Rebecca Rose of Rebecca Rose Fine Portraits is passionate about painting, photography, and recognizing inspiring women in Connecticut. MetroHartford Alliance Content Manager Nan Price spoke with Becca about how she found her niche.
NAN PRICE: When and why did you decide to start your photography business?
REBECCA ROSE: First and foremost, I’m a painter. My path has taken me in a loop I never expected. I taught art for a little while, but it wasn’t really resonating with me. I did some work in retail and management and then I became a stay-at-home mom.
The idea to start a business was sparked by my husband. One day, he came home and told me he was laid off and he was going to start a new career that would take about 10 years to establish. I had to quickly figure out how to make some income. Originally, I was planning on “mommy blogging,” sharing recipes and writing about being a mom. I picked up a camera just to help that blog along.
And, while I found my love for writing wasn’t there, I discovered my love for photography—which, up until then, I hadn’t really realized, because I’d always identified as a painter. I decided to launch my own photography business in July 2014.
NAN: How did you get started?
REBECCA: The first day I decided to develop a photography career, I posted on Craigslist that I would provide free photography services for a wedding. I wanted to get some experience without the pressure of charging a client. It was an amazing experience starting a new career by photographing a Muslim Wedding on the Fourth of July!
NAN: How has your business evolved since then?
REBECCA: I continued to find different ways to market myself through online. I started focusing on the wedding industry at first, and I did hundreds of weddings between 2014 and 2017. Down the road, when I realized I could combine my love for painting with photography, I had a breakthrough. I switched gears and I was able to create my own marketing method, which involves hosting art exhibits and featuring my community. That’s how I consistently get my clientele.
NAN: That painting element makes your photography unique.
BECCA: Right. My photos render more like paintings. And again, it goes into my past with my art career in painting. The real pivotal moment was when I decided to transition from wedding photography to portrait photography. I had a client with Stage 4 breast cancer who going through radiation and chemo at the time. We decided to recreate the Girl with a Pearl Earring by Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer and create an empowering portrait.
And at that moment, I realized this was what I was meant to do. It wasn’t just photography; it was creating a portrait that showed her strength in the midst of this hardship. I wanted to create portraits that could be legacies. That photo session also made me realize how much I love my community and how much I’m privileged to be a part of it.
NAN: Tell us more about me about the role community plays in your work.
BECCA: I create two annual portrait exhibits, “Women Who Inspire Us” and “Entrepreneurs with Heart.” They both feature portraits of women in my community—and the community in Connecticut. It’s been a privilege to feature each woman whose story can be an inspiration to others. It’s important for women to know they’re significant and I enjoy honoring my community by showcasing these women in a celebratory way.