Olivia Rose: “I don’t give a f*ck about fashion”

The London-born photographer has done shoots for everyone from Fendi to ASOS. As part of our photo special this week, she talks about her unconventional approach to fashion photography, and why black and white is the love of her life

Olivia Rose was never supposed to be a photographer. In fact, she actively ran in the opposite direction from it when she was growing up. Born and bred in the suburbs of north-west London, Rose was desperate to become a fine artist or a journalist when she was a teenager. She partly puts this aversion down to her tumultuous relationship with her father, who worked as a photographer throughout her childhood.

Despite Rose’s best efforts to avoid it, in the end photography chose her. She ended up being accepted onto a fashion photography course at the London College of Fashion, which she tried to drop out of on a regular basis throughout her first year. “At that time digital was god,” says Rose. “Everyone was shooting skinny white girls on white studio backdrops in digital, and absolutely nothing about that resonated with me. I felt quite alien to everyone else on the course, and was just like this weird dinosaur who was shooting everything on polaroids and photographing her gay friends.”