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Robert reader is a surf photographer base in Cornwall, England. Robert specialises predominantly in capturing the surfing world and all its beauty through the lens of a classic polaroid camera, giving his photos a unique, vintage appeal.  Although he still uses more conventional cameras from time to time too.

Robert’s work is displayed and sold on an ongoing basis at the Driftwood Gallery Newquay, England’s only dedicated surf gallery.

Q&A with Robert Reader

Where were you born and raised?

The middle of England, the furthest point possible from the coast.

What inspires you to do what you do and why do you do it?

I draw inspiration from every quarter, photography for me is an obsession. I am constantly looking and searching for the next image.

Where did your journey as an artist begin?

I enrolled in a photography class in my middle teens, shooting film and printing my own work. Watching the image appear on the paper in front of you, was a trigger then everything clicked and I was hooked. I had to go out and do it again.

How did you eventually get you where you are today?

During the summer breaks whilst at Art college I would work for 3 months each year on the Cornish coast. Living in a caravan by the beach and working in the evening in restaurants and bars. I brought an old board and learned to surf. The camera was a constant companion so it was natural to document daily life.

What would you consider to be unique about your work compared to similar photographers, artists or designers?

I would like to think of a photographers work as a visual signature, an innate instinctive and unique view of the subject. Hopefully my work expresses these elements.

What do you consider to be your favourite project to date?

I guess my on going project of documenting the Cornish coast and surf life in Polaroid, it’s my visual journal.

What tools or techniques do you use to produce your work?

Old early 70’s Polaroid SX-70 folding camera.

Fun Facts

Favourite Surfer: The late photographer/surfer Don James, a pioneer in documenting surf culture in 1930’s/40’s California.

Favourite Surf Spot: One spot is difficult as a photographer I live to move onto the next view. I love the Coast of Cornwall north and South, but exploring the wilderness of Big Sur has been my favourite trip.

Life Idol: Bob Dylan. 

Favourite thing to do to relax: In, on or near the ocean with my family.

Recent Projects:

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