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About Rebecca

Howard County

Rebecca Rothey studied photography under Geoff Delanoy while working towards her undergraduate degree in philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, Maryland. She was an adult, part-time student and photography allowed her a much needed creative respite from the pressures of work and school. She learned photography by developing film and making gelatin silver prints using traditional darkroom techniques.  She has continued making images since her graduation in 2007, now working solely with... more

Candid Moments

Photography offers me the opportunity to be in the world while I also floating outside it. When I am immersed in making candid photographs, I slow down and enjoy moments that I would otherwise miss. Time stops, my mind frees while my eyes roam and my finger clicks, almost on impulse. I enjoy finding playful or ironic situations while also seeking classic moments and settings. I make photographs because there are endless dramas, large and small, to be enjoyed when my mind quiets down enough to listen.

This project offers an overview of my candid imagary from the first image made in 2006 until the present.

  • Parisian With Poodle

    Parisian With Poodle
    I encountered this woman while she was sitting on a bench in a park in Paris. When I asked permission to photograph her, she stood up and picked up her dog.
  • Comfy in Their Skin

    Comfy In Their Skin
    I made this image with the permission of this couple enjoying Corporation Beach in Cape Cod. I appreciate how they did not change their gestures as I made the image.
  • Impervious

    Impervious
    This image was made outside of the Luxemburg Gardens where there was a display of award winning images from the magazine Le Monde. I was struck by the contrast between the subject and the image behind him.
  • Some Buds

    Some Buds
    A moment on the New York City subway.
  • Girl Smoking

    Girl Smoking
    Made in Basel, Switzerland. I enjoyed the juxtaposition of gestures.
  • Tai Chi in the City

    Tai Chi in the City
    10th Avenue. Calm amid the noise.
  • Lamentations

    Lamentations
    Metropolitan Museum of Art moment.
  • Llama Drama

    Llama Drama
    Made at the Ulster County Fair.
  • Circling

    Circling
    Another image made outside the Luxemburg Gardens.

Portraits

Throughout the time I have been making images, I have enjoyed the intimacy of making portraits with strangers. Often very brief, those interactions still create unique connections based on shared humanity. I deeply appreciate those willing to share those moments with me.

  • Rebecca

    Rebecca
    Rebecca owns a farm on Martha's Vineyard where she encourages young people to connect with nature. Her goats are the centerpiece of the farm.
  • 100 Year Old Italian

    100 Year-Old Many
    A 100 year-old man at a bocci ball game.
  • B

    B
    This fellow enjoyed spending time at the Baltimore Trolley Car Museum. He very generously spent time with me making images.
  • Hamden Hon

    Hamden Hon
    One of Hamden's, a neighborhood in Baltimore, many colorful characters.
  • The Face of God

    The Face of God
    This young man kindly posed for me during a photography workshop where the assignment was to "make an image of god." When I told him why I wanted to make the image, he said, "That's you!"
  • Cape Cod Fisherman

    Cape Cod Fisherman
    A proud young fisherman on Cape Cod.
  • Downtown Diner Patron

    Downtown Diner Patron
    I encountered this fellow at a diner in Baltimore near the farmer's market. He shared during the encounter that he had a debilitating illness that left him poor and homeless. He was a gentle soul.
  • Waiting for the Bus

    Waiting for the Bus
    Made in the District of Columbia while I was on a walk.
  • Viking Vista

    Viking Vistz
    I made this image during a brief break at a rest stop in Iceland. This fellow was a farmer and the years in that harsh climate showed on his face. During our conversation, he mourned the passing of his wife.
  • Fisherman

    Fisherman
    Made during a brief stop in the Delaware Watergap

Family Portraits

Like many photographers, I have enjoyed making images with my family over the years. Here are images of my father Sam, my brother Alan - a very handsome man - and my husband Jim. Jim has been a generous partner with my image making. I have also included one self portrait made during a photography workshop.

  • Old Friends

    Old Friends
    My father, in the center, with two life-long friends.
  • Sam Reading

    Sam Reading
    My father made during a vacation trip. One of the rare times he didn't ham for the camera.
  • Alan Smoking

    Alan Smoking
    Alan during one of my wintertime visits to Antwerp.
  • Alan With Graves Disease

    Alan with Grave's Disease
    Alan learned shortly after this visit that he had Grave's Disease.
  • Jim

    Jim
    My husband, made collaboratively during Covid-19.
  • Jim in Waldorf

    Jim in Waldorf
    My husband spent several months helping his sister fix up her house prior to its being sold. He kindly suggested making images in the empty house. This was his pose.
  • Jim in Linda's Dining Room

    Jim in Linda's Dining Room
    Another image made at Jim's sister's house.
  • Renaissance Jim 2

    Renaissance Jim 2
    During Covid-19 my husband let his hair grow. To control it, he started wearing a scull cap. It reminded me of renaissance portraits.
  • Self-Portrait with Portrait of Tiny

    Self Portrait with Portrait of Tiny
    This self portrait was made the week after I had taken a workshop with Mary Ellen Mark, one of the greatest documentary photographers of the past century. Although her images are extraordinary, I found her and her teaching method inaccessible.

People of Southwest China

This is a portfolio of images of  the people I encountered  in 2015 while traveling in Southwest China as a participant in aDout Beasley's Vision Quest workshop. The workshop was based in the Ancient City of Dali, a region that has over 30 ethnic groups.  Making images with the indigenous people provided an opportunity to engage with them despite the language barrier.

White House Fence

I made this series over a period of several months, ending with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Initially, I was interested in finding candid moments and thought Lafayette Square would be a good location. I was soon drawn to the people making selfies in front of the White House. The White House Fence Project added an unexpected degree of irony and poignancy. People still gathered to take selfies despite the ugly white barricade and increased distance. The project explores the respect people of all ages and origins have for what the White House represents, no matter its occupant, and the diversity just outside its doors. 

Artists Statemenet:

Walls. Barriers. Fences.

Hope. Freedom. Justice.

Every day, hundreds of visitors make images of themselves in front of one of the world’s most iconic buildings - the White House. They come to pay homage to its current occupant. Or to spite him. Or in spite of him.

Cidentally, I began making these images just as the White House Fence Replacement Project started in 2019. At first, I thought the barriers and added distance would be a distraction from my intended subject - people enjoying a view of the White House. Instead, the Fence has become a symbol for what this series now conveys.

Certainly, it’s ironic that a 13’ 1” steel barrier with undisclosed “state of the art” people-repellent features is being built during the tenure of President “Build the Wall.” Despite the White House’s added distance, the ugly white barricade, and the movable black metal barrier, people still assemble. They find a place where they can see the White House. They make pictures of themselves. They smile. They represent divergent political views, numerous countries. They are people of all backgrounds, ages and faiths.

They stand side-by-side honoring a symbol of democracy and freedom that unites them. Despite them.

One Step at a Time

Steps. We use them daily, but how often do we stop and look at them: their textures, colors, cracks, uniformities, changes? Are they aged or new, sterile or welcoming? Are they leading to a place we wish to be or to an as yet unknown destination? Through my lens, I am observing places where life’s passing moments usually go unnoticed. I am observing them “One Step at a Time.”

This project began with a single step ... photo that is. Having made one image of a riser, I found that this way of seeing spoke to me. It evolved into a project I worked on most intensly from 2013 until 2017.

Zoom and Doom Cartoons

During the Covid-19 lockdown, I was in 25-30 Zoom meetings/week. I was struck by the new language that developed during those meetings, such as "You're muted." As the stress of endless Zoom meetings and anxiety-producing world events increased, I needed a creative respit away from my computer. I dusted off my old drawing skills and began drawing cartoons playing on the newly developing language and circumstances. Thus the series title: Zoom and Doom.

Ink Drawings

Cartooning inspired me to develop my drawing skills. Since my cartoons used ink markers, I continued to work in that genre. I find my interest in drawing still lives consistent with my interest in photographing them. Both genres combine natural objects with antiques and have some form of visual wordplay or playfulness.

Exploring Watercolors

Spending time drawing inspired me to explore watercolor painting. My mother, Ginny Baier, was a Howard County-based watercolor artist. Her paintings fill my home. I kept her watercolors and brushes after she died in 1998. My watercolor teacher, Diana Marta (also based in Howard County), knew my mother. (I encourage you to view Diana's Baker Artists portfolio.) In addition to enjoying the challeges of this very difficult medium, painting has opened an exploration of feelings in an unexpected way.