Rowland Roques-O'Neil image

about

Biography

My earliest photo related memory is of my father's Rollicord twin lens reflex camera and handheld meter on holidays as a child. I would look into the viewfinder and wonder at the dark vignetted and reversed image. It was magical when a few weeks later some square prints of our family would be picked up from the chemist and there we were, in glorious black and white and eventually in colour !

The thrill of the photographic process was there when for the first time I made my own black and white print. The red safelight, the negative image in the enlarger, the smell of chemicals, the seemingly blank sheet of paper being dropped into the dev, then the magical two or three minutes when the image grows seemingly from nowhere until a (sometimes) beautiful picture emerges into the light often more by luck than judgement in those early experimental days!

My love affair with photography and wonderment at the processes involved was born and still burns brightly today! 

Three years at Art School and several years more as an assistant made me realise the creative and technical scope of photography. Whether it was polishing cars for ads, holding down flyaway reflectors on a Florida beach fashion shoot, photographing the chairman or CEO of a FTSE 100 company in a City boardroom or watching a food stylist designing a delicious pile of perfectly cooked chips, I view all that experience as vital to my own growth as a professional photographer. Each assignment is a new opportunity to showcase my technical and creative expertise and made more exciting as a result !

I began to photograph portraits for corporate clients including banks and brokers in the city. I would often end up shooting the offices, dealings rooms and factories. So the move into interiors and architectural work was quite a natural and exciting path for me to take. Beginning with some beautifully designed bars in Covent Garden, the first Virgin Atlantic booking office in the Virgin store in Oxford Street which incidentally looked like the interior of a plane, to photographing stainless steel kitchens for editorial spreads, the journey began. It has been an exciting one in which I have  worked for a wide range of prestigious editorial and commercial clients (from M&S to Homes and Gardens) enabling them to enhance their visual identities with a more relevant contemporary style, ably assisted by some fantastic stylists and assistants. The value of a great team can never be underestimated in this field of work !

I have a dozen portraits in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery including The Duke of Westminster and Richard Branson, have had a well received exhibition of flower photography in 2008.  My interest and passion in all aspects of photography continues - there is always something new to learn.

I still have my late Father's camera - the smell of the leather case, the now slightly bloomed lens and that vignetted viewfinder - it is a reminder of the excitement I first saw in photography as a child and that still fires me today. I just struggle to find anywhere decent to get 120 roll film processed !

 

I hope you enjoy my new site and are as inspired by the images as I am !

 

Rowland