Creative Lives — Ronan McKenzie on dropping out of university and becoming a photographer on her own terms

Posted 19 December 2017 Interview by Indi Davies

In September 2014, Ronan McKenzie started a BA in fashion communication at Central Saint Martins. Knowing that something wasn’t sitting right, and with ambitions to break into the industry with hands-on experience, it was just nine days later that she decided to leave the course. In the years that followed, Ronan has found her way to photography, developing a frank and intimate style of portraiture that relies on a genuine connection with her subjects. Now counting Nike, Stella McCartney and Adidas among her clients, she has proven that you don’t need formal training to get ahead; instead evolving her career and craft through commissions, a supportive creative network and a proactive approach to personal projects (think a 300-page self-published book and an acclaimed solo show). She tells us how work experience with i-D became a springboard, how artist Matthew Stone became an unofficial mentor, and why she consciously seeks inspiration outside of current photography. 

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