings together everything she loves about photography and everything it’s missing.
Olivia is known for her unique approach to taking pictures. Her award-winning series This is Grime captured grime in a way that hadn’t been seen before. Written by Hattie Collins and photographed by Olivia, This is Grime provided an insight into the lives and stories of the people who have curated Grime culture over the past fifteen years. In the podcast, she goes on to explain how her priority when taking photographs is to build real relationships with her subjects, and make them feel comfortable. The shared connection is evident in her work. Olivia places the ease at which she can do this on being female, it helps her to maintain a level of trust. She can relate to the models and provide an alternative standpoint to the males in the room. However, her experience of being female in a predominantly male industry has not always been so beneficial. She discusses how sexism is still rife in today’s society but exists more as an ingrained misogyny rather than overt prejudices; it’s still very common to be undermined as a woman in the work place.
To hear more, listen to the full podcast here.
Next time, Maisie meets with Shy FX. If you have a suggestion as to who you’d like to see on Thinking Big with Maisie Williams send us a tweet @daisie.