While Rodney shares similar paths with that of his commercial contemporaries here in the valley and throughout the USA, his true identity as a mature image-maker lies within his ability to create poignant portraits, specifically in support of relief and development groups.
Operating around the globe, Rodney has utilized his advertising skills as a professional photographer to assist in raising revenue and attention to programs, which would otherwise once off the news cycle, simply disappear from sight. His photographs have depth, content and typically tell a story about his subjects’ lives.
Rodney respects the people he creates portraits of…reflecting when asked that… “My subjects own their successes, poverty or ill health and so it’s a gift when they allow me to create an image”…equally, “I have to be careful not to get in the way of their message or change the content to suit my own desire for a more stylistic image, but to remain true in creating an image with integrity regardless if it’s a commercial project or one where peoples lives are at risk.”
Rodney’s work isn’t driven by a centered sense of self. As an accomplished photographer, he finds that his portrait work continues to evolve, challenging him to use this evolution to benefit from his advertising clients, especially those where directing people is of prime importance. When in the field, every conceivable human emotion plays out and he uses his empathy gained from a decade of covering famine in Ethiopia, the global food crisis in Kenya, AIDS/HIV to education, a veteran of countless projects in all hemispheres, to play his part in easing the human condition.
Highlights from his career extend to his acting as chief photographer for a major Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) for 11 years, being a founder of HEART, a medical program helping children in the developing world with heart operations, working the 2004 tsunami field in India/Indonesia and include his latest project in Haiti with work currently scheduled to be produced for multiple relief organizations in the coming month.
Rodney continues to support the local creative teams in advertising and the design community at large and enjoys the respect of his peers from a long career of taking care of his clients and crew. Under his direction, Rodney leverages the collective skills of his team to create the best work possible for his clients, which seems to be recognized universally, given Rodney is en route to shoot a campaign in Latin America for a notable brand.
Yet, with all this global attention, Rodney honestly admits that in a commercial realm he’s not unlike many of his highly skilled peers who are trying to do the best they can in a very difficult market…something akin to juggling chainsaws above your head.
Rodney is trusted by agency creative directors and country directors the world over. It is through this unusual breadth of life experiences and his compassion and empathy for his subjects that he is able to create images of consequence…all of which can be seen in his work and surely appears to have made a difference on many levels.