Regent’s Presents… Richard Sobol

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Following the success of Professor Deborah Eyre’s presentation early this month, this week the school saw the return of Regent’s Presents… a series of presentations that welcome guest speakers from all walks of life. Its revival began by welcoming Richard Sobol – The Travelling Photographer – who is an accomplished photojournalist with an impressive body of work, tying in successfully with the celebration of World Animal Day on Thursday.

He graduated from Boston’s School of the Museum of Fine Arts and Tufts University and has since used the art of photography to visit 31 countries (and counting) and produce visual narratives. His work has been published in the likes of Time magazine and National Geographic. He currently concentrates on his own projects that include book production and documentary work that bring many of the world’s issues to light.

Richard Sobol captivates the audience with riveting life stories. Richard Sobol captivates the audience with riveting life stories.

During his visit he interacted with many of the students across the school and was impressed with the enquiring and thoughtful nature of the Regent’s students. Asking questions with subject matters that ranged from animal conservation to his own personal achievements, Sobol was not short of topics to talk about.

He said, “I’ve found the questions have been challenging and numerous so it’s clearly an inquisitive student body. The welcome here has been great.”

The Globe Theatre saw students, parents and staff arrive to fulfill their curiosity as to what an individual with a 30 year career in photography would have to offer in their presentation. It was in no time at all that it became apparent that Richard Sobol had led an incredibly interesting life, following his passion from the young age of 15.

“I started early doing photography – when I was about 15 or 16,” he explained, “I knew that I wasn’t going to make it in a corporate lifestyle; putting on a suit and tie every morning and going to an office. I wanted to make sure I was doing something I loved.”

Sobol introduced his world to the Globe audience by creating a visual narrative; they shared what he has had the opportunity to see through his lenses over his years of experience. From his encounters from illegal wildlife trading to his opportunity to see the creation of an innovative building at MIT, he told his tales with passion as if the love for his career has never faded; something that many of us aspire to be able to say the same.

So how can we reach his level of achievement? Simply put: “Don’t give up – you just have to get better,” Richard Sobol explained with a smile.

“Start photographing things that interest you and that will get you a long way in terms of differentiating yourself from all the other thousands – now in the digital age hundreds of thousands – of photographers. So find something that you really care about or that you’re really passionate about.”

Richard Sobol with the Primary School’s Eco-dudes. Richard Sobol with the Primary School’s Eco-dudes.