Karen Rosalie is a photographer, artist, and founder of Rosalie Agency & Rosalie Studios – a creative agency and photography studio in DTLA. She shoots clients such as Marianna Hewitt, Almay, and Cara Santana…to name a few. Her work is beautiful and mesmerizing – she’s mastered capturing quality content for beauty brands on a continual basis, creating campaigns, and delivering exactly what her clients need. Read on to learn her photography process, creative strategies, editing tips, and more!
Hi Karen! Please tell us about yourself and your background. When did you decide to take up photography and what ignited your love for it?
Hi! I’m a photographer based in Los Angeles and I own a creative content agency where my team and I create campaigns and social content for brands. I decided to take up photography in 2011 because I love that photography can bring an idea to reality — it’s the most fulfilling thing for me when a vision comes to life.
Your style of photography truly captures and magnifies the beauty of femininity. What inspired your photography style, and its development? How would you describe it?
I’ve always been interested in the female narrative and it shows a lot in my work. I love that a woman can be so multifaceted. I explore a lot of that in my work— my photos used to be super edgy and dark and now I’m bringing the femininity back.
What made you take the next step in creating Rosalie Studios? What do you love most about creating campaigns & social content for beauty powerhouses like the clients you have?
I first started Rosalie Agency two years ago because I realized there was a huge need for daily content, and I figured out a streamlined way to create monthly content for my clients so they never run out of things to post. Once I started my company, I also needed a space where I have the freedom to create a diverse range of work for my clients— from highly produced campaign photos to more lifestyle product shots, and Rosalie Studios is the perfect place for that. It’s also nice to enable other photographers to create amazing content because they can rent out my space and use all my props that I use for product styling.
It’s extremely exciting for me to do what I do because I’m genuinely a fan of my client’s products. When someone from a brand I recognize (like Almay, Benefit Cosmetics or Kate Somerville) reaches out to us to shoot content, it’s a dream come true. I also love working with Cara and Marianna because they’re also business women so I learn a lot from them. Most of my clients are business women who own small to medium beauty brands. I have a lot of respect for them and it’s fun for me to help bring their visions to life.
Tell us about your creative process and strategy when working with new clients? How do you hone in on their brand to make sure that you fully grasp their vision in order to deliver the most ideal content strategy like you did for Summer Fridays’ launch?
I never shoot without a shot list and mood board. I’m super organized on set and I like to time things out to the minute so we don’t waste time on set. A mood board and shot list just helps everyone be on the same page because when you’re trying to create an aesthetic for the first time, you need a centralized point of reference.
You often travel with your clients to shoot content for them, especially during the fashion months. What are your keys to staying organized and managing a hectic schedule, both online and offline?
I have an ongoing task list that I keep, using Stickies on my desktop. I’m constantly updating that list and taking off things I’ve done. If I don’t have time to answer an email but I’ve read it, I’ll mark it back to unread so I’ll remember to go back and reply. There are so many moving parts to running a business that things can easily slip through the cracks if I’m not meticulous about everything!
We love going to your Instagram for a breath of fresh visual inspiration, and you’ve obviously shared care for visual planning with your clients. What are your top 3 tips when it comes to creating, planning, and posting content to Instagram?
The more content the better! I think it’s all about consistency when it comes to Instagram. It doesn’t matter if you have a great photo (and it could be the best photo in the world), but once you post it, people will be wondering what’s next. That’s why my clients keep coming back to me because I give them 15 or 30 photos a month and they don’t have to worry about what to post next. I always recommend my clients plan ahead and think about what they want to post for next month and we’ll schedule it out to shoot so they’re always a month ahead.
“Once I send them the photos,
my clients will add them
to Planoly and plan out
their feed for the month.”
How have tools like Planoly helped you, your team, and your clients stay on top of your Instagram game?
Once I send them the photos, my clients will add them to their Planoly and plan out their feed for the month. It’s also super helpful for me because my clients will send me a screenshot of their Planoly and I can advise them on how to arrange their photos for the best grid. I think using a grid planning app like Planoly truly gives them a peace of mind because the last thing you want to worry about is what to post next.
What are your top 3 photography and editing tips?
- Stick to one filter. This will help your feed look consistent.
- Find good light. Never shoot in a dark room!
- Keep practicing. Practice makes perfect…give yourself time to train your eye.
What is a piece of advice that you wish you were given when you first dived into photography?
You’ll get better. When I first started, I worked with a lot of photographers who would critique my work harshly, and while it pushed me, it was also incredibly debilitating. I always share on my Instagram that photography is a craft and the more work you put into it, the faster you’ll get better.