Born in Pomona, California, Gene Rocha moved north to Oregon as he finished off his teen years, ultimately trading sunny beaches for moody winters. Originally drawn to the film for its ability to portray motion and develop stories, he studied film making in Portland briefly when he realized the singular still image was the real draw. With an early interest in the food industry, Gene began what became a 10 year career as a baker. During those early morning and late night bike rides to the bakery, he would often watch the sun rise and set, bearing witness to the beautiful changing light. It was that attention to light and mood, punctuated by color but grounded by simplicity that would come to define Rocha’s style in many of his images today.
Moving to Seattle to pursue his photographic education, Rocha found the northwest to be inspiring not only for its quality of light but for the versatility of the images he was able to capture there.