Born in Southern California, Susan Rochester moved to Oregon while in elementary school. She has been a photographer since the age of 12, and worked commercially before turning exclusively to fine art pursuits 20 years ago. She holds a BA and MA in Art History from the University of Oregon.

Her studio practice is based in contemporary and historic photographic process, and book arts. She serves as an Associate Professor of Art at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, where she teaches art history, book arts, and photography (both analog and digital).

Rochester has exhibited her work in the United States and abroad. She has been a NEH Summer Scholar, and was part of a group receiving a Fulbright-Hays grant for research in North Cyprus. She resides in Sutherlin, Oregon with her husband, three cats, and an Icelandic horse.