About Robert Gallagher

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Death Row no more

Earlier this year I spent a few days in Arizona on a controversial and emotionally charged Death Row story for Der Spiegel. Debra Milke, from Berlin, was convicted of the murder of her son Christopher in 1990 and had been awaiting her death until March 23, 2015, when her case was formally dismissed. I spent those final few transformative days with her, from going through the dismissal process, to facing the media and finally tasting true freedom again, as if for the first time.

As a photographer, this assignment called on all my skills; as portrait photographer, reportage photographer and news photographer. An intense and hectic combination, but I love to immerse myself in shooting real, honest situations with depth, and it doesn’t get much more real than Death Row. But it was a delicate situation and there was an awful lot of skepticism, doubt and questions flying around about her acquittal in general. This poor lady was literally out of the frying pan and into the fire with the world’s press! So they’re was a lot going on.

But none the less, we had a job to do to tell this story, and on top of that we needed to shoot a cover on a tight deadline, so we created a location studio in her house, as the rest of the world’s press was on her tail. Debra was clearly overwhelmed and emotionally taught with the whole thing. Not an easy situation, but with great help of my local assistant in Phoenix, Madison Kirkman, we pulled it all off.

In the end, our cover didn’t run as it was a busy news week in Germany and sadly a crazy German pilot decided to fly a plane into the side of a mountain. But here’s a mock-up of one option we were working on; Debra Milke before and after a long visit to the big house. To see more of my latest work go to gallagherphoto.com.
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Debra Milke, photograhed at home in Phoenix, Arizona.

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Neue Journal; Surfing in Iran

Very excited and proud to be a part of the inaugural NeueJournal, an art-book project published by NeueHouse. A beautiful piece featuring some amazing artists including Brigitte Lacombe, Richard Burbridge, The Edge, Frances McDormand, oh, and me! I collaborated with Taylor Steele, a legend in surf-filmmaking circles, on the story ‘Surfing in Iran’.neuejournal, surfing in iran

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interview on Photo District News

I was interviewed recently by PDN about my work, my process and my Clickbooq website (seriously, the best websites in the business, for photographers, in my view). Here’s an excerpt and you can read the full thing here.

“Robert Gallagher’s photography career is dynamic: One day he’s shooting a travel feature in Bora Bora for The Guardian; another day it’s the cofounder and CEO of the dating app, Tinder, for the cover of Forbes. When we connect over the phone, he’s brimming with excitement over a shoot in Los Angeles with singer, songwriter and musician John Lydon, who is best known by his former stage name as the Sex Pistols’ front man, Johnny Rotten. The shoot was a treat for the photographer, who having grown up in England in the 1970s, notes that it was “Margaret Thatcher vs. the Sex Pistols” in the spectrum of cultural iconography. He had the opportunity to get to know the family-man side of the infamous English punk rock singer when he gave him a ride home from the shoot. “That’s why I love my job,” he says. “You never know who you’re going to meet from one day to the next—I love those little vignettes of life.” But what really struck him about Lydon was that he showed up to the set with only a simple plastic bag full of his belongings. “He still a little bit anti-establishment,” Gallagher laughs.”…….

John Lydon aka Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols, photographed at the Andaz Hotel on Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, California, April 17 2015.

John Lydon aka Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols, photographed at the Andaz Hotel on Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, California, April 17 2015.

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Rickie Fowler wins PGA Players Championship

Rickie Fowler Golf DigestCongratulations to our buddy Rickie Folwer who finally won his first Major tournament this past weekend, and what a nailbiting playoff to decide it too. We got to have fun with Rickie during my first ever assignment for Golf Digest, one of my favorite clients.Rickie Fowler Golf DigestHe’s a first rate Motocross rider it turns out and apparently could have turned pro there too. I think he made the right choice. Good on ya Rickie, although it appears your girlfriend may have stolen all the headlines!Rickie Fowler Golf Digest

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Playoffs? Don’t talk to me about Playoffs! Playoffs.

basketballAs the NBA Playoffs heat up, here’s a shout-out to a beautiful game of poetry in motion. From street-style junior Venice ballers to College hoops. As for the pro game….Lets go Clippers!

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Manny Pacquiao & Freddie Roach

Go whoop that sucker, Manny!
Manny PacquiaoWhat a team these two make. It’s clear when you see Freddie Roach and Manny Pacquiao working together that not only are they a great team, but have a genuine friendship too.Freddie RoachFreddie has Parkinson’s pretty bad, but the astonishing thing is, once he’s in the ring, gloves on, pads on…it’s gone. Not a sign of it. Clearly he’s operating on another level.Manny Pacquiao  and Freddie RoachMuch respect to him and his life’s work…. Manny the Pacman Pacquiao. Poetry in motion.IMG_3249

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Imagination Masterclass 2011

Imagination 2011 compilation from Imagination Maastricht on Vimeo.

Ok, so this is cool, I just found a little film of the Imagination Masterclass 2011 which I was fortunate enough to be asked to take part in, all the way over in Maastricht, Holland. Thanks to Roy Wanders and all the team. what a great event. The gallagherphoto show begins at 3:03 on the timeline:)

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Bora Bora for The Guardian Weekend

travel photography in Bora Bora by Robert Gallaghertravel photography in Bora Bora by Robert GallagherIt makes for an interesting life when one day out of the blue an email can come in and the very next week you’re off to a South Pacific Island for a few days to tootle around and shoot beautifully inspired pictures. What i love specifically about travel photography is that in its very essence it’s your job to immerse yourself in the travel experience. You have to feel it to capture it. That does mean long hours though, as you’ll always be top and tailing the day (shooting at sunrise and sunset) which means up at the crack for the best light, but it does make for a memorable experience!

This assignment was with esteemed writer and columnist Andrew O’Hagan, who was a great travel partner and portrait subject. Like me he had no problem getting into the zone!
travel photography in Bora Bora by Robert Gallagher
And as an extra added bonus to myself, I managed to wangle my return flight at my own expense……
Flight change fee: $100
Extra nights stay on Tahiti: $150
Rubbiing lime juice on hand, feet and butt after getting dragged over the reef surfing Taapuna: priceless!

I’ve always dreamed of surfing Tahiti, so couldn’t let this opportunity pass, but definately had no plan as to how to make it happen (there’s nowhere the rent boards on the island it turns out). But after meeting some awesome people within 24 hrs, I was also able to turn an amazing work trip into a fun little surf trip as well. Life is what you make it and take chances when opportunities arise. Oh, and the $150/ night place on Tahiti? The Tahiti Airport Motel. Great place, very clean, friendly and literally right across from the airport. I walked to catch my flight!

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Forbes cover shoot- tinder

Forbes cover TinderPart of the job description of being an editorial photographer is being able to pull all kinds of productions together in a relatively short amount of time, without of course compromising any sort of quality. It’s a fun and exciting aspect of the game, as well as a nerve-jangling one (but i suspect that’s what keeps us in it, right?). And although this was’nt a huge production challenge in terms of what could have been needed on any given day (which basically consists of literally anything!) it’s always somewhat of a tricky challenge to create an entire photo- studio in someone else’s workspace, one that’s high quality enough to grace the cover of a major newsstand magazine, all within a limited time-frame.Forbes Tinder I mean, it’s not exactly like working in a studio where you’re lighting, spacing and set-up have some consistency and familiarity. No, in this instance we basically have two hours to park, haul a studio up to the ninth floor, construct, concept, test, adjust, back-up concept, test, think, re-think, decide if you actually like the light or even the idea, sometimes start from scratch, hopefully have a cup of tea, enough to re-build your energy, ‘cos guess what, in 10 minutes your subjects gonna arrive and you’ve got to shoot a kick-ass cover. And oh yeah, he’s not someone who makes a living in front of camera, so I’ve really gotta bring it, to get him be there! So, it’s challenging, but also fun in a sort of self-mutilating/ testing ones- self kind of way! Ha. Oh yeah, and we also need a double page spread shot too! Yep, that’s got to be creatively worked, concepted, lit etc.DAVIDFEARN_20141027_TINDER So there’s a lot of work that goes into these location cover shoots in a very small amount of time and I couldn’t even come close to doing it without a great team, who act as a spare set of eyes as well as literally muscle. The trust allows it to become a great little creative menagerie, a melting pot where i’m nothing more than the head chef, as well as kind of circus ringleader! Thanks to a great team guys….Thomas Hencz, Leah Christensen and David Fearns.

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Jim Gianopulos for Ferrari

Jim Gianopalis for FerrariIt’s not everyday you get the run of the entire 20th Century Fox studio backlot, $250,000 worth of Ferrari, oh and yes, the venerable Mr. Jim Gianopulos, CEO of said studio, to play with. But thanks to The Official Ferrari Magazine, that’s exactly what happened back in June.Jim Gianopalis for FerrariJim was actually awesome to work with. I’ve shot plenty of business types, and some you just can’t loosen up, but he seemed to totally enjoy the process and had fun with it. Partly due to the location, the car, and his Godfather-esque looks, i was feeling a kind of ‘Little Italy tough guy from the streets done good’ kind of vibe, and Jim was right there with me. Hey, forgetaboutit! It’s almost like he hangs around with famous actors all day!Jim Gianopalis for FerrariGreat working with you Jim, hope we get to do it again some day. Thanks also to the excellent production team at Ferrari, and Amy Trezise and the location team at Fox.Jim Gianopalis for Ferrari

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Tony Romo and the Cowboys

Romo and the Cowboys are a rollin’, with talk of being the best team in the league! We’ve done a couple of shoots with the Cowboys QB over the years for Sports Illustrated and Pepsi. Stand up guy!Tony Romo of the Dallas CowboysTony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys

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