When she saw the place, she knew it was just the right location for her business.
But moving — even just across the street and down the block — wasn’t something she was looking forward to.
“I needed more space,” said Elaine Turso, owner of Elaine Turso Photography. “I quickly grew out of Ish and there wasn’t room to expand.”
Turso was speaking of her former location, at the back of the Ish Vintage Clothing business on Fourth Street in downtown Bremerton. Now, she’s across the street at 286 Fourth Street, Suite 201, above the Bremerton Chamber of Commerce office.
The move, which took about a month, culminated with a grand opening open-house last month. Her need to expand was to allow for more storage of her props and costumes and to give herself an office.
“I’ve always wanted to have an office so that I wasn’t working out of my home,” she said. “Now I do and I can do my editing right here without the dogs barking and my birds chirping, and without the house phone ringing.”
Turso has been a professional photographer for more than a dozen years. She was raised in Bremerton and originally had a dream of becoming a fashion buyer. But she married and began a family and in 2001, she decided to put her creative talents to work by starting a scrapbooking for hire business.
Through that, she came across photography and discovered how much she enjoyed it. It was her husband who told her she should go into the portrait business.
“I’m a self taught photographer,” she said. “I enjoy learning, trying new things, exploring fun ideas.”
In 2013, she moved her studio from her home to inside Ish Vintage Clothing. And in March, she opened her own place.
“It happened in a funny way,” she said. “I was photographing artwork in a home on Fifth Street and the owner of the house said I should move my studio there. But it was too big for what I needed and I didn’t want to worry about renting out space to anyone else.”
But it did prompt her to think about moving and she told a few friends and, through a friend, she learned about the upstairs of the chamber office.
“When someone mentioned it, I said that I didn’t even know there was an upstairs,” Turso said. “But when I looked at it, I knew right away that I wanted it.”
That was because of the smaller rooms within the upstairs, she said. Now she has an office, a room to store props, a wardrobe room where clients can dress and have their hair and makeup done, and a room for her to show off her finished work.
But the best part, she said, is that there is a room that she has created into the boudoir room. Turso is well known for her boudoir photography.
“It’s almost like having my own hotel room,” she said. “Now when I do shoots, I can do them right here.”
The boudoir room has been done in shades of purple, grey, black and white and have natural lighting which is a plus for her, she said.
Most of the work remodeling the location was done with the help of a interior designer and a contractor, although she and her husband and their two children, Alexis, 17, and Anthony, 12, did help out. There’s new paint, new carpet and new flooring through out.
Anyone who knows Turso won’t be surprised at the hot pink wall and chandelier at the new location, or that she’s posted positive beauty quotes in strategic locations on the walls throughout the place.
To highlight the move, she’s partnering with other businesses in the area and offering the “Boudoir with Benefits” package that gives women discounts on hair, nails, makeup, outfits and eyelash extensions, prior to having their photograph taken.
“Most women would do these things anyway, but this way they don’t have to try to find where to go for these services and they get a discount as part of the package,” she said.
While she does family studio portraits and photographs people outdoors, her typical client is a “mom who just needs to get away for a break.”
“She’s drained from all her responsibilities and she just wants to have time for herself, to get all dolled up and have a fun experience.
“I like to help her step out of her comfort zone and let her inter-diva out because I know she’s got one in there.”
In fact, much of the motivation for Turso’s work comes from her mission to “make every woman feel beautiful.”
“We’re so hard on ourselves,” she said. “We have to stop that. We have to see our inner and our outer beauty.”
As for the move, it went well. And she had a good crowd at her open house.
“I hired movers,” she said. “That was the key. I just sat on the floor with my Espresso and told them where to put things.”
Turso works by appointment only. To contact her call or text 360-621-8524, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Go to www.elainetursophotography.com to see her work.