An Interview with Corporal Rebecca Brown

April 6, 2020

Welcome to RISE Rebecca, you first caught my eye on Instagram with your stunning work, so much so, I feel it should be shared.

RISE: You are no ordinary photographer. Your photography is your life as a Documentary Photographer in the Army. What interested you firstly in joining the Army?

I first became interested in joining the Army a few years after I had left school. I had plans to become a Mental Health Nurse but then something clicked inside me and I realised I wanted to join the Army. My Dad served 22 years in the Pioneers so I grew up with a positive attitude towards the military and knew the Army had a lot to offer.

I take a lot of pride currently being the only serving female British Army Photographer

RISE: Is photography something that had always interested you? 

Photography has been a passion of mine for many years. Growing up I always loved having a disposable film camera. For my 21st birthday I received my first DSLR and since then it has always been a part of who I am

RISE: You are the only serving Female British Army Photographer, how does this feel? 

I take a lot of pride currently being the only serving female British Army Photographer. I get on well with my team mates, so gender doesn’t make a difference to my day to day role. I definitely feel valued as a member of the team.

RISE: What do you love most about being a photographer 

For me, the best thing about being a photographer is the reaction of other people when they look at my work. This is especially rewarding when my subject may not have been particularly comfortable to begin with but are happy with the end product.

RISE: You have photographed and documented many things, is there one particular image, person or assignment that has stayed with you? 

The best deployment of my career so far has to be Kenya. I spent a week documenting the work the British Army Medics, Nurses, Doctors and Dentists were doing out there for the local community. Having spent 4 years as a Medic myself this was not only visually very rewarding but also personally rewarding when I bumped into old work colleagues.

RISE: How important do you feel it is, that life as a solider, in whatever form it is, should be documented? 

I feel it is incredibly important to document life as a soldier in today’s modern Army. I feel the majority of people take the “day to day” stuff for granted, which is understandable as it is not always the most interesting. However, in 100 years’ time, generations to come will want to look back on these days in the same way we look back at the imagery taken during WW1 and WW2

RISE: Is there something or someone you long to capture or document? 

I would love to do a job exchange or work experience with a different Allies’ Combat Camera Team. We often find ourselves on deployments working alongside different nations but to be integrated into their work routine would be a great experience. 

RISE: I want to say a HUGE CONGRATULATIONS, you have recently won ‘British Army Photographer of the Year’ tell me how that came about, what did the competition involve and how does it make you feel? 

The Army Film and Photographic Competition is an annual competition that celebrates imagery taken by Soldiers, Cadets, the General Public as well as British Army Photographers. The competition has several different categories to enter so I always try to enter as many as I can. Winning the British Army Photographer of the Year was a huge surprise for me. I feel incredibly proud that the work I have achieved this year is liked by so many. My only challenge now is to try and do the same next year!

RISE: Is there any advice you would like to give to anyone reading this, who thinks this is an avenue they would like to pursue? 

My advice to anyone considering a career as a British Army Photographer is to get in touch. Unfortunately, the trade only accepts entrants who are already in the Army but that shouldn’t put people off. The British Army can offer so much opportunity and experience.

RISE: What is next for you in your career and do you have a long term plans of where you would like to be, in say 5 years time?

My next big thing is moving to a new area to be part of a new Combat Camera Team. I can’t wait to work with new people in a new environment. My long term aim for the next 5 years would be to promote to Sergeant and run my own Combat Camera Team or become an instructor at the Defence School of Photography.

Rebecca I would like to say a HUGE Thank You for sharing your life as a soldier in the army, documenting life as you see it. Good luck in your new role, I am sure your new Combat Camera Team with be delighted to have you as part of their team.

You can view more of Corporal Rebecca Browns work by connecting with her on

Instagram

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