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Meet Rob Woodcox

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rob Woodcox.

Rob, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
When I was six months old, I was adopted within extended family and moved from Houston to Detroit. I grew up with a big imagination and was always creating alternate realities through drawings and paintings; I think being “saved” in a way from a potentially more abusive childhood always gave a me a big appreciation for life and the idea that you could change your reality using your ideas and actions. When I was 19, I picked up a DSLR for the first time with the intention of making art. It started with simple portraits in studio and nearby parks and soon I began creating scenes and stories within my photos. This quickly became an obsession and matured into passion for sharing stories that mattered. For five years, I worked multiple jobs to pay the bills, and finally, I took the leap to be a full-time photographer. I wasn’t sure how I’d make the work sustainable, but I had started teaching workshops locally and decided to take this national.

Over three years, I taught about 40 workshops in North America and started branching to South America, Asia, and Australia. My social media platforms were growing the whole time, gaining me access to new clients and studios around the world that wanted to host my courses. By 2017 I had taught almost 80 workshops over various tours. This in-person interaction with my audience propelled my growth online, and by 2018 I was booking larger clients and media features. Fast forward to this year, I’ve had a few of the largest clients yet, and more media features than I’ve had in the past five years combined. While I acknowledge this has been a form of success, the biggest success for me is that I’m still able, years later, to create personal work that holds important meaning and tells important stories. I’m still passionate about what I do, and no matter the level of client work I’m creating, I will always maintain a priority on creating important work that connects with people.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
There have definitely been ups and downs in my journey; there have been weeks where I was eating rice and beans for every meal to get by, and there have been weeks I feel on top of a mountain from the opportunities I’ve been given. I’ve built my career from the ground up with very little outside support in the beginning. I suppose the challenge for most artists including myself is finding a balance and sense of consistency with finding or creating work to make a sustainable living from art. Being a creative and having good ideas requires so much mental energy and respectively time and space to breathe. It can be hard to maintain that balance when starting out. If I want to keep passion at the center of my work, I have to find a way to sidestep the fear of failure. One of my biggest discoveries in the past year has been prioritizing my time so I can perform at my best when the time comes and finding ways to redirect energy when I feel fear towards something.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Rob Woodcox Photography story. Tell us more about the business.
I’m a fine art and fashion photographer; I specialize in creating vividly surreal images that still maintain a grounded sense of reality. My photographs are bold, bright, and energizing to the viewer and typically encourage people to think beyond the here and now. I don’t follow trends, I create from my imagination which I think sets me apart from others. I’ve seen a lot of styles or even specific poses or props used in trending photographic styles, but the first question I always ask when conceptualizing is “how can I make this different than what anyone has seen before”.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I don’t know what I think about luck, but I believe in energy- positive and negative- that we can give, receive, and wield throughout our every day lives. Imagine that feeling you get when you meet someone who is on top of the world happy from winning an award- you can feel the energy emanating off them. The same is true when someone is angry, or when a crowd goes wild at a concert, or when your friend gives you a shoulder to cry on. In all these circumstances you feel palpable energy emanating between you and others.

I make an active effort to emanate positive energy in my daily life by choosing to respond calmly to anger, by walking with purpose, by taking the time to listen when my friends need me, even when I’m busy. There are so many ways to actively choose embracing positive energy on a daily basis, and through that cumulation of actions I feel as though the world returns the energy. Not always immediately or all at once, but collectively over time I truly believe you get back what you put into the world. I’ve been following this concept for years, and I can certainly see it paying off quite well in the last year.

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