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  • Writer's picture Sorella Photos

The White Studio and the Envy Stick

I have spent so much time mourning the loss of my old studio that I hadn't thought to share the excitement of my new one. But first, a little backstory.

After moving, it took me two and a half years before I became serious about using the Bemis studio as a work space. At the time, my focus was on-location work such as weddings and events. I had a high-ceiling, ethereal studio that I was constantly leaving for some other place.

However, weddings were not sustaining me throughout the year. I had no weekends to myself and the weekdays were spent catching up on editing the previous weekend's events. As I may have mentioned, photography can be a lonely career especially in contrast to the exciting personal moments that we're capturing. 

During this time I discovered Creative Live, a free education resource in downtown Seattle. I think its important to note that at this point, I would have been simply happy sitting in an audience full of creatives listening to the parents talk in Charlie Brown. But this was a place where I could observe live lectures by masters in my industry. The social impact is long-lasting. I met Adrien Craven, who has now photographed me three times and has become one of my dearest friends and colleague (images from our most recent shoot in next weeks blog!) It was also there I first heard the name Sue Bryce. Through her online mentorship I realized what I really wanted was to shoot more in studio portrait work. What a better way to engage with my underutilized studio than to work one-on-one with my clients? 

It was also through Creative Live that I met Nikki Closser, a fellow wedding photographer turned portrait photographer as well as a Sue Bryce mentee. Circle back to present time, 5 years later, and I am sharing a studio with her. Let me preface this by stating that I have never shared a studio. I'm not a fan of sharing anything really. Ask my younger sister. Who is still not allowed to borrow my things. 

What I mean to say is, when you're working in your own space you have only your actions to assess and judge. In a shared space the "envy stick" comes out, and every action you take is measured against another's. I'm learning how to be in a new space. The light is different. The ceilings are lower. I question myself. But I also question why we assume change will always be worse. I get lost in the nostalgia of what once was without remembering that I would not have considered a change had I been fully content. So, I put aside my intimidation, my insecurities. I fold them neatly and shut the dresser drawer.


Instead, I get excited about this new space. I get to continue my work in Seattle. When I looked at spending more time in Mexico the two things I realized would be the hardest to leave was the community I have and the work that I do here. I get to share a studio with an incredibly talented colleague. I get to split my time between Seattle and Mexico. My favorite parts of the old with all the momentum of the new.


Thank you to Sally for being my first client to shoot in this space! I will continue to come to Seattle (hopefully one month each quarter) to focus on intimate portraits, luxury portraits and personal branding. Book your June session and come see the new studio in person!

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