Photography jobs

The Rise of Chrisean Rose’s Mercurial as a Photography Icon

In her short time as a professional photographer, Chrisean Rose has already worked with major publications such as Essence, Vogue and Rolling Stone. He’s already done major covers featuring popular entertainment and sports personalities such as Jennifer Lopez, Michael B. Jordan, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and Simone Biles.

Before becoming a photographer, Rose worked as a financial analyst. He worked in this field for over 10 years before the pandemic hit. Rose started her photographic journey about four years ago, but the changes caused by the coronavirus prompted her transition to a full-time photographer.

“I went to school for finance,” Rose said. “I always said that once I got my degree in finance and started working in that field, I would do something more artistic.”

Rose first began her career as an artist by painting before buying a camera. Photography was just a hobby for him until he realized he could make a living from it.

Rose describes her style as stylized portraits. It adds a “little nostalgic touch” to photos, giving them a vintage aesthetic, yet still fresh.

“I like to use lots of bright colors; you would see lots of prints throughout my work, lots of bright colors, and just [an] expression of beauty all around,” Rose said. “I always try to bring out the best in all the talent I shoot.”

Something that has helped Rose as a photographer is her background in modeling, fashion, and dance.

“I used to dance then, and I also started modeling, then I moved from modeling to styling,” he said. “I am always very involved in the selection of clothes and pieces and in the scenography of my photos.”

Rose is able to find inspiration in many things, including everyday life. He found inspiration in clothing and furniture stores by finding an object he was interested in and considering how to incorporate it into his photos.

“I have a shoot coming up and I saw a print on a piece of clothing on our recent Gucci ad. I took these color palettes and I’m actually going to use them to inspire what my decor looks like,” Rose said, “I find inspiration in everyday things. It can be just going to the store or just going to the park. I always see something that catches my eye and makes me want to incorporate that into my work.

Although he hasn’t been a professional photographer for long, Rose feels like he’s grown a lot by turning his hobbies into a career.

“I really feel [my photography is] a business now,” Rose said. “And I feel like it’s a full-time job. In many ways when I come on set and tackle these projects, I see it as a job and not just a hobby. It’s not just creative freedom or just my point of view. It’s also me considering the talent and their style, and what they want to portray in the images, and also the client and the magazine, what they want their brand to look like.

Rose is grateful to have the opportunity to work collaboratively as it encourages her to be open-minded and to learn new things which can add to her knowledge and experience.

“A lot of times as creatives we get in our heads and it’s hard for us to see other points of view because we have a way of imagining what we want our work to look like,” Rose said. “And I think for me, I’ve embraced it in a way where I haven’t branched off from my aesthetic, but I’m still open to other ideas and open to my work going places that I don’t. never thought it would fit in. I photograph a lot more things than I thought my style would be able to capture.

For photographers just starting out, Rose recommends sticking to their style and trying to improve from project to project. Something that helped him was making each photoshoot grander than the next in order to attract more jobs.

“Once you have a certain aesthetic, it’s important to build on that, build your brand and your aesthetic as a photographer, and always invest in yourself,” Rose said. “Before I made money doing this, I would invest a ton of the money I made from my job in finance to improve myself as a photographer, whether it was getting new camera equipment or by budgeting for photoshoots.”