A little bit about Colin Clay & Rusted Rose Photography

I’m not much if a writer. Especially when subject that I happen to be writing about is myself. Talking…. Now that’s a completely different matter all together. With the fact that I’m not a journalist in mind for this part of my website I turned friend of mine (who just so happens to be a journalist might I add) to give me a helping hand. So armed with a dictaphone, a list of questions and a pint or two this is a little bit about me written by Iain Gilbert.

English Wedding praised Colin for his ability to capture an “effortlessly elegant” wedding, but when asked what he was trying to say with his photography, he replied, “I just want them to look cool.” His work borrows from street photographers of the 1950s like Henri Cartier-Bresson, the oft unsung Richard Sandler and rock and roll documentarian Brad Elterman, but his biggest influence is without a doubt his daughter, Skye. He bought his first DSLR camera to document her growing up, in an effort to capture those fleeting moments of joy before they’re gone all too soon.

“I kind of sneak up on people,” he said regarding how he shoots a wedding – the same I think, can be said of Colin in general – paying more attention to what is happening, letting you speak and be yourself, rather than trying to force something into existence.

My daughter Skye
Street Photography London 2016

It’s no surprise then ‘really’ that his favourite photographer is another Londoner, Sir Don McCullin, as feeling abounds in his work.

“Photography for me is not looking, it’s feeling. If you can’t feel what you’re looking at, then you’re never going to get others to feel anything when they look at your pictures,”

Sir Don McCullen

After a friend asked him to shoot his wedding a few years back (to which he said no), Colin decided to take a few photos of the day all the same. 18 months later he’d quit his job to pursue his passion full time. His passion has taken him a long way since then, out of his native Bermondsey and a dead-end job as a security guard in Covent Garden, to go as far abroad as Sri Lanka, Italy, Florida & California on a path that transformed him into an accomplished photographer with over 100 weddings under his belt.

You can see this in Colin’s work where he clearly makes an active effort to showcase that immortal beauty against a far more mortal backdrop – “the rose and the rust as it were.” “Admit it:’ all those little manuals you get, you know, with your TV, your bookcase, your oven, you don’t read them. You just throw them in the bottom drawer, pick up the thing you’re trying to use and spend hours screaming at it because it doesn’t work,” said Colin. While he’s thrown away the manual and made things on his own terms, there is one important difference between what Colin has done with Rusted Rose and that IKEA desk you ditched the instructions for long ago:, he’s built a successful business with a vast portfolio, where others failed to even build the drawer.

“Something beautiful is going to be beautiful no matter what, but it’s how you present that beauty that really makes something timeless.”

Colin Clay – 2017

Kind words

Watch me at work