In this new monthly post, Roy Barker, Head of Creative Production over at Adam & Eve DDB takes over They Made This and throws an array of questions at photographers & illustrators whose work he loves. Roy has been producing at Adam & Eve DDB for over five years and is lucky enough to be able to meet & work alongside lots of wonderfully talented artists on a regular basis. This month, Roy meets the very excellent photographer Charlie Campbell.

The recent ‘This Girl Can’ campaign was well received. As it should be – it’s great, as are your shots. Is there a feminist streak in you that led you to accepting the commission, or did you simply resonate with it ?
Thanks! The campaign definitely complements my feminism – there is a massive need for the representation of the realness of women in media and advertising, that doesn’t objectify or commodify. So it was a huge personal bonus to have the chance to do this.


And I loved the honesty of the campaign – the opportunity to shoot real women as they are, doing the thing they love, and trying to capture that moment of focus/fire/determination when they are completely absorbed. It was dream commission. So, big thanks to both the ace team at FCB Inferno, and Kim Gehrig – the vision and director behind the commercial.

'Skater Girls' / ‘Teenage Kicks’ / ‘Me & My Dad’ / ‘This Girl Can’ – have you knowingly & intentionally strived to shoot people & campaigns that represent perhaps the under represented edges of society & relationships?
Most definitely. It’s important to be able to use my work for a positive purpose like raising awareness of issues or subjects beyond the mainstream, as well as opening up my experience of the world through meeting people and exploring areas I wouldn’t otherwise encounter.
Do you prefer photographing people or landscapes?
I love shooting landscapes to clear the mind and invigorate the senses. But equally I really enjoy the process of shooting portraits; the sense of trust and connection is a real privilege every time.
What equipment do you use?
For personal work, it’s my beloved Leica M6.
How did you make the switch from English Lit student to photographer? Did you have an interest in photography and art before university?
Photography was what I’d always wanted to do since I first came across Annie Leibovitz’s work for Rolling Stone – I loved the raw honesty of her early documentary work and I had no idea that it was a ‘job’ or something you could do for a living.


So I bought my first camera when I was 13 and have taken pictures ever since. My degree in English Lit was more of a back-up, but actually I’m really glad to have come from a different discipline which is still about making sense of life.

How did you come to assist Corrine Day ?
She used to shoot in the studio where I started out, and one day they needed an extra pair of hands on set. From then on I was her 2nd, loading film and polaroid (It was 10 years back) over a period of about 9 months before I went full-time as a 1st with a portrait photographer. Most of the shoots were studio based when she was doing British Vogue - she was low-key but always super focused.


It was an amazing opportunity to assist Corinne – she was such a refreshing alternative to the other massive egos that used to shoot in the studio. Her understated approach had a huge influence – I learnt that less is more. I've still got some of the polaroids in a box somewhere!

I love the honesty of your work. Natural lighting, people in their natural environments. It allows me to engage with the image and the subject matter much more personally. When shooting people do you ask them to pose? Do you have a deliberate approach / style to your photography?
I’d probably say that my deliberate approach is to keep it as natural and undirected as possible. Sure there’s an element of composing and creating the structure of the image, but then I let it unfold on its own, and it’s in the off-moments where the pictures happen - the honest moments. So I guess it’s trying to create a space to let those moments happen – that’s my approach!
What’s next?
I’m working on an exhibition with the charity, PHASE who I went to Nepal with last year. They do invaluable work implementing health services in the most remote and isolated communities and of course now more than ever they need support in the aftermath of the earthquakes. And a first family holiday with my partner our tiny 5 months old girl !
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