Looking forward with my 2021 Review!

Business Highlight, Fun Info, Inspiration, Update

What went well in 2021?

Since starting Native Light Photo back in 2015, I do an annual review. This is as simple as asking myself, "What went well?" And, conversely asking, "What could have gone better?" These two questions along with my profit and loss statement guide me into the next year.

The Pandemic has thrown a curve into that practice by also providing space to review my business goals and ambition as a professional photographer. Inspired by fellow local photographer and new friend, Brigit, I'm going to start sharing them here with you, dear readers and clients!

More studio client sessions

studio sessions

While the Covid-19 precautions were still needed, I was delighted to host more studio styled photo sessions. I've found this community venue where I can set up my "Pop-Up Studio" here in West Seattle with enough space to feel safe while working indoors.

With a studio space, we have more control of the lighting and are less likely to be rescheduling due to the weather - from record heat in the summer and smoke from fires to endless rainy days. From small business owners to an author, Podcaster, luxury clothing brand, staff headshots, all were able to shine with studio lighting! I really enjoyed the variety of people I had the pleasure of working with and creative opportunities.

Slow start = creative collaboration

Creative start = branding location menu!

January 2021 was off to a slow start, with only one booked client (an amazing project, I'll share later). Thanks to social media, I connected with a local model; Daniel was willing to meet me in the freezing but sunny mornings! We did a West Seattle and a Georgetown photo session so that I could create a location menu for my branding clients. With West Seattle and Georgetown being near each other, this is a really useful collection my clients can review to select their ideal look, location and style!

Where People work

people at work

From a small fitness studio to a regional seafood warehouse to conference room and then a manufacturing line, these projects were super fun! My curious mind really enjoyed watching how people worked and finding the best ways to photograph them in action.

Headshot portraits are trending!

Headshot portaits

This year most of my clients needed headshot portraits! I see this as a good sign that folks are finding their path be it for a new career (updating for LinkedIn), or new business or ablity to invest in updating their digital reputation (social media profiles, about me pages).

Growing network

Photographer network!

I work with a mindset of abundance, meaning I believe that there is more than enough work for me, and I believe my community is stronger when we all support each others success. With social media platforms, I've made an effort to connect and follow photographers whose work I admire so that I have a growing network of professionals I can recommend to my clients when either I'm booked or their style and mine do not align.

Enter Brigit from Life As A Voyager - she's a photographer after my own heart with a passion for authenticity, fun, travel and making people feel comfortable. This spring we swapped photo sessions - here are two of her, and one of my favorites she captured of me (so many amazing images, these felt like the best examples that showcase our styles). I'm delighted to recommend her for families, personal portraits and branding sessions!

Something Old, Something new


When I first started my journey into a photography business, it began as Holli With An I Photography! I focused on family portraits, weddings, and artful portraits. But then I evaluated the marketplace, and I saw how saturated the Seattle area was with such talent and competition. I decided to press pause and direct my efforts into Native Light Photo to serve the small business community instead.

With the Pandemic pause of 2020 ongoing, I realized how much I missed working with kids and people celebrating milestones like anniversaries or making art portraits! Last year was time for me to relaunch that branch of my photography once again. It's like starting over, or a new business, but really it's like nurturing a passion project. I'm so grateful for the past clients and new ones who have supported that area of my work. Now, I revisited the parts I adore the most, and can share that style is focused on personal portraits (no more weddings or parties). Curious? Please, go visit holliwithani.com for more details!

Seven year itch, bold goals!

2022 goals

Seven years in business, Native Light Photography has grown and evolved. I've learned so much and am inspired to set new bold goals. This year, I strive to:

  • expand my network and serve more clients (30 more to be exact).
  • set my intentions on learning how to set up more efficient systems so I can do more of the work I love (photographing people), and reduce the amount of time I spend on administration.
  • find more way to teach photography!
  • start a podcast (yes, I love to talk with people).
  • plan a path for opening a dream studio space within the next 5yrs.

Thank you for your time and attention, and your support,

Holli Margell

Self-portrait using a remote with camera on tripod.