Robert D. Phillips
Since taking his first photograph by accident when playing with his father’s Olympus Trip aged 7, Robert D. Phillips’ fate was sealed. When he was 12 his father sold him the camera for £12 – the market rate at the time. 30 years after that first camera he now uses a “Supreme Wide Angle” Hasselblad, as mentioned in Paul Delany’s biography of Bill Brandt. Brandt had insisted that Derry Moore buy one if he wanted lessons from the master, and as Phillips had been leaning towards ever-wider lenses, Brandt’s recommendation seemed good enough for Phillips. Aptly, when photographing Derry Moore he was given the advice that ‘the trick with the SWC was to not make the picture look like it was taken with the SWC.’
With work held in the National Portrait Gallery permanent collection and private collections around the world, his keen eye for detail and exquisite print quality are paramount to his popularity.
Not comfortable to over-theorise or talk about the concepts behind his imagery and working practice he lets his photographs speak for themselves. To quote Robert D. Phillips, ‘Sometimes it is just a photograph of a cat.’