Behind the lens with Richard Roo Warburton

In this series, we put the spotlight on our fantastic team and get to know the talented and interesting people behind the lens. They are the experts who apply their knowledge, skill and natural curiosity to every brief so that we can create awesome content for our clients. We sat down for a cuppa and a chat about their background, role and life outside work.

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July 22, 2022

Maite Gonzalez

Roo Warburton is our Associate Creative Director and is ‘part of the furniture’ these days after 15 years at Powerhouse.


What is your background and experience?

I went travelling in my early twenties to ‘find myself’ and fell in love with taking photographs (admittedly they weren’t such great ones back then).

After returning from almost a year with my backpack, I signed up for a basic photography course at night school. I absolutely loved that tiny snapshot of what you can do with photography and went on to study for a HND in photography as a mature student at Leeds Metropolitan University (now called Leeds Beckett). After my second year, I topped that up to a BA (Hons).

I started assisting at Powerhouse while I was at uni, helping on shoots of room sets and cut-out images for agencies around Leeds. I was offered a job quite quickly – but Neil, Rich and Tony wanted me to finish my studies, which I did and gained a first-class honours degree.


How would you describe your role at Powerhouse?

I manage the creative team, which includes food stylists, assistants and senior photographers.

I’m also part of the senior leadership team. As a collective, we’re there to lead, guide and shape the business.

And on top of all that, I still find time to shoot when I can.


What does a typical day at work look like?

I shoot three days a week, which involves being on set with clients, art directors, stylists, etc. I get to work with a highly skilled team to create magic – and my obsession with lighting never stops.

The other two days are spent on business strategy, team development and support, and helping with pitches or creative ideation.


What do you enjoy most about your work?

The variety of work we produce and the lovely clients we have. It’s brilliant to see or hear their response when I say, “that’s your shot”.


What is the best thing about being part of the Powerhouse team?

Well, I’ve been here for many years now and it’s great to be able to offer my advice and knowledge to all different teams within the business. I’m all about efficiency, so if I can save people time on things that they are not sure on, then I’m all ears.


What advice would you give to anyone aspiring to work in your kind of role?

Don’t get off the bus! So many people fall by the wayside in this industry. But if you don’t get off the bus then your time will come, and you will have a long and successful career.

I’m a firm believer in making your own luck and never burning your bridges. In the creative industry, you will often pass people on the way up and on the way back down.


How do you spend your time outside of work?

I have a couple of children under four-years-old, so they definitely keep me busy! I love family time and – much to their distain – I’m always sticking my phone or camera in their faces too.

Can’t beat a round of golf (at least when my shoulder isn’t giving me grief), and I regularly pull on the Lycra to get out on my road bike when the sun is shining.


Have you got a favourite food?

Since I massively have a sweet tooth, I’ll always go straight to the desserts on any menu. But I love pretty much anything Italian because my wife had family in Venice and we have visited many times.

Pizza and gelato, then, basically.


Can you recommend any unmissable books, podcasts, TV shows or films?

The Handmaids Tale is up there in terms of the way it is filmed and lit, but it can be a pretty hard watch at times and the storyline is quite dark. Visually, though, it’s stunning.

On a slightly different note, I do find myself watching a lot of Peppa Pig at the moment!