Creative Spaces No. 01 / Sarah Sunstrom
I am so excited about my new blog series: Creative Spaces. It's all about documenting how creatives work in their spaces, their journeys, lessons they've learned and how they make big things happen. I hope you'll get inspired by these amazing women - I know I have!
First up - my friend, travel partner, neighbor (well, kinda) and my go-to gal for business, mommy and life advice. I'm thrilled for you all to meet the talented Sarah Sunstrom!
L: Tell us about yourself!
S: I am a portrait and wedding photographer. I love to capture emotion, inspiration, love and curiosity. But I'm also drawn to other expressive creative elements like a beautifully calligraphed envelope, a gorgeously designed wedding and a vase of fresh peonies.
L: Describe your style in three words.
S: Soft, creamy, dreamy
L: What does your creative journey look like?
S: I had always wanted to be a pediatric physical therapist and graduated with my bachelors degree but wasn't able to get into graduate school. I went back to nursing school and after graduating, I started taking some community education classes at a local college. I found that I loved learning about photography. My sister-in-law was expecting their first child and asked me take her maternity pictures. To be honest, they turned out pretty well for how much I didn't know. She posted them on Facebook and it blew up from there. Over the next year, I couldn't get enough, legally set up my business and built my portfolio. In 2011, I quit my job as a registered nurse and began to photograph full time.
L: Tell us about your space.
S: I have a 950 square foot studio space on a downtown corner of our historic town. I have a lot of history with the building. My mom used to work in the building for 13 years when it was a quilt shop. After it closed, it was renovated and now looks amazing! Picture this: soft gray walls, thick, cream crown moulding and chair rails, 13 foot ceilings, soft creamy antique furniture and a whole lotta love. There is a big open space that I use for my shooting area, a cozy consultation area, an office and kitchenette. My clients always say how calm they feel when they walk in.
L: What is your favorite thing about your space?
S: Is okay to say everything? Truly, I love everything. I feel inspired to get to work the moment I walk in. I feel complete when I'm there; it's me. It's my tangible soul for everyone to see.
L: What is something in your space you can't live without?
S: I'm currently working on an inspiration board that I know I won't be able to live without. It will be filled with gold foiled inspirational quotes that feed my heart.
L: What is the first thing you do at the start of each workday?
S: This is something that I'm currently struggling with because I'm not a morning person. I love to sleep but I'm slowly starting to wake at 5:00 or 5:30 am. The mornings I do, I spend time reading a bible study or an inspirational book while enjoying a cup of cappuccino before my daughter wakes up. When I have those 30 to 60 minutes by myself, I find I'm not so rushed in the morning and I'm able to walk in to the studio with a fresh and clear mind.
L: Where do you pull inspiration from?
S: The Bible, my daughter, the wonderful ladies in my bible study and my creative friends.
L: What is the biggest lesson you've learned this year?
S: To be intentional with my family and friends. To me, this means putting family activities down on the calendar to make sure they happen, to quit working when studio hours end and making sure I put limits on my work schedule to put my family first.