Makers & Shakers: Meet Roseann Bath
Makers and Shakers | March 14th, 2016
Delving into a new business venture can be risky and nerve wracking. The expenses, networking and time needed to turn dreams into lucrative realities keeps many of us from taking the plunge. And then we ask, ‘Where do I even start?’
Four years ago, Roseann Bath of Roseann Bath Photography decided to find out. After graduating college, working in retail, and spending several years dabbling with photography, Roseann decided to turn her favorite pastime into a career.
“I was walking down the street in the Mission (District of San Francisco) one day and I had a flash. I could envision myself as a photographer. I could see myself doing it from start to finish and enjoying it. So I jumped in full force and went back to school that Fall.”
While studying abroad in England, Roseann had made a conscious effort to document her experiences. She created a blog and used it as a platform to share every aspect of her life in Europe; from classmates, flatmates and her soccer team, to landscapes, animals and her travels. She played with light and framing on her iPhone and learned the basics of her DSLR camera.
After returning home to San Francisco, CA, Roseann knew she wanted to expand her subject matter beyond cats, plants, and food. She created a new blog to share the things that made her happy and vowed to use only her own photography. Using the Castro area of San Francisco as a starting point, she began to feature local businesses on her blog; both as an excuse to photograph them and a way to gain experience behind the lens.
Then, she went back to school.
“I knew the first step was confidence. Education, so I had the confidence. So people would take me seriously and I would take myself seriously and not feel like an amateur. As soon as I decided to go back to school, I knew I wanted to do it as a business. ”
After a semester of school, Roseann knew her camera inside out and had the self-confidence she needed to seek more experience. Four months after starting school, she booked her first family photo shoot. Set at the Maku’u Market during sunrise in Pahoa, Hawaii, Roseann photographed Maile and her mother Sarah. One image from that session still resonates with Roseann three years later.
“(Sarah) told me it is her favorite photo of her daughter ever taken. It really boosted my confidence.”
Since that initial (unpaid) photo shoot day, Roseann has not stopped expanding and improving upon her subjects, skills and business savvy. She created a website, had business cards made and started talking up her photography. She left her retail job for a more flexible position as a nanny, allowing herself the financial stability to start doing free promotional shoots while growing her clientele.
“There were a lot of highs and lows. It really felt like I was all alone for about a year…and it was really hard. But every time I made a breakthrough I was like ‘alright, this is getting easier.’”
Three years after its inception, Roseann Bath Photography is a full time business.
“Launching my business has been the single largest propelling force of the last three years. Mid to late 20s is a hard time when you don’t know what you’re doing…I can’t imagine doing anything else and being so happy. I just feel really grateful to have found it. To know what I should be doing…to be making people happy and making money at it is awesome.”
The future of her business holds more photo shoots and plenty of new experiences. Roseann currently photographs weddings, small gatherings, parties, and family portraits.
“Families are my favorite and it’s the motivation. I love photographing multiple generations. It doesn’t get more beautiful than a woman with something that she longed for and birthed or adopted. It’s her whole world wrapped up in this tiny little package.”
Eventually, Roseann hopes to be able to capture more of these authentic moments and be sought after for her own aesthetic and photographic style. For now she continues to expand her business, grow her clientele and find beauty in the little pieces of everyday life.
For those with their own hobby, side hustle or passion, Roseann has some advice for taking it to the next level:
-Reach out to professionals: You have nothing to lose. They have a lot of information and most of the time they’re happy to share it.
-Find your confidence: Educate yourself. Whether that means going back to school to hone your craft, researching your tools online or contacting others who are already doing what you want to do.
-Get your name out there: Create a website that showcases your work, make a Facebook page and get your friends and family to like and share, hand out business cards and talk your business up, and don’t underestimate the power of ‘word of mouth.’
Roseann Bath is a family, portrait, event and product photographer located in Grass Valley, CA. Find Roseann’s work online at RoseannBathPhoto.com and on Instagram @RoseannBathPhoto. And check out her latest photo project Modern Motherhood.