Interview & Joelle Grace Rosen

Photographer:Joelle Grace Rosen

Model:Amanda Sebastian

Model agent:Freedom Models LA

Stylist:Francesca Gabrielle

Make-up Artist:Kendal Fedail

Photo Assistant: Trace Taylor

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Where are you from originally?

Mobile Alabama

Give me a brief description of your career trajectory – professionally trained or not, opportunities that led to breakthroughs.

I grew up in Mobile AL with my mom from New Orleans. The creole roots really provided some spice in my life. In college, I was pursuing a degree in Communication with an Art minor. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do but I knew I wanted it to involve connecting with people. My first basic photography class put a camera in my hand and gave me access to the darkroom and I was hooked. Fast forward to my twenties working multiple jobs, being in a band, doing photography on the weekends, then I started getting into wedding photography. Honestly, to make a living where I lived as a photographer, portraiture is your only option. So I moved to Atlanta 3 years ago, let go of weddings and focused my efforts on creative work. I've been growing ever since. My background really helps me make a lot with a little, so when I work with other creative professionals and put together a team, it's exhilarating. I just signed with Agency Arts LA last month and I have a lot of exciting projects coming up. I haven’t really had a chance to step back and realize how incredible it is to make a living as an artist… I’ve dreamed of doing this for a decade.

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What are some of the depths that you need to go to in order to stay in a constant mode of innovative creation?

It really is important to step away sometimes. I've been fortunate to get to a place where I'm booking a lot now, and I have to schedule things in a way to give enough attention to the shoots. It's easy to burn out or be overwhelmed when you are doing your creative passion as your career. I’m involved in the pre-production, shooting, and post-production of every shoot and I’ll easily work 12 hours or more a day every day. I need to take my own advice and rest and do more self-care. :)

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What do you feel ties you in personally to your work?

It probably started with photographing people that I had relationships with and a lot of times using my own clothing and accessories to style. I still do that, even if it's developing the relationship the day of the shoot while the subject is getting their hair and makeup done or while I’m styling with them. It’s important to me that whoever I'm shooting feels powerful and beautiful and badass. As a woman, that is how I want to feel.

What makes an image iconic?

When you see the image, it lingers in your mind long after. Something about it sticks with you and moves you.

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What is the single most important outcome of an image when creating a campaign or editorial story for a client?

Every project is different and some involve more people to please than others. Ultimately you want to showcase the subject or content in a way that the client or publication loves while using your distinct creative energy to bring it to life in your own way. One thing I try to remember is that the client hired me for a reason… so don’t try to be something else that doesn’t fit.

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How do you feel fashion is influenced by our culture and or vice versa if you feel culture is influenced by fashion and entertainment, how?

It's a cycle. Fashion is art. Art is inspired by the world around us and the people in it. Our culture is influenced by that expression and it keeps evolving and feeding back into itself.

Who’s work inspires you to push the envelope creatively and why?

Tim Walker is absolutely exquisite. When I look at his work, I’m abruptly reminded that I have so much left to learn and so much room to grow.

gmaro magazine