Photographer Rosie Foster is interested in finding the beauty of personal spaces

In her carefully considerate work, Rosie becomes deeply invested in the lives and wellbeing of her portrait subjects.

5 January 2023

When we first spoke to photographer Rosie Foster, she impressed us with her honest candour and frank discussion over motherhood within the creative industry. Back then, she was pivoting away from fashion to looking at individuals and their stories, working in supporting survivors of domestic abuse and human trafficking. “My priorities changed and I felt uncomfortable portraying false versions of people,” Rosie tells It’s Nice That.

Rosie’s new project, At Home, is a perfect progression in her career. The series details young women in the space of their own home, centring vulnerability in each subject. “I was asking the people I photographed to take off their makeup so I could see their freckles, asking them not to bother clearing up the clutter on the table next to their bed,” Rosie says on her approach to the project. “What was surprising to me was how much beauty there was in people's personal spaces,” she adds. “The pictures and little notes blue tacked to their walls, hand-me-downs from their parents, a teddy on their bed which they'd had since they were a baby.”

With At Home, Rosie often returns to the same people to photograph, charting their personal growth and evolution through portraiture. “I will usually find them online and immediately know they're someone I need to photograph,” she says. “There always has to be something about them which defies the expectations of femininity, like body hair, or a hard-unwashed hair cut teamed with a soft face and delicate clothing.” For Rosie, there should always be a present dichotomy of sorts (vulnerability and strength, for example), something she latches on to in all her subjects. “Usually the first shoot will be the first meeting, I like to establish trust by chatting for a while first, asking them about their lives, I'll always talk about my own life too,” Rosie explains. “If there is nudity, I’m always checking in on boundaries and if they are still comfortable, I'll ask again and again throughout the shoot and send them the images for approval before I share anywhere.”

GalleryRosie Foster: At Home (Copyright © Rosie Foster, 2022)

The best part of the project, for Rosie, is the friends she has made in the process. “I think that most of my best friends are people I have met through this project in some way or another,” she says. Most of all, Rosie was moved by the story of one portrait in particular: Charlie and her relationship with her grandmother. “She told me that her nan was the first person in her family to buy her girls clothes and make up when she was exploring her trans journey at a young age, and regularly goes to her house to watch day time TV and eat lunch with her,” Rosie recalls. “Charlie is a successful model and shoots huge campaigns, so the fact that she has this beautiful life with her nan just made me want to cry.”

Ultimately, Rosie just hopes “people will feel a little more seen” in her work. “I want to work on this as much as I can to cover as many people as possible,” the photographer says. “I want to carry on revealing a little bit more of the reality of people's lives as well as covering more grounds around different kinds of families.” Next on her journey is portraying disability, something which hits close to home for her. “I am someone who lives with a disability and I am so aware that this is not something I have really covered as much as I'd like to, but I think that is a personal reflection on my own emotional journey with it.”

GalleryRosie Foster: At Home (Copyright © Rosie Foster, 2022)

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Rosie Foster: At Home (Copyright © Rosie Foster, 2022)

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About the Author

Joey Levenson

Joey is a freelance design, arts and culture writer based in London. They were part of the It’s Nice That team as editorial assistant in 2021, after graduating from King’s College, London. Previously, Joey worked as a writer for numerous fashion and art publications, such as HERO Magazine, Dazed, and Candy Transversal.

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