Shoot the Breeze: Tess Roby


Tess Roby‘s photography shares with us a world of unforeseen angles and quiet moments. Native to Montreal, Tess began shooting and experimenting with her Minolta point-and-shoot at an early age, developing an eye for composition. The young photographer shoots exclusively on film, intrigued by its grain and the richness of colour it provides. Her eye seems to work best when no one is watching, showcasing a level of intimacy between herself and the subject at hand. Her photos are always candid, environments photographed purely as they are. Tess captures people in their natural state, seeming to thrive off simplicity and sincerity. Tess zooms in on details others may pass by, and in doing so translates these translucent moments into intriguing compositions of art. – Ariel Shea




1. How would you describe your photos?
Cinematic, caught and sometimes surreal.

2. Do you carry your camera with you everywhere you go?
Almost always! Except on weekdays in Montreal winter–– those days are bleak

3. What celebrity would you like to shoot most?
None come to mind–– it’s rare for me to encounter someone who I am drawn to photographing.

4. What animal would you like to be, if not a human?
A black panther, I think, or any type of big cat!

5. What’s your current obsession?
Coffee, always. Talk From Home by Suzanne Kraft. Being in the sun ~


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6. Would you like to live forever?
I’d like to live as long as it takes me to visit all the places I want to go! Definitely not forever.

7. What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Still waiting for it!

8. What do you do in your spare time?
Drink black coffee. Buy flowers at Jean Talon Market and walk the length of St Hubert Plaza. Play keyboard. Listen to records in the living room. Find new music. Water the plants. Write things down. Call mom.

9. Do you like having your photo taken?
Only on sunny days or late at night

10. Which photographers do you like right now?
I recently revisited the work of Bruce Davidson, and found it as equally compelling as when I first saw it as a teenager. His story is very interesting to me–– b&w street photography from the late 50s-60s is still some of my favourite stuff. Ryan Shorosky, KangHee Kim, Erik Hagen, Bownik, Máté Bartha and Thomas Prior are a few contemporary photographers I’m excited about right now.