It’s all about rapport....
I am an actor but I also enjoy directing and working with other actors and artists to bring out the best in them. I’ve been taking pictures for more than 25 years and I just love people and the characters they are.
I come from a whole family of photographers and artists going back to the 1930s in Ireland where my Grandfather started a portrait studio. The Ross’s had a reputation for producing Hollywood style pictures with refined skin, so I learnt the old fashioned way, in the darkroom, using plate cameras and even retouching by hand.
I enjoy working with performers because I am one and I’m always in search of where the ‘magic’ comes from and what drives them. This usually happens, while I interview subjects as I shoot and it always brings forth a depth and beauty in their character, then their real personality shines through and they look their best because they feel great. For me this is the magic….
I believe this works for everybody I photograph from high flying executives to babies. Make them feel good and they will look great. Interestingly, my study with this exercise runs deep on a daily basis, while I develop as an actor. The process is the same search for the truth. Whatever roll I take on, my job is to make the person I’m working with feel something in order to get what I want. After all this is what we do every day in life….
Over the years my most prestigious clients have included: Vogue (British), Vogue (Spanish), Cosmopolitan, Arena, Company, Good Housekeeping, Saatchi & Saatchi, McCann Ericsson, Wella, Clairol, Clynol, Monet, Elizabeth Arden, Converse, British Airways, Marks & Spencer and numerous Rock/pop/soul musical groups during video production, filming and photography.
I have taught at Westminster Colleges in London and I’ve lectured to advanced students, running workshops on portraiture at Westminster University.
Film verses Digital ! I have working with digital format for about 10 years on commercial work and I love it, however when it comes to portraiture in general, I still prefer film because of its random grain and tonal range and its ability to cope in extreme or erratic lighting conditions. The way I feel about film is..... there’s just something special about bringing together its unpredictable imperfections in the emulsion and celluloid since skin is as random with its pores because human beings are not perfect. I also like being left with a physical negative with a unique atmosphere containing those moments in history.
I would say my hallmark is capturing the character and personality - be it in the studio, on stage, on set or in some fairly interesting location around the globe.
I think I have a knack for putting people at ease and establishing an immediate rapport with them. That’s the magic and that is what it’s all about....