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Meet Sonali Satsangi of ADSON Photography in Orange County

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sonali Satsangi.

Sonali, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I was born and raised in India. I did my undergrad in computer science, which opened my technical mind, but it wasn’t enough. I felt like something was missing, and I needed to hone my artistic side. I moved to Georgia, studied at Savannah College of Art & Design, and got my Masters in Fine Arts. I then move to California where I started working at Rockstar Game Studio. Got married to my college love and settled down in California. Working at Rockstar was awesome, but I still felt that it wasn’t my long-term plan.

I left my job, took a sabbatical, spent time with family, visited places, clicked a lot of pictures, and made memories. That’s when it hit me. It was right there – PHOTOGRAPHY. Making time stop to create memories which last forever is my one true passion.

My husband got me a new DSLR camera as a birthday present last year, and since then I have never looked back. Whether I’m kayaking in Hawaii or just soaking the sun in San Diego, my camera has always accompanied me. I decided to start my own company, ADSON Photography, focusing on portraitures.

ADSON Photography had a successful first year working closely with great clients and models. In 2018, I decided to start a non-profit project called, TRUE ME, that SMASHES all the norms we are taught about beauty and REDEFINES it. For this project, I am shooting FREE portraits of women of different age groups, all professions and varied races without any makeup or any fancy hairstyles or any retouching.

These days, I am busy promoting my non-profit project, TRUE ME and photographing fashion shows like LA Fashion Week and Palm Springs Fashion Week.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Starting your own business has its own set of challenges. Managing time, finding clients and promoting the business are few of the biggest obstacles I have faced while starting ADSON Photography. Staying motivated and inspired to capture photographs in an artistic manner is another big challenge.

Luckily, I have come across some very influential people who trusted my work and have supported ADSON Photography. I have done many creative projects with my clients, and have had the opportunity to also collaborate with them. I continue learning and growing my business and have a positive outlook on the ups and downs that come along the way. ADSON photography is more than a job to me, it is my passion.

Please tell us about ADSON Photography.
ADSON Photography focuses on outdoor lifestyle portrait photography. Over the past year, we have photographed seniors and graduates, families celebrating holidays like Easter, Halloween & Christmas, couples celebrating their anniversary, a bride and groom recreating their wedding day and models walking the red carpet. We capture moments in an artistic manner that conveys a beautiful story or inspires people.

We, at ADSON Photography, believe that everyone is different and love to personalize and customize shoots for every client. For instance, a ballerina who came to us for a shoot showed us a necklace made out of a used bullet casing she received as a gift. We decided to do a photoshoot with her holding that necklace, to emphasize how she grabbed hold of the traumatic past and transformed herself into this beautiful ballerina.

She was in tears after seeing how empowering the photoshoot and the photograph turned out. Our aim is to create a completely unique photograph for every client of ours while having them enjoy their shoot, and we capture the personality of an individual. This makes every photograph unique and different from the previous shoot. For instance, at a senior shoot, clicking a teenager in a park is common, but creating a flower tiara by hand, and an angelic photo shoot creates a more personalized photo shoot tailored to the client’s personality.

Our ability to customize shoots based on the demands of a client (accompanied by emphasizing on minute things that hold meaning to our clients to create a unique and diverse photograph) makes us individualized in the portrait photography business.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
A few things I wish I knew earlier rather than learn on the go were to stay organized and to build a pipeline sooner. This would have greatly streamlined my photoshoot and post-processing workflow. It is very easy to get lost editing photos for hours and straying away from the reality. Learning to spend less time editing photos by getting using correct camera settings (exposure/aperture/iso) during the shoot would have also helped me reduce my post-processing time.

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