Rosie Matheson on Boys


We caught up with Rosie Matheson to chat about what she’s been up to and to delve deeper into her upcoming exhibition, Boys.

Known for her captivating portraits, Rosie uses photography as a means of searching for the extraordinary in the seemingly ordinary. Her fascination to examine the emotional connection between people and places finds her photographing other peoples worlds.


Having embarked on Boys over a year ago, Rosie set out to capture the emotions and stories of young males from across the world. Examining how they present themselves in everyday life, she explored expressions of masculinity and what it’s like being a male in today’s society. The series as a whole allows you to immerse yourself and observe each of their similarities, as well as their differences. With this body of work ultimately focusing on guys who don’t realise how special and interesting they are, and the faces behind their story.



I kind of feel like I know what I’m doing now and it’s definitely given me a sense of confidence that I was lacking before.”



Could you give us a quick rundown of who you are?
I’m Rosie Matheson, a portrait photographer based between Brighton and London, UK! I love shooting on film, using my medium format camera.


A lot of people would have seen your image Elliot, as it was banded around the UK after being shortlisted for Portrait of Britain 2016. But what have you been up to since then, as that must have been pretty big for your career?
Indeed, that was a pretty special moment! That photo changed both of our lives – it was never expected to blow up like that! Since then I’ve been working hard on my Boys project and developing the concept of that. I’ve been planning my Boys exhibition for over a year and finally it’s coming together this week! I think really, I’ve been developing my style and really figuring out how I shoot and what I enjoy most. I kind of feel like I know what I’m doing now and it’s definitely given me a sense of confidence that I was lacking before.


rosie matherson Portrait of Britain 2016


Your work captures youth culture, why is this important to you?
I love the freedom of youth yet the pressure that comes with it is also really full on. It’s that really interesting age where most people have finished with education and it’s now about what they’re doing with their lives. The world is your oyster but what are you really going to do? It’s a time that you never ever get again and I think it’s such an important time in everyones life, it’s when you really start to figure out who you are and what you want.


Where did the subject for your latest series, Boys come from? What was your process for selecting the guys you photographed?
A mixture of Instagram and Street casting and also suggestions from mutual friends and parents. It’s hard to say exactly how I pick each subject but all I know is, I know when they are the right ones!


Rosie Matheson Presents: Boys in collab with creative debuts


You’ve also extended this series and created a short documentary with filmmaker Kaj Jefferies, what made you do this?
I met Kaj last year and we quickly realised we had similar interests. I work a lot with Kodak and got her involved with that and since then we’ve been spending a lot of time planning and working together. I mentioned to her I wanted to start shooting a Boys documentary and then she expressed her interest of getting involved. We’ve been planning it since March this year and decided to start a Kickstarter to try and raise the funds to make it happen. Although we didn’t think we would be successful with it, we made the funding in the last few hours of our campaign! We’ve now co-directed, shot and edited the short documentary together and I’m honestly so excited to share it. It’s exactly how I imagined, it tells the boys stories and also captures a moment in time – discussing the relevant topics of masculinity and being a young male in todays society. I love the element of film alongside the photos, they really compliment each other and work beautifully as a project as a whole.


And lastly, which of your cameras is your favourite?
Mamiya RZ67 FOREVER!


Catch the exhibition this Friday 27th July 2018, it’s definitely going to be worth a visit. Not only will there be images from the series so far, there’s also live music and a screening of a short documentary her and Kaj Jefferies have created off the back of this. More details on the event can be found HERE.

Photos © Rosie Matheson

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