Editorial and commercial photographer Grant Robinson is just one of the things that makes CAT’s Digital Photography department so awesome.
Grant Robinson is a professional photographer, lead instructor for the Digital Photography program at the Centre for Arts and Technology, and very-big-on-going-very-fast on two wheels.
Grant discovered his love of photography – and speed – when he was seven years old.
His grandfather gave him a camera, which Grant was using to surreptitiously take pictures of the mysterious covered car parked in the next door’s driveway. His neighbor caught him in the act, and was so charmed by Grant’s youthful enthusiasm that he offered him a ride.
The car was a white 1974 Stingray Convertible with red leather interior. They went very fast with the top down, and Grant still has two pictures from the experience – his feet against the red foot well, and a picture of the dash with its distinctive Corvette logo.Today, Grant is more about bikes than cars, but through the experience he discovered that his camera was the key to getting into all kinds of cool places. “My camera has been the passport into every world I have taken an interest in,” explains Robinson. “Everyone hates having their photo being taken, but no one hates you being interested in them.”
Originally from the North Shore of Lake Superior, Grant decamped for the UK to study, graduating with a BA (Hons) in Photographic History and Visual Communication from Falmouth College of Art. From there he went on to assist well known photographers like Alan Mahon, Ken Copsey and Andy Woods, chalking up a client list including: DMR Bicycles, Tourism BC, Gilette, Loreal, Nike, Red Bull and Santa Cruz Bicycles.
Grant and his family relocated to Kelowna in 2013, because his Auntie told him to. (Yes, she already lived here.)
He likes the Okanagan “for Paynter’s Fruit Market and the climate”, but does miss everything about the UK “except for Paynter’s Fruit Market and the climate”.
Grant has been teaching at CAT since 2014, and most enjoys the students, as well as being able to look at images everyday.
“If I wasn’t a photographer I would like to be Mert Lawill. Inducted to both the Mountain Bike and Motorcycle Hall of Fame, he was the AMA racing champion in 1969 – back when they raced in Redwing boots and Legoman helmets – he now builds prosthetic motorcycle controls for disabled racers – check out his company, MertsHands.org.”
Meanwhile, it has been pretty great just being Grant Robinson.
“My coolest job ever for someone else was working with Alan Mann on a British Airways ‘First Class’ poster campaign as 1st lighting assistant. We flew to nine or ten different locations – first class. Anytime you get on a plane to go to work, you are in a pretty select group, and really have to count your blessings,” says Grant. “My own coolest job was shooting a recruitment campaign for the Royal Navy. I got to go to the Royal Navy base, and had access to places that nobody else gets to see. It was also – still to this day – my highest day rate ever!”
Words: Deborah Lampitt-McConnachie