Rozette Rago

Rozette Rago

Photographer/Content Creator/Founder of Restless Cities

Echo Park, Los Angeles, CA
Twitter @hellorozette
Instagram @hellorozette


What do you do?

Iā€™m a photographer, first and foremost, specializing in music, portraits, and travel. But Iā€™m also the editor in chief of Restless Cities, a music and culture blog based in Los Angeles.

What steps did you take to get where you are now?

I've been doing photography even before moving to the US and worked with a couple of magazines back in the Philippines. However, I really began to focus on live music when I moved to Los Angeles. I had no focus before then, but combining my love for music and photography proved to be the secret sauce.


For other people in your field, what do they usually lack?

I think the hardest to really cement in this field is a unique and individual style. I'm still finding out my own "look" as I go along, but I feel closer to it more and more with every project that I do. It's important to be inspired by others, but it's equally as important to listen to your own taste and what you feel represents you. It's very easy to get swayed by trends and you have to constantly fight that and stand your ground.


What are you working on right now?

I'm working with a couple of bands directly doing photography on several projects. I'm also trying to start a personal photography series, just to mix it up a little bit and have variety in my work.


We are all Slashies with multiple skills, which one do you wish you could do more often?

I would love to do more photo editing and collaborating with fellow creatives. I used to by much shyer than I am now, but photography has helped me put myself out there more, which I really enjoy.

What is frustrating you right now?

Being a recent transplant, I've had to start from scratch and meet people organically. As I mentioned, I was extremely shy coming in here and it really brought me out of my comfort zone. I'm a little bit better at it now, if only because I realized everyone else thinks they're awkward as well. I also have a bigger body of work to present, which makes it a bit easier.

What task keeps landing at the bottom of the To Do list?

It's finding the time to do things that are more personal to me. I feel like I'm still playing catch up since I'm not from here and need to prove myself constantly.

If you could hire someone for $20/hour, what would you have them do to make your day easier?

I would love for someone to handle my emails for me. Going through them is easily the most stressful part of my day.

Do you have any mentors or peers? What do you chat about? How do they help you?

I would love to have a mentor because I'd like to know what I'm doing right and wrong from the perspective of someone who knows what's up. I have met a lot of fellow photographers through the years and some of them have become extremely close friends. We chat about upcoming shows and we do help each other out quite a bit as well.

If you could talk to an expert to gain more insight on something, what would it be about?

I would love to talk to Geordie Wood because his work is absolutely breathtaking. I would ask him for some real, brutal critique of my current work and perhaps just learn about his inspiration and process.

What kind of opportunities/projects are you looking for?

I would love to work with magazines more and do more editorial work. I'm always up for traveling to different places for exciting new photography projects. I'd also like to meet some like-minded people around me!

What is your ideal client?

I'd love someone to give me an assignment, tell me what they expect, and then trust me to execute from there. I've really enjoyed working with FLOOD Magazine because they've given me so much trust and consideration in all the projects I've worked on with them. Friendly communication is key and I don't mind the back and forths through email or text.

Do you allow yourself to say No?

I've had to say no to projects that I don't think I can do well. If I'm not going to produce something I can be proud of, I really wouldn't force myself.

What is your rate? 

The age-old answer is it depends on the project. It varies so wildly that it's hard to give a definite number. Certain factors to consider include hours, travel, and other expenses.

How should someone approach you about working together?

I welcome emails with an introduction and details on what they're looking for. Having the budget in there would be great as well as it gives me a better idea of what I can and can't reach for.

The Tools

I have a Canon 5D Mark II and several L lenses. My office at home is equipped with an iMac, which allows me to edit in full resolution, and a Macbook for when I'm on the go.

The Books

You Shall Know Our Velocity! by Dave Eggers
Vacation by Deb Olin Unferth
An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
Love and Obstacles by Aleksandar Hemon

By Deb Olin Unferth
Love and Obstacles
By Aleksandar Hemon

The Apps

VSCO, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook

The Audio

Sufjan Stevens, Hot Chip, Tame Impala, Volcano Choir, Broncho, Interpol, Beach Boys, The Beatles

The Bookmarks

This member profile was originally published in September 2015.