Rue Belle X

Rosie Matheson


Based between London and Brighton, UK; Rosie Matheson is a documentary style photographer.

Examining the emotional connection between people and places,

Rosie searches for the extraordinary in the seemingly ordinary, exploring her fascination of photographing somebody else’s world.

We sat down with Rosie and...

How old are you at the time of this ITW? 23

Where are you from, where are you based ? Born and initially raised in London before moving towards the ocean in Brighton. Spend most of my time going back and forth between the two, working on photos, getting filmed developed and partying.

What song is on repeat lately ? Billie Eilish - Bellyache

Favorite films ? About a Boy, Rear Window, City of God, True Romance, Borat, No Country for Old Men

Favorite color and why ? Blue - it’s the colour of the sky and the sea - the two most relaxing elements in this chaotic world. If I wake up to a blue sky - I’m gonna have a happy day. I also love gold but don’t think it’s a legit colour.

Best piece of advice from Mom or Dad ?

Don’t do anything you don’t want to do. Don’t spend all your money at once!

Dinner with 10 guests, who are they ?

Kendrick Lamar, Dalai Lama, Lily Allen, Tyler the Creator, Anderson .Paak, Billie Eilish, my friends: Sana, Holly, Ady and Karlie

Best meal ever ? I love Vietnamese/pho at the moment. Veggie ramen and spring rolls are hitting that sweet spot.


I know you interned under Z who is himself a portraitist himself, how did that influence you? Oh, enormously. I’d grown up watching him photograph my parents, their friends and my family. I’d gone to his book launches and exhibitions and each project would always present a new world/series of people to me. When I began to work with him on the streets of Hackney, London for a portrait series he was shooting, he would make me run down the road chasingafter people he wanted to photograph. He also slowly began to ask me who I thought looked good. It opened up the thought process of what my style was and who looked interesting to me whilst also making a super-shy 17 year old slowly start to push out of her shell and comfort zone.


Who’s work beside Z has influenced you most, Favorite photographer ?

An exhibition I will always remember is going to William Klein’s - the scale of the prints and the personal touches of bold red, yellows and blue markings to his contact sheets really stood out to me. I love the work of Stephen Shore, Dana Lixenberg, Pieter Hugo, Daido Moriyama, Henri Cartier-bresson,


What, in your opinion, is most important to consider while shooting portrait pictures?

For me, shooting portraits, is to make sure people feel comfortable and give over as much of themselves as they can, a lot of the time without realising. As Henri Cartier-Bresson said, it’s about capturing the silence in someone.


How do you educated yourself to take better picture?

I think from experiencing life. Getting out in the world, travelling, meeting different people. It opens up your thoughts and perspective and changes who you are which ultimately changes how your photos look and what they say.


Introduce us the “BOYS” project ? (how it came together ?)

I’ve been photographing portraits of Boys since around 2012/2013.

‘Boys’ the series began in late 2015. I’ve always found photographing boys to be quite honest as they’ve always appealed to me as a more relaxed subject matter to shoot. I’ve always been a bit of a tomboy and so the pressure of shooting girls to make them look “hot” or “sexy” always stressed me out, particularly when I was younger as I didn’t really associate with it. Shooting boys is chilled, they are effortlessly cool and just come as they are without wanting styling or hair and make up. It’s something about their attitude and energy that really works well with me.

There’s now a documentary and I’m working on shooting more super 8 video and eventually on a book!


Have you ever fallen in love with one of the boys ? or two...

What have you discovered about yourself through this process ?

As a whole I’ve discovered everyone goes through the same shit. Everyone deserves the same freedom and respect to be who they want to be and live how they want to live (as long as it causes no harm to others). I’ve never really judged a book by it’s cover but I think this project has really solidified that for me and that it’s never appropriate to do so as you never really do know who someone is or what they’re going through. It’s for sure made me more confident in myself to.




Would you ever move to Hawaii ? I don’t think so - I’m definitely a city person and thrive best in an ever-changing environment. I’d definitely do two months a year in Hawaii though - it’s a good place to get away from the rest of the world and its beauty is undeniable.

Travel bucket list ? Tokyo, Jamaica, Cuba, Mexico, India and the trans-Siberian Express.


A cold parisian night, glasses of red wine, spliffs, ciggarettes, warm lamp lighting, laughter, women, excitement..."



Best thing about RueBelle ?

That it’s designed and made in the jungle of Maui, Hawaii - so unique, personal and so much love put in.

Favorite Gemstone ? Favorite Piece ?

My favourite piece is the HAWAII ring. I wear it everyday.

How did working with RueBelle came along ? Through my uncle and aunt and visiting Maui so frequently. RueBelle is family now.

What was this night like ?

A cold Parisian night, glasses of red wine, spliffs, cigarettes, warm lamp lighting, laughter, women, excitement.

Talk to us about that session, the vibe, the models, the moment ?

Modelled by some of my favourite friends Sana, Jordan and Sofiane. As always, a relaxed non stressful atmosphere. We shot for a few hours around the apartment and then went out to party afterwards.

Where would be the best place to show your work ?

I would love a global exhibition tour. London, Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo.

Tell us something you never told anyone else ?

Next project ? I’m throwing myself into the world of directing so you’ll have to wait and see...