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The Questionnaire : Robert J. Hutchinson by Carole Schmitz


Robert J. Hutchinson : Follow your instincts!

In everything he looks for the strength to surpass himself. In his own words, “If the path you’re on doesn’t take you where you want to go, don’t hesitate – change it! So it was that, after more than 15 years’ experience in film and television production, Roby Hutchinson left it all behind overnight to make a decisive career change, abandoning his chosen path to pursue higher education and specialize in supply chain management. Today, he oversees several successful businesses that have nothing to do with these two fields.

An inveterate traveler, he also climbs some of the world’s most beautiful peaks. But all the same, he remains deeply attached to his lifelong passion for photography, and the images prove it.


Instagram : @robybydesign


What was your first photographic trigger?
Roby HutchinsonMy father had an old Canon AE-1 35mm Camera and he showed me how to load it with film and take pictures. Most of what he told me went in one ear and out the other, but I did learn how to focus and shoot. Eventually after many rolls of failed pictures, due to improper aperture settings or shutter speed I got the hang of it. My first pictures were of friends, pets and I remember spending a day and a lot of film taking pictures of the of the US Navy Blue Angeles. There were the famous fighting planes or “U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, ” I would aim and try to shoot them out of the sky with my camera. I think they are the second oldest formal aerobatic team in the world, after the “Patrouille de France”. So many blurry pictures but when I got one!!! Ohhh… that was gold. 

The man or woman of image who inspires you?
R.H. : There isn’t one person who gives me inspiration rather I am inspired by the human body and the objectification of it. I have very programed ideals of what is beautiful in the human form, ideas that were created by what was popular in the 1970’s through 1990’s. Usually it means fit and athletic or slim and sensual figures. I am drawn to the curves of the body in such a way as where shadows are cast, inviting the imagination to create what it cant’ see. I am inspired by the sexuality of photographs that tease private thoughts. Sometimes it’s graphic and other times it’s suggestive.

The image you would have liked to take?
: Richard Avedon’s shot of Nastassja Kinski and a Boa Constrictor.

The one that moved you the most?
: Associated Press photographer Nick Ut’s picture of Phan Thi Kim Phúc, or more famously known as  known as the “Napalm Girl”.

And the one that made you angry?
R.H. : I don’t have a picture that has made me angry. I’m not one to get angry. I think that it’s an emotion that I used up in my youth.

A key image in your personal pantheon?
R.H. : See attached Image

A photographic memory from your childhood?
R.H. : A photo of myself in a white tuxedo with shorts wearing black socks.

According to you, what is the necessary quality to be a good photographer?
R.H. : Connecting with the image in such a way that it resonates emotion. I’m very selfish in this. The picture is for me, I have to love it and it has to mean something to me. Knowing how to light, frame, communicate or work with subjects, blah blah blah means nothing if I the fucking photograph doesn’t make me feel something.

The secret of the perfect image, if it exists?
R.H. : Love. If you know love, then you can commit to an ideal. If you an commit to an ideal then you can grab onto the concept of perfection. Only you, the observer can make this commitment to perfection. It isn’t real for anyone else, but it exists.

The person you would like to photograph?
R.H. : Audrey Hepburn

An indispensable photo book?
R.H. : Susan Sontag On Photography

The camera of your childhood?
R.H. : Kodak Instamatic with the disposable square flash bulbs.

The one you use today?
R.H. : Canon R5

How would you describe your creative process?
R.H. : Planned Improvisation. Makes no sense right! When I know I’m going to be with someone and they might interest me photographically, I bring my camera, wardrobe, props, all depending on what I’m creating and then start shooting. I know I’m going to get great shots because I’ve already decided that I want them. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be with the model with some wardrobe etc, etc, etc. I have this false sense of confidence that I can capture the beauty in all things. Belief is a very powerful lens.

An upcoming project that’s close to your heart?
R.H. : Every picture or project is close to my heart. Either I am too easy to love, or I am dead inside. Might be the same thing.

Your favorite drug?
R.H. : Chocolate Chip Cookies and Whole Milk. I can’t quit that combination on a nightly basis. However, a very close second is micro dosing MDNA coupled with LSD. I can’t even explain.

The best way to disconnect for you ?
R.H. : Mountain Climbing. I’ve been disappearing into the elevation for a few decades now and I need that break from humanity. I am a social creature to an extreme. I honestly love engaging with people. Every addict needs their rehab and a mountain summit is mine.

What is your relationship with the image ?
R.H. : Either sexual or emotional.  I could dive into the artistic motivation of how the image relates to my desire for perfect objectification and that is true to a degree but mostly the image invokes either desire or takes me to an emotional place I never want to forget.

Who would you like to be photographed by ?
R.H. : Annie Leibovitz. She’s over the top.

How would you describe your personality?
R.H. : I don’t like to describe my personality. I feel like that would be putting me in a box with a label on it.

Your latest folly?
R.H. : Riding Motorcycles across Nepal. Those pictures are promising to be amazing and the model I am shooting… can’t wait.

An image to illustrate a new banknote?
R.H. : The Apple Logo. I’m joking but then again, it’s probably coming.

The job you would not have liked to do ?
R.H. : Anything that panders the selling of religion. Spiritual leaders take us away from what we need to be as humans and sell a detached notion of false ideology and morality. I want to promote the trust, dependance, love and integrity we need to have as a species towards one another. Not sacrificing our devotion to some ideal that can’t deliver because it doesn’t exist. Perhaps if we all looked to each other, as all that we have, we could start treating each other better.

Your greatest professional extravagance?
R.H. : Connecting on a emotional level with the people I shoot. It’s very expensive.

The city, the country or the culture you dream of discovering?
R.H. : I don’t have this desire. I don’t ever real dreaming of things.

The place you never get tired of ?
R.H. : My Brothers House in Pemaquid, Maine. It represents contentment.

Your biggest regret ?
R.H. : Life is too short for regrets. We do the best we can with the information we have. We make mistakes. We learn. We get better. I don’t want to loose any of those experiences. There mine. All the beauty, pain, happiness, tears, joy, tragedy, love are the tattoos of my life. I need them to be me. We all do.

In terms of social networks, are you more into Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok or Snapchat and why?
R.H. : Instagram. It’s more one directional and selective. I don’t really use the others because one rabbit hole is all I need to fall into.

Color or B&W?
R.H. : B&W

Daylight or artificial light?
R.H. : Daylight

Which city do you think is the most photogenic?
R.H. : New York City

If God existed would you ask him to pose for you, or would you opt for a selfie with him?
R.H. : Pose, but only if she wore thigh highs and heels.

If I could organize your ideal dinner party, who would be at the table?
R.H. : My mom when she was in her 20’s

The image that represents for you the current state of the world?
R.H. : Charles Clyde Ebbets “Lunch Atop A Skyscraper” photo.

What is missing in today’s world?
R.H. : Simplicity

If you had to start all over again?
R.H. : I’d do it the just as I do now, but with nothing I have and everything to gain.

What do you like people to say about you?
R.H. : I’ll never forget how he made me laugh.

The one thing you absolutely must know about yourself?
R.H. : That I did my best.

A last word ?
R.H. : Need to sleep…

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