Tell us a little bit about yourself. What's your name, where are you from?
My name is Matt Bauer. Venice, California is currently home, though I was born in New Jersey. My mother gave birth to me while the Doctor played The Beach Boys on his radio. Fast forward 13 years later, and there I was hearing them play my first concert experience on my birthday, during their farewell tour. I truly believe from the moment I was born, I was meant to be in the water. I swam competitively most of my life until I touched the wall after my final collegiate race. Surfing didn't become a priority until High School. A couple of guys from the swim team would get up at 4:30 am on the weekends, speed down the Schuylkill and AC Expressway in the dead of winter, to surf empty, perfect, frozen waves. After college, I packed up and chased my dreams to San Clemente, California. Over the years and different careers, I slowly made my way up the coast to LA.
You capture some amazing photos. When did you get into photography and what does it mean to you?
Photography and making home videos was something that just came natural. Growing up with the start of the internet, I was always fascinated with documenting memories to share with my family and friends. My favorite memories were as a teenager, building makeshift water housings from PVC pipe for the newest video camera I spent my yearly lifeguard earnings on. I remember pushing the record button on my JVC Compact VHS Camcorder, placing it into the PVC pipe, screwing on the back, and crossing my fingers that the waves at Rincon, Puerto Rico or Witches Rock, Costa Rica wouldn't tear the housing apart. I never aspired to make it a living doing so, but the art of storytelling through the digital and social space really inspired me.
What led you to start ROSEWOOD and what are some projects you've worked on?
Being an entrepreneur has always been a dream of mine. To making clothing and surfboards in college, to pay for more surfboards and surf adventures. To having an outdoor personal training company with my college roommate and coming signatures away from opening a quick-service organic restaurant. ROSEWOOD was an idea a colleague and I had while we were both working at Nike in 2013. We wanted to create an agency that focused on the art of storytelling, but specifically on Instagram. We saw too many of the most innovative brands in the world struggling or not even existing on social. So naturally, with no promised clients or outside funding, we both quit our dream jobs at Nike to create ROSEWOOD. We are now 3.5 years old and comprised of 25 of the most talented young creatives I have ever met. We've been blessed to have clients including Apple, Nike, Toyota, Red Bull, AEG, Sony Pictures, and Interscope Records enlist our services to develop innovative solutions for their daily marketing needs.
What gets you out of bed every morning?
The idea that every day is different and completely unwritten. We are working hard to create something really special and unique at ROSEWOOD. We strive to empower each one of our employees to design their future here as their final career. Our goal is to create a platform that each team member feels like they can turn their dreams into reality.
What's a typical day like for you?
There is no "typical day" now that my wife and I have been blessed with our first daughter who is now 6 weeks old. A perfect day includes a moment in the sea. Surfing or shooting. Creating alongside the amazing team at ROSEWOOD just 2 blocks from the Venice Pier. Making husband/dad/family life priority #1. Which usually leaves little to no time for sleeping, but that's ok.
As a creator, I'm really excited to focus on producing a series of art concepts I've been sitting on for a long time. I'm also committed to spending more time creating short-form video content. And lastly, I'll be curating a selection of my favorite work in varies printed products.