2016-02-26 ‘I was exposed to the arts early on’
In many ways Roy Rossovich epitomises the modern imaging professional in that his work straddles both the still and moving genres, and he’s enjoyed remarkable success in both fields.
Roy grew up in California and spent a lot of time on movie sets with his father (Top Gun actor Rick Rossovich) which gave him early inspiration to become involved in the worlds of photography and film.
“I was exposed to the arts early on. We had guys like Bruce Webber coming to our house to shoot and it seemed like image making was always an important part of our lives. By the time I was a teenager I knew I would end up working in the creative sector somehow.”
He moved to Stockholm in 2004, invested in a DSLR and some business cards and went looking for work. “I met a really good friend early on in art school named Katja Elmén,” says Roy, “and she pushed me to follow photography. My first steady job was at a portrait studio, which was like a sweatshop: I was shooting 25-40 people a day. I probably ended up producing upwards of 10,000 portraits in that place. That kind of volume can have a crushing effect on you, and it made me focus even more on my own work and the need to be creative.
“From the moment I started out, Hasselblad cameras were on my radar, but I just couldn’t afford one immediately. It took me a few years to piece together a kit, but eventually I acquired a really nice 503CW, and then later, as digital photography started to become more mainstream, I traded up to an H3DII-31.”
Roy’s winning Hasselblad Masters shot came about following a conversation with stylist Natalie Olenheim. “We’ve done quite a few shoots together over the years,” confirms Roy, “and it always starts as a series of ideas. On this occasion we somehow got into ‘The seven deadly sins’, and came up with themes for each one. This one is ‘Gluttony.’ I then pulled in illustrator Magnus Frederiksen, who I knew from my art school days, plus model Gabriella Hardlund and make-up artist Beverly McColgan.
“The idea was that the dress would be an illustration, with Magnus adding this in postproduction.”
“It’s pretty tough pretending to be clothed for an image when you’re standing in the studio in your undergarments, but Gabriella coped really well and Beverly came in and did all the make-up with an airbrush. Working this way achieves the same effect as dodging and burning in Photoshop, and it has a magical way of evening the shadows out and creating a nice smooth skin texture that still retains pores and details.
“Most people when they first see this image don’t really grasp the fact that the clothing is illustrated: they know something is off and it’s not all real, but usually it takes them a while to connect with it. For the most part though people have been fascinated by it, and it’s probably the strongest image I’ve made to date.”
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See all the winning entries in Hasselblad Masters 2016 here
The ten winners will be tasked to create a new and unique set of images, using a Hasselblad Medium Format camera, embracing the theme ‘Inspire’ (coinciding with Hasselblad’s 75th anniversary) for the latest edition of the Hasselblad Masters Book. The Winners will receive their trophy and their own Hasselblad camera to keep at a special photokina 2016 ceremony in Cologne this September.