By Elizabeth Kerin
As graduation approaches the majority of us at the University of Dallas share the feeling of panic at the prospect of finding employment once we have our diploma in hand. For those creative minds out there — take heart! Rebecca Rosen and Sarah Lockhart née Vukalovic of the class of 2014 are examples of the quick successes of innovative minds at work. The two UD alumni created a joint venture in DFW called Beckley & Co.
Beckley & Co., as described on its Instagram, is a “Dallas-based photographer & stylist team.” Just over 16 weeks old, the enterprise was Rosen’s brainchild. She explained that her vision for Beckley & Co. was to create the finest photography experience for clients. Rosen, the photographer, and Lockhart, the stylist, work together to perfect the desired aesthetic for their photos. First, Lockhart meets with clients to get an understanding of the desired end result. From there, she makes outfit and prop suggestions, and compiles a list of where to pick up the items. Together, Rosen and Lockhart are masters of all types of photography shoots, from portrait to engagement shoots, and Rosen recently covered a wedding. While attending UD, Rosen majored in biology, and Lockhart graduated with a degree in philosophy. However, photography and styling are hardly new to either of them. Rosen recalled the roots of her passion for photography:
“It all started from ‘Daddy gave me a camera!’” Rosen said. “So I started with a photography blog, just posting photos.”
Rosen’s photography blog was just the beginning. Within a couple of years she was a contributing health food blogger for Seventeen, and she worked for The University News as a photographer. Those ventures developed her love for “being more people-photography centered.”
While Rosen takes care of photography needs, Lockhart’s background in the world of fashion and the arts makes her an invaluable contributor to styling shoots. Lockhart has held several positions in the fashion world, including a retail position at Anthropologie; an internship at The Office of Angela Scott, a high-fashion shoe designer; and an internship at Patron, a regional art magazine.
Rosen and Lockhart saw potential in the ambiguity of the name “Beckley,” hoping that they could eventually grow their venture into an online photography shoot archive.
“It would be great to be the go-to resource for photography shoots,” said Lockhart. Rosen excitedly chimed in, “I just think the possibilities are endless. ‘Use this little prop if you have it … don’t use this prop.’ Anything that you can think of.”
Their approach for gaining traction for Beckley & Co. was incredibly straightforward. One day they decided to turn their plan into a reality and the two went to the Truckyard on Greenville Avenue and spent the afternoon approaching people, and saying something like “Hey, I’m a Dallas photographer, I love what you’re wearing, could I take a photo of you?”
Having had experience with the challenges of blogging, Rosen opted for a simpler and very successful approach to getting Beckley & Co.’s name out there: Instagram.
“I blasted #dallasbloggers on Instagram and started posting photos,” Rosen said. Soon, bloggers around the Dallas community were contacting Rosen for blog-collaborations, which are mutually beneficial partnerships between freelancers.
Rosen and Lockhart credit the Dallas community for much of their success. It is a great environment for creative start-ups like theirs because it is such a “small town.” Lockhart explained that the community consists of “all these other people [who] have a similar mindset … it’s a creative community and everyone wants to help each other out.”