BY ISHAAN JAJODIA ’20
Photographs by Rob Strong ’04
Rob Strong ’04 is the mastermind behind many of the intricately crafted images you see in Hopkins Center publications and outreach material, as well as photographs of the shows presented by the Theater Department. Rob often documents the work of visiting artists in residence and captures the energy of Hop Ensembles in performance. I had the opportunity to talk with him about his work and his journey back to Hanover.
Rob studied Economics and Computer Science during his time at Dartmouth, from 2000 to 2004, but he credits his love of photography to classes he took at Collis Miniversity during Sophomore Spring. Originally intending to sign up for the wine-tasting class, by the time he reached the front of the line, he said, both sessions were full, so he opted to do the photography course, based out of the basement of Robo.
Rob started his photography career during his junior fall as a photographer for The Dartmouth, and soon rose to become photo editor. He credits his career at The Dartmouth to the infancy of digital photography and the fact that “no one else in the year was really into it.” Using his trustworthy Canon 30D, through his junior and senior year, he both shot for the paper and, in his editorial capacity, gained unique perspectives.
When the time came to apply for a job, he realized that despite studying CompSci and Econ, he was most interested in the study of photography. Between 2004 and 2006, he studied photojournalism at the University of Texas, Austin. He moved back to the Upper Valley in 2007, gaining an internship at The Valley News as a photographer, and shifting to freelance work at the end of it. He attributes a lot of his photography career to one of his favorite photographers, Dartmouth Professor Virginia Beahan, who helped him prepare photographs for an exhibition as well as develop a portfolio.
When asked about the Hop, Rob says, “I started enjoying the Hop as a student, coming to shows, and acting in plays by the Theater Department. It feels great to be in a professional relationship with them.” At the Hop, he shoots for a range of uses and departments, such as Outreach, Audience Engagement, Design and Membership services. He says that Dartmouth wants to have a lot of images with people in them, and options are key.
Working for the Hop is exhilarating, Rob says. “It often amounts to a front row seat,” he says, giving the example of the recent Bandaloop performance where he was given the opportunity to shoot from right under the dancers. Apart from shows, he shoots panel discussions as well, an experience he says is a learning experience. When shooting photographs, he looks for “pockets of light” that can make a great image. While shooting theater at the Hop, he collaborates with lighting teams to ensure optimum light conditions.
Apart from working with the Hop, Rob is a freelance photographer based out of Lebanon, shooting weddings, portraits and headshots, and for The Valley News. Find out more at robstrong.com.
About the contributor
Art keeps us sane, as a species. As an active photographer myself, I try my best to bring the arts to center stage. I also run my own arts not-for-profit, The Mumbai Art Collective. I’ve been fortunate to be an Arts Ambassador, especially because it gives me an opportunity to continue to connect with art at Dartmouth.