Clicking with people

Shannon Rosan

For Shannon Rosan, photography is her life’s passion and a means for self-expression. It’s also the vibrant Chico photographer’s job, and at her Shannon Rosan photography business, she specializes in capturing memories for many areas of people’s lives—weddings, fashion, food, even boudoir photography. To see examples of Rosen’s work in all these areas, visit her website at and email her at for more info.

What’s your photography background?

Like a lot of photographers, I fell in love with photography at a young age and decided I wanted to learn everything about it. So I picked up books about it. At the time, it was still film photography, and I was very influenced by Ansel Adams. He had these books called The Camera, The Negative and The Print, and I read those religiously to teach myself. Later on in college, I minored in photography at Chico State.

How do you put people at ease during a boudoir shoot?

It starts way before the photo session. I always meet with them first, get to know them and become friends a little bit. I really get to understand them, and for me, that’s a huge factor. I feel if you get to know somebody—it takes a while—but that gets their guard down. Ultimately, it comes down to trust. The day of the photo shoot, they let their guard down because we’ve built that foundation of trust.

What inspires you?

I’m constantly inspired by so many different things on a daily basis: natural beauty, travel, interesting lighting, people, music, a piece of clothing, an image found on Tumblr, a mood or an emotion. I always have this need to create.

What cameras are in your arsenal?

I use a Nikon D800, Polaroid SX-70, Polaroid 250 Land Camera, Polaroid Spirit, Holga 120 and a Minolta XD-5. My husband, Milan, and I have this collection of maybe 50 cameras we got at thrift stores and garage sales. We just need to put film in them to see which ones work.

What’s most rewarding about your job?

When it comes to wedding, boudoir and client work, it’s when they get their pictures back and they’re just so moved by the images. People can be very anxious and nervous, and then to go through the session they have a great time and then they get the images back and they’re just in love with them. It’s kind of addicting to see them so excited.