INTERVIEW: Noughty's In-House Photographic Genius Thomas Rohde

INTERVIEW: Noughty's In-House Photographic Genius Thomas Rohde

Buried in lights, backdrops, bottles and lenses in a dark studio in Hertfordshire, we find our fearless photographer Thomas Rohde who produces around 10 to 12 stunning images for Noughty every month.  He's not about to tell us how he does it, but we did ask him a few searching questions...

What inspired you to pursue your career in photography?

I actually started out thinking I was going to be a war photographer photo journalist and then I got offered a job going to Baghdad and then somebody got shot so I decided to become an assistant to a still life photographer which was much more fun than getting shot at.

It was accidental, but it opened up a whole new world for me.
What do you enjoy most about the job?

When you have an idea, and it starts to come together into a picture, and it comes together better than you thought it would do… those are the really nice moments.
There are plenty of moments when it’s not working, but those magical moments are certainly for me some of the best.
When it comes to your Noughty journey, what’s been your biggest challenge?

The labels have definitely been the biggest challenge for me as a photographer. From a technical point of view the label is quite difficult to shoot. I’ve got my technique down now, having shot the bottle so many times but trying to figure out how to get some pings off it without blowing out the foil has been a challenge.  It also helps when the bottles are cold because they’re not so reflective.  So, the cooler wines are sometimes easier to shoot.
How rewarding is it to have a brand-new product to shoot?

It’s been great to seeing it grow. If that’s in any small part down to what I do then, yeah, it’s great to have been part of this journey. We had a quite a long relationship and from my point of view, it really helps me understand the brand a bit more then I would with the short term contract. It gives you a little bit more opportunity to play around… The longer you know a brand, the freer you become in those parameters.
When conceptualising a Noughty shoot what factors do you consider when creating these compelling and appealing images?

I am having this conversation with you to start with.  The very first imagery was for Noughty Rouge and I guess I like to do the more premium shoots more in the realm of advertising than social media.

Doing the social media stuff is quite good fun because you get more creative freedom to tell a story you can be a bit cheeky; you can be a bit disruptive. You can be slightly rude in a good way.  It’s exciting working with disrupt the brands and I know that a company likes to be a little bit anti-establishment in its approach. 
Shaking up things. All that kind of stuff. That translates really well into social media, I guess.

Thomas Rohde in action...


How do you approach conceptualising each month’s brief from us?

With very few props or just a prop, I think you can say quite a lot. Deciding which prop to use, comes from learning about the brand, and having worked with you guys now for quite a while, I get my notebook out, and I conceptualise from your brief. 

It can be difficult doing that on a journey with a new brand, but when you have an established relationship like we do, it makes that part of the work a lot easier.  I know where I can go with Noughty whereas maybe with a brand I’m unfamiliar with I have to feel my way.

The more time I spend on it, more in danger I am of making the same pictures as anybody else is making. So, I guess, always having it in mind that you don’t want to become generic, helps shape your decisions.  Also, knowing how to shoot the label and identifying the personality of the brand helps maintain originality alongside familiarity.
What do you see for the future of working with Noughty?

Noughty has been my longest running client.  Every time I get a new brief, I think the ideas get stronger because the brand’s confidence is growing and I know where to go with it.  Yes, it’s a bottle of wine, we all know that.  We’ve seen a thousand bottles of wine in photo images.  Even though the label is technically the most annoying thing to shoot, it’s actually what sets it apart from the rest.


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