52 Week Project Blog

Week 22/52 - Empowerment

Seattle has seen some beautiful sun rays lately. However, that is not an excuse for my work. I am terribly late at publishing week 22 blog for May 28th to June 3rd. It is live! Please welcome the portrait of the week for number 22 - Erica Sciarretta! The woman you see here is my mentor, friend, and business partner. She has been following my project since the beginning and gives me praise for the content each week. We finally had a date settle for our session. What better way to have our time together with two photography session! The first session occurred with five photographers and two ballet dancers for a folio building event. The second session was a photo shoot between a married couple and herself. The structure for the blog will go as follow: who is Erica and how we met, our day to day experience between the two session, and what is coming up for her. Let's get shooting!

Erica is a Seattle-based photographer for Sorella Photos -owner since 2002. She started out her business in Wedding photography and is striving to move forward with Luxury Portraiture and beyond. She also devotes her time into Landmark Worldwide in Seattle as a coach for the Self Expression and Leadership Program. 

Late last year, we met from Ngoni Chikoore, who was my Week 7th portrait, as a way to build upon my photography. Upon meeting her, I was terrified of her because I thought I had to have a persona about my photography. Within our conversation, I dropped my persona and had a breakdown about my insecurity. Never in my first meeting with anyone, I allowed myself to be vulnerable because she was the person I opened myself to. She understood what I went through because it was exactly what she went through. In our second meeting, she shared with me about Landmark in how much of an impact The Landmark Forum has shifted her life. She felt that was an opportunity for me to come out and see for myself. I came out to an evening Introduction to The Landmark Forum in November and registered that night. Once I completed the forum, life opened up with new possibilities. Just talking about how we met you can tell how much Erica cares for someone. She has the drive to empower everyone to thrive in their passion through photography.  

The first session occurred in the late morning around 11:00 am. The sunlight lit up the studio perfectly. Not too bright and not too dark. Essential for the session. We waited until more ladies arrived. Once everyone came through, preparation was to begin. Two set up location happened on the first level of the studio for a full body, aerobic movement and the second level for a close up, intimate half body capture. To watch everyone get ready for a five hour session, the amount of work for preparation and then shooting is astonishing. My time with Erica was to observe and capture the behind the scene of their session. A small portion of the shoot I did ask her to pose near the reveal wall with her logo visible. That environment alone tells the story about Sorella Photos and the woman behind the brand. To photograph Erica with photos of Seattle Makeup Artist Carla Petrulli and Carla's mother Kathleen, truly the most proudest Erica can stand for her body of work. Majority of the session was focused on capturing Erica doing photography. Candid moments of simply being. It was natural at its best.

One of the photos above this excerpt is a capture of all five photographer photographing the one dancer posing. The photo directly above is a group photo with one missing photographer. Everyone with their big fancy DSLR. Overall, it was an incredible session. 

The second session of the day happened in the dusk time - 7:30 PM - 8:00 PM. Thankful for the golden hour, color from the sunlight worked flawlessly for me to capture the photo shoot session between Erica and her married client. This photo shoot I assisted her with carrying (or rolling) her bag, following her to spots, and swapping out lenses. We had the session at the famous Pike Place Market. I swear this is the place to be for a few of my portrait client from this project. However, every image is drastically different than my other submission. I chose to have Erica work with her client with little to no interruption to pose for me. I watched her direct her client on being themselves and to act naturally. They claim to not know how to model in front of a camera, yet, Erica assured them they are in good hands. I photographed over 275 in one day, however, these are the images I chose to show Erica as I see her. The last three from the market are my favorite. The environment speaks about our session with the beautiful sun beaming down on the second to last image. It was rewarding to assist in this shoot. 

Before I finish the blog,  I spend a considerate amount of time with Erica. It is a meeting I look forward seeing because I learn more about her and about myself on how much I can contribute. When Erica expressed to me I am the key to her success in this business, I teared up. Never I had felt someone believed in me. I cried. It meant a lot to hear that from anyone. That is one of my insecurity about myself as a photographer. With all the doubts that swim through my thoughts and how it took over my life, that darkness dissipated and flourished out greater possibilities to a new bright future. Erica means the world to me because she saved me from being lost and took me in as her assistant, social media manager, and a close friend. I am forever grateful. 

Last, but not least, thank you Erica for being in my project. You have supported me since our first meeting and I'm truly grateful for your love and encouragement. I am striving to be in your presence and support you to succeed together. Truly an honor to photograph an amazing photographer. Continue to thrive and everyone will follow your drive. 

Be sure to check out Erica at her photography, Sorella Photos. She is also on Facebook and Instagram! Give her a follow and book a session for a luxurious experience.

Week 23 is coming soon!  I cannot wait to reveal who that person is. Thank you for your time.

- Sally :)