While on the photographer’s stand next to the progress board near to the Henley finish, I met the remarkable 21-year-old Roesie Percy, a sight-impaired photographer. To give me an idea of how restricted her sight is, she told me that she cannot visually recognise people that she knows, even when close up. I talked to her further:
RP: My name is Roesie but I more commonly go under “a_blind_photographer” on Instagram and other social media. I’m a severely sight-impaired photographer, I take pictures of rowing but I used to do cityscapes, landscapes, architecture. I can’t see a lot, I can’t see any detail at all, so I go off shapes, colours and contrast when I take pictures (and in life, I suppose).
TK: Sometimes rowing is a very high contrast sport and sometimes a very low contrast sport.
RP: Yes, indeed. I like to shoot with the sun behind me… Some people say that my pictures are actually quite detailed but that is not what I initially look for.
TK: You used to row yourself?
RP: I did, I learned to row with the City of Bristol Rowing Club when I was 12… I did local regattas and head races. When I got to 17 – 18, a lot of people that I rowed with dropped out so I decided to take up photography instead, I was interested in it anyway. I went to the Boat Race in 2019 and that’s when it all kicked off… I thought, “I’m actually OK at this, let’s see where I can take it.”
She has taken it a long way. Look at Roesie’s impressive portfolio on Instagram.