“My art was about diving into who I was by photographing my face and my head and my tears.” – Bob Carey of the Tutu Project
Episode 004: Fine Artist and Commercial Photographer Bob Carey and the Tutu Project
In this episode, Jennifer interviews Fine Artist and Commercial Photographer Bob Carey of the Tutu Project. Bob Carey is a New York-based photographer who specializes in conceptual and environmental portraiture. In addition to gallery shows, he has contributed to publications such as O, The Oprah Magazine, Essence, ForbesLife, and Men’s Health, as well as campaigns for Lexus and MasterCard. In 2014 Bob also spoke at TEDMED about the importance of not taking life “tutu” serious. Bob’s work is in the permanent collections of Katherine K. Herberger College of the Arts at Arizona State Museum and the ScottsdaleMuseum of Contemporary Arts. He has enjoyed solo exhibitions at Gallerie Callu Merite in Paris, Chiaroscuro Gallery in Santa Fe, Trinity Gallery in Atlanta, Udinotti Gallery in Scottsdale, and June Bateman Gallery in New York City.
Bob is a living breathing example of someone who uses their passion for creativity and self-expression to surmount adversity and process personal pain. Bob Carey grew up, learned and discovered photography and launched a high-powered photo career in Phoenix, Arizona. While at the top of his game in the southwestern market, Bob took a huge personal and professional risk when he and his wife Linda relocated to Brooklyn, NY in 2003 which he describes as “going to the moon without oxygen.” As if that was not stressful enough, eight months into their life-changing move, Linda was diagnosed with an aggressive form of Stage 3 breast cancer.
“It’s not every day that a burly, hairy-chested man dons a pink tutu for the world to see. Then again, it’s not everyday that you find out your wife has breast cancer.” – The Tutu Project
What follows is an inspirational tale of how Bob used his already existing passion for self-portraiture to help heal Linda and others through laughter. Bob began shooting himself wearing nothing but a pink tutu in iconic American landscapes. This body of work led to the creation of the Tutu Project and the Carey Foundation, a non-profit foundation which raises money to help ease the financial burden that comes with breast cancer diagnosis. As Bob and Linda put it, the Tutu Project began as a happy retreat from confusion and fear. Through his humorous and poignant jaw-dropping self-portraits, Bob has grown an international community of fans and supporters.
Into the World of Photography
Bob’s career choice of photography has its roots in a skateboarding accident where he broke his shoulder. While in high school Bob was an extreme skateboarder. One day he broke his shoulder and was hospitalized. His dad suggested that he buy a camera and take pictures instead, and so he did. Bob began photographing his friends at the skate park. Eventually, he took a photography class at a community college where he learned to process film and was instantly captivated by the alchemy and magic of the darkroom.
“When I made my first print and saw the image coming up, it was like magic to me.” – Bob Carey
What It Means to Be a Photographer
In Episode 004 Bob shares deeply personal details about what being a photographer means to him and how it relates to his ongoing transformational path and commitment to self-discovery.
Linda Carey – Muse and Partner
Linda Carey works with Bob on both his commercial and fine art photographic projects. For nearly 20 years she has been studio manager and still photography producer for commercial and editorial assignments for Bob Carey Photography. Since her diagnosis, Linda Carey has emerged from behind the scenes as an inspirational voice, advocate, and inspiration for others touched by the disease. As co-founder of The Tutu Project, she has led wildly successful digital campaigns, including 2015’s Dare2Tutu, and written compelling articles for like-minded outlets.
To hear more of this conversation with Fine Artist and Commercial Photographer Bob Carey and the Tutu Project, download and listen to the entire episode.
Highlights from this Episode
Highlights from Episode 004 Fine Artist and Commercial Photographer Bob Carey and the Tutu Project are here:
Into the world of photography? (3:03)
What it means to be a photographer? (7:43)
Journey as photographer? (12:23)
How Bob photographed himself? (26:35)
About the Tutu Project? (30:01)
Bob’s passion for his work? (45:31)
How you can connect with Bob Carey and the Tutu Project:
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