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Interview + Studio Tour with Suzuran Photography


The second you step into Cleveland-based photographer Suzanne Price’s studio, you get an overwhelming feeling of wonder, and you just know that this is where the magic is made. Suzuran, a name that refers to the Japanese term for Lily of the Valley, (and also sounds like an amalgamation of Suzanne + Dan, the two lovebirds that run the joint) is not only a photography studio, its an experience.

The breadth of her work increases by the minute, and I can’t help but admire Suzanne’s signature style throughout each genre. Whether she’s exploring another country, documenting a road trip, shooting a fashion pictorial, or collaborating with her husband on a wedding, her photos feel ethereal and soft, but at the same time, incredibly poignant. You can’t help but wonder about the secrets and surprises each subject is holding. Every photo is like a scene in a very good dream that you feel like you need to know the meaning of immediately.



Suzanne took this horse portrait during her travels in Iceland

Describe the path you took to get to what you’re doing now: Well, I have a BFA in photography and after graduating I really wanted to start my own photography business, but I didn’t yet have the confidence. So I went to back to school and earned a degree in Art Education. I was really passionate about it, and moved to Japan to teach Art and English to preschool, an experience that completely changed my life. It was in Japan that I truly developed my photographic voice and honed my craft. I moved back to Cleveland from Japan just as the market was crashing, and it was really tough to find a teaching job, let alone any other job, so I decided to embrace my destiny and start making photos full time.


Photos taken by Suzanne Price

How would you describe your aesthetic? It’s emotive, moody, narrative, and empathetic, if that makes sense!

Which photographers and artists inspire you?  While I respect the work of many photographers who primarily shoot weddings, I don’t draw much inspiration from wedding photography itself. I love film – especially the catalog of Francois Truffaut, The Sprit of the Beehive by Victor Erice, and anime film Pricess Kaguya by Isao Takahata.

Do you aspire to create work on a level of a particular artist, or do you have other personal goals that you base the arc of your work on? I try as much as possible to photograph moments that can be imagined as film stills; you can daydream about what may have happened before and after. Photographer wise, I love the work of Shomei Tomatsu, Deborah Turbeville, and many, many more.



What’s the most challenging thing about owning your own business?  The most challenging aspect of owning my own business is the BUSINESS end of things! Taxes, accounting, tons of email, etc. I’m a pretty right brained person, and rigid mathy tasks don’t come naturally to me. I don’t have many regrets in life, but it would have been nice to at least minor in business. I think that understanding that framework can give you a leg up if you are a creative. I asked for a lot of advice and in a few cases reinvented the wheel.

What’s the most rewarding thing? The most rewarding thing is interacting with a huge variety of humans and bringing them joy! I’m naturally introverted and can be PAINFULLY shy in groups. My camera has always been a safety net/buffer in social situations; it helps me to interact on a level that wouldn’t normally be possible. I’m incredibly thankful for that.



Coral and volcanic rocks from travels. She uses them as a meditation.


Painting by Douglas Max Utter



Blue wicker chair from Heck’s Revival


There are so many choices when it comes to wedding photographers, why do you think people are drawn to Suzuran? I think it’s because we’re a kind pair who aren’t afraid to be a little quirky in our creativity. We aren’t afraid of a little imperfection – in fact, a little blur here and a silly face there in perfect spontaneity can often tell a story much better than a staged, stiff portrait. We really value natural moments and strive to help our clients stay present. There is so much beauty in that honesty.


Viewmaster was a gift from a wedding client – contains her fave photos 





Suzanne also weaves, draws, and paints. Many of the items in her studio are her own works of art.




I want to thank Suzanne for this interview and her brilliant work. I recommend following her on Instagram– it’s one of my favorite feeds.


Hayley and Jennifer’s Home

Hayley and Jennifer, owners of Retro On 8th in Homestead recently welcomed us into their home. They have been collecting 
pieces together for
 over ten years, so you could imagine all the amazing furniture, decor and collectibles they have throughout their place. Even with the grand tour, there were things I noticed that I didn’t catch the first time around. They both grew up in the 70’s and really embrace that era: “We relish our childhoods 
and enjoy passing on our memories of Big Wheels, transistor
radios, Kiss, Kool-Aid, Wacky Packs and baseball cards that 
actually came with gum, skateboards, watching Saturday 
Morning Cartoons and American Bandstand on a shag rug, 
and creating worlds out of Knoll modular furniture.” Take a peek:

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Kitchen Makeover With Chalkboard Paint

If you follow some of the latest decorating trends, a big one right now is painting a wall in your home with Chalkboard paint. I actually love it and there a lot of different things you can do with this type of paint.
Megan, who is a designer and runs the blog Table & Spoon just gave her kitchen a makeover. She didn’t paint just one wall but her entire kitchen with chalkboard paint. I have seen folks do an accent wall in black but I was so curious how this would turn out.

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The Steel Fork

I just received a custom metal sign from The Steel Fork’s shop for my birthday that spells out “YES.” The present was simple but meant a lot to me because if anyone knows me they know when I get I excited I just scream that YES out loud. The Steel Fork is a shop run by Ben and Kate Gatski out in Bloomsburg, PA which is a town I lived near for a short period of time when I moved around a lot. There are tons of farms and rolling hills surrounding this small and charming town.

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Rachel Vallozzi of Pageboy

Rachel Vallozzi is co-owner of Pageboy Salon & Boutique, a personal shopper, stylist, closet consultant and her list of skills goes on. I was tipped off by a friend that Rachel’s home had some amazing decor and style so I asked if we could come over and take a few photos. We had a lot of fun during the shoot.
I have to say Rachel’s home feels warm, welcoming and reminiscent of the 1970’s style I grew up with around me. There were so many great pieces all around her to look at in every room.

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Capree’s Stylish Digs

Over the past couple months I have become pals with Capree who runs an excellent design blog called MAIYA. The other day she was showing off the progress of her guest room and I just caught a quick glimpse of the sofa. That’s all it took and I asked if I could see more!

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Creative Finds Decor

Steeltown presents: Color Round Up

Steeltown is introducing our own “Color Round Up.” Every post will include a color palette initially inspired by an image of Western Pennsylvania. We hope this post will simply add a splash of color to your day (and dispel the myth that Pittsburgh is always grey) or inspire a project, musing or artwork. Enjoy!

On one of the last Indian summer days we had in Pittsburgh, I snapped this photo of the Frick Art Museum in Point Breeze. The museum is a stately classic building with boxy topiary trees out front. Despite being a formal setting, the color of the trees against the stone facade creates a fresh palette of verdant green – accenting the massive brown doors and the neutral building. Green seems like a good place to start a color round-up column in Pittsburgh, as we have the “largest green wall (2,380 s.f.) in the United States displayed on One PNC Plaza”! This living wall has similar green tones, further modeling a great palette. Here are a few other inspirations to keep you on track – from green tea recipes to walnut tables.

Paint it up Pittsburgh! (left to right): California Paints Tee Off DE5614, Benjamin Moore Grand Teton White AC-42, Pittsburgh Paints Oregon Trail 422-6

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