Interview with Alyssa Rosenheck
Through the Photographer’s Lens
If there’s such a thing as a dream job, we think Nashville-based architectural and interior design photographer Alyssa Rosenheck basically defines the term. Once a corporate success in the medical industry, this talented artist listened to the call of her heart and stepped away from the traditional career track, only to land in a fulfilling new career (after much hard work and dedication) as one of the best known names in interior photography. If you’ve picked up a magazine or scrolled through one of the top shelter blogs in the last few years, there’s a good chance you’re already familiar with her style; Alyssa’s work is nationally featured in numerous design publications and books, including Architectural Digest, Domino Magazine, Elle Décor, Rue Magazine, Country Living Magazine, and Better Homes and Gardens.
Known for her inviting, artfully composed and crisp images, Alyssa inherently gravitates towards clean lines and negative space. She is able to walk into an environment and capture the way light transitions from room to room while highlighting the most intriguing details in any space–whether that means architectural lines or a perfectly chosen accessory on a coffee table. Designers are eager to work with Alyssa not only for her skilled eye behind the lens, but also because she invests deeply in her clients and is a champion of collaboration and an authentic approach to business. The REstyle team couldn’t wait to get to know this engaging and humble woman a bit better, so we sat down recently for an informal chat about the roots of her career, what drives her inspiration, and her beautiful daily life in Nashville (one of our favorite cities anywhere). Get to know Alyssa with us, then see even more of her gorgeous work here on her Instagram for continued inspiration!
How did you get started in photography? Long before I had a camera in my hand, I had a sense of visual acuity and sensitivity to my surroundings. For me, it was innate. I can recall as a child being inherently observant and trying to capture a sense of stillness or emotion from my environment. I come from a long line of artists, but growing up, I didn’t necessarily have the financial freedom to explore my creative path.
For the longest time, I put achieving financial independence before my creativity. It wasn’t until my early 30s and a thyroid cancer diagnosis that I decide to leave a successful corporate career and pursue my passion in photography. I resigned from my consulting job in the medical device industry, picked up a camera, read the manual, and started vigilantly learning about my new craft. I knew I wanted this next chapter of my life to be as authentic as possible, unlike my 20s and early 30s where I focused on gaining an arbitrary level of success through financial and corporate markers. Now, I chose to focus on the joy photography gave me and merged my craft with my love of beautiful spaces. My incredible arsenal of corporate experience helped in the actual building a business part. I knew I needed to specialize in one area of photography, and I decided interiors and architecture were the most accurate reflection of what my heart was saying.
What inspires you? There are so many things that inspire me, but currently I’ve been getting a lot of inspiration from Instagram, because it’s a tremendous way to connect with the creative community. My interiors crush of the moment is @LeanneFordInteriors. I’m in love with her use of whites and natural elements.
I love when simple spaces have a deep reflection to their environment.
When I am shooting an inspiring space, something happens and I’m honestly transported to a very joyful and passion-filled place. It feels more like catharsis than work ever has before. My spatial awareness is heightened and the room becomes like a giant puzzle piece or a game of chess in creating thought-provoking images. I am naturally drawn to minimal environments with clean lines, ample light, and strong simple geometries. I find substance in simplicity and my objectives are to highlight my client’s craft with architectural form, while incorporating an element of life in an image by styling the space. For me, these collaborations are pure poetry.
Alyssa’s Instagram Must-Follows
Maria Svarbova 2. Jane Kim 3. Simone LeBlanc 4. Create & Cultivate 5. The Wing1.
From a photography standpoint, I’m crushing on @Maria.Svarbova, an incredible fine art photographer out of Slovakia. Her distinct style and experimental use of space and color is truly inspiring. @_JaneKim is another one; her cityscapes are soft and have the power to transport you to another time and place without having to buy a plane ticket. And lastly, a few girl boss profiles that I’m proud to be a fan of: @SimoneLeBlanc, @CreateCultivate, and @the.wing.
Any trends out there right now that you love? I am enjoying everything post-minimalism currently. I gravitate towards pure and raw materials such as unfinished woods, concrete accessories, stone floors, and plaster walls. I love when simple spaces have a deep reflection to their environment. One of my favorite examples of this is Amangiri, the Utah-based resort that communicates in a very special way with its terrain. Juxtaposed against my love of simplicity, I adore rich textiles such as mohair and velvets. I would love to see more of these fabrics in spaces that support them being the shining star.
Alyssa’s Perfect Day
I honestly wouldn’t change a thing about my day-to-day. I consider myself blessed to be able to do work that I love. My mornings start very early; I’ve learned that this is where I find the calm before the storm. I have a cup of coffee, I set an intention for the day, and then it’s off to the races.
Nashville is truly one of the most special places.
When I am not traveling, my weeks are filled with equal parts photography business, branding business, managing a great team,along with working on a special passion project that I will be announcing soon. I have dinners with friends and clients on a weekly basis, and any Nashville week is a great week when I find myself starting the day at Proper Bagel and/or concluding the a day at either City House or Josephine (seen at left). I’m usually on the road 2-3 weeks out of the month, so when I am in Nashville, I do my best to embrace my community.
Photo: Andrea Behrends for Forbes
What do you love about running your own business? I love having the license and declaration to dream BIG for me and my clients. As an entrepreneur, we are only as successful as our scariest dreams. I am a firm believer in leaning into my vision and then the vision will manifest into reality if you put forth small forward-moving steps every single day. I work with incredible people and these business relationships have turned into some of the most rewarding friendships and collaborations. I have turned my passion into a living organism and being able to do it all alongside such special people is a dream come true.
I knew I wanted this next chapter of my life to be as authentic as possible.
What’s the most challenging aspect of the entrepreneurial life? The most challenging part of running my businesses is learning to turn work off. My professional life and personal life are very much blended and there is little to no distinction between where my personal life starts and my businesses end. It’s very much a lifestyle for me. I typically run on all cylinders and between the two businesses, I have 5 to 7 projects going on at one time. I have learned that multitasking is not productive, but rather I try focusing on one thing at a time and checking it off the list. I have learned to embrace progress over perfection. This mentality allows me to be forward-moving at all times and to not let my creativity be stifled by the thought of having to be perfect. I have learned to delegate certain tasks to people on my team who have a better skill set in that particular area. And most importantly, I have learned to trust my instincts with the people I surround myself with.
Lastly, I’ve learned the importance of taking some time for myself. I love yoga and have been enjoying the benefits of meditation. Taking time away from business allows me to recalibrate and set mindful intentions for the week, for my loved ones, for my clients, and for my own personal growth.
What would your current self say to yourself from ten years ago? Start living your passion. No one is ever going to be completely ready and prepared, but you must listen to your internal compass, embrace the fear, and take the leap of faith. Small steps forward will take you from 0 to 1 and then from 1 to 2…1 to 10 is where the magic happens. I am not telling anyone to quit their day job, but I am telling people to carve out 20 minutes each day to either pursue or study your craft. There is no road map to success, but it is important to be process driven, embrace the joy your creative outlet brings you, and focus not on the end result, but to being authentic to your own vision.
Alyssa’s Favorite Quote
I encourage us all to embrace and lean into our dreams. — Alyssa
“Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.”
— Gloria Steinem