What Would They Know? Ellen Adele of Studiosomething

by | Photography Wisdom, What Would They Know?, Wisdom


Polka Dot Bride

Ellen Adele Studio SomethingStudiosomething are a group of creative young photographers who take seriously the responsibility of capturing this most momentous day of your life. You’d think that it’s all fun and games here at Studiosomething, but Ellen, in amongst dressing up in animal suits, looking after gorgeous bub Lewis and reading mind expanding books, gives us a glimpse of the serious creative side of this studio. For underneath all the fun, the business of capturing the most beautiful shots of your wedding day is never taken for granted. Prepare to have a little giggle as you read along………

Love the unusual name of your business –  how did you think of it?

Thank you for noticing, we think it’s rather unusual ourselves. It came to me* in a dream**.

* I use the term “me” loosely. It may or may not have been invented by a friend who is cleverer than me.

** I use the term “dream” loosely. It may or may not have been just an ordinary conversation.

Who is in your photography team?

I’m fundamentally a very shallow person, so I’ve selected the best looking photographers in town to join our studio (you should add that to your wedding checklist: “good looking photographers”. You won’t regret it).

SS teamRS

“You’d think with this many photographers in the room that it would be easy to take a photo where we all look good. Perhaps if one of us were behind the camera this would have been the case. Sorry to Jay in particular, you look a little weird”.

Luckily, in addition to their flawless bone structure, they’re all degree qualified, super experienced, and look good in hats. Now lets cross our fingers that they don’t read this article, or I may soon be a one-woman team.

My favourite team member (don’t look at me like that – I’m allowed favourites! Just don’t tell the B-listers or I might be in trouble) is Phu. He has several key features that make him my favourite, the principal among them being his married-to-me status. Phu likes: aeroplane food, champagne (expensive or pink), black and white film, and when I don’t steal his socks and mess up all the matching pairs. Like 60% of our team, he studied at the Sydney College of the Arts.

Jay is another SCA grad. His key features include his excellent moustache, and his aptitude for MacGyver-ing found objects into other, more robot-y, objects. Jay is currently researching the best way to implement aerial-wedding-day-photography using quadcopters. Fun fact! Jay once convinced a new high school drama teacher that his class was half way through clown-ology, and spent a term riding around on a unicycle.

Averie is the coolest person on the team because she knows the most about hip hop. But she’s very generous in her superiority and always pretends to find my jokes about Rick Ro$$ funny. We recently peer pressured her into getting another tattoo when we were shooting in Melbourne (Phu got a carrot on his thumb. It’s excellent). Averie studied at the College of Fine Arts, and spends all her money getting her film processed.

Anna is the final 20% in the SCA contingent. She doesn’t like to tell people, but the reason she lives in a huge mansion is that she’s a beautiful heiress who, and I quote, “wants to live like common people”. She also has an awesome pair of pink jeans.

This leaves me, the brains of the operation. I’m a weak swimmer, a nervous driver, and have started (and neglected to complete) 3 post-grad degrees.  Luckily I’m good at my job, and people find me totally lovable. True story.


Why photography as your career?

Can you imagine a job where you get to meet new people, and go to new places, all the time? And the people are joyful and the places are beautiful? A creative job where people trust you to capture memories of one of the most important days of their lives? That’s my job. Jobs don’t come any better!

(Previous, rejected, drafts of the above included: Can you imagine a job where you can tell people to kiss and then take a photo and no one will call you a perv? Where there’s cake at work every day? Where you take photos of old ladies with moustaches?)

What is your mission statement for Studiosomething?

Yep, cause we’re a serious and legit business we’ve had one of these all along. (And didn’t just hope to invent one for this article after googling “best mission statements” looking to find something where I could replace the words “consumer electronics” with “wedding photos”).

We’re looking at a few options, as follows:

Studiosomething: because you’re worth it.

Studiosomething: every day we’re hustlin’

Studiosomething: same same but different

Studiosomething: where the bloody hell are you?


What is it about the creative process of photography that you most enjoy?

My favourite part is when I’ve edited all the images and the whole story comes together – from the bride’s frock, the look on her partner’s face when she walks down the aisle, the first kiss, to the wild dancing at the end of the night.

Phu tells me that his favourite part is “counting the Benjamins”. Which would be funny if we were a) American and b) rich. But anyway, rather than answering this question properly, here’s Phu’s hypothetical list of things he would do with huge wads of cash:

–       enrol the cats in a prestigious pre-school

–       fly Jay-Z to Sydney; invite him to outline all 99 of his problems over a nice dinner

–       have the car converted so instead of petrol it runs on coconut oil and activated almonds

–       buy Kelis’ milkshake recipe.

This is why Phu isn’t allowed to talk to clients.

Do you need an artist’s eye to really capture the essence of each couple and their wedding day? 

Nah, any old hack with an expensive camera can do it. Can’t get it in camera? Fix it in photoshop! That’s our motto!

Couldn’t get the sun flare when the couple were kissing? ‘shop it in! Doesn’t look great coming from the sky like real sun? Have it come out of the groom’s derriere! (No seriously, we’ve seen this done. Though to be fair, having that kind of innovative creative vision should be applauded. Some of us are just too literal with our “photos” of “things” that “happened in real life”).

We actually do really like to shoot in a style that suits each couple, and tells a compelling narrative. I think having so many creative brains on the team really helps to do this – it means we never have to resort to formulaic poses, and the images feel unpretentious (and, importantly, un-embarrassing!). As important as an artist’s eye is having a strong rapport with the couple – it’s much more fun having your photo taken by your friends than some stranger with a huge lens.


I love the great information you give on’ your ‘Info’ web page. You must be naturally humorous people who see the fun in life……

“Knock knock”

“who’s there?”


“Imap who?”

Creatively, where, and doing what, makes you feel most inspired?

“I don’t need the money, dear. I work for art”.

All of our team shoot personal work as well as weddings – and I think this is really important. With the right eyeballs, even the most prosaic subject matter can be really beautiful. (This is what I tell people when they complain that my instagram feed is all cats and babies).

Travelling for your work, you must have seen some really wonderful places. Can you suggest a mini moon or honeymoon destination that appeals to you?

We travelled recently to Tassie, and the Museum of Old and New Art is probably the best gallery I’ve ever been to. There’s boutique accommodation, fine dining, and a vineyard there too. It would be a really great place to marry your cousin in the Tasmanian tradition.

(I’m allowed to say that, Phu and I are both from Tassie).

(And we’re cousins).

(But only first cousins, that’s practically not related at all).


 “This isn’t Tassie, this is Queenstown, NZ. Also nice enough. You know – if you like that kind of thing”

What do you like to do when not working?

There’s no such thing as not working in our business! Seriously, I’m up until the stupid hours editing and writing hilarious articles every single night. Although, I think the ABS recently updated the definition of work to exclude any activity undertaken in PJs and ugg boots, so I might not technically spend as much time “working” as claimed.

Phu thinks I also need to tell you that I enjoy “reading books, traveling, spending time with friends, and playing with the baby”. (You’re never going to get the 10 seconds it took to read that sentence back, sorry).

The book/s I am reading at the moment?

Rather than tell you the truth (which may give the unflattering impression that I’m a semi-literate teenager) I’ll give you a list of what everyone’s reading, and hopefully that will baffle you into thinking I’m smarter than I look.

Phu: 1Q84 – Haruki Murakami. “Having just finished reading Digital Photography for Dummies this is a welcome change”

Averie: The Alchemist – Paul Coelho “lol an obvious choice, but it’s amazing”

Anna: Growing A Business – Paul Hawken “It’s about growing your business ethically, you guys should read it” (Do you think Anna is trying to tell me something? Nah.)

Jay: Didn’t reply to my text message, can only assume he cannot read. (amended: Count Zero – William Gibson).

Me: The China Study – T Colin Campbell. “Worth reading. It’s the Twilight: Breaking Dawn of longitudinal nutrition studies”.


My favourite coffee and breakfast café in Sydney is……

Cornersmith Café in Marrickville – they make you queue, but the coffee/food combo is unsurpassed.

Gather on the Green, Camperdown – they’ll give you a picnic rug and you can eat your brekkie in the park.

Joe & Willy’s Depot, Bondi – the quinoa porridge is very nice.

There. You can’t say we never give you any straight answers!

Thank you Ellen, Phu, Averie, Anna and Jay for giving us a glimpse into your working day. To find out more about the work of  Studiosomething please visit their website.

All images from Studiosomething

  • Friday Roundup | Polka Dot Bride says:
    August 23, 2013 at 11:15 am

    […] Would They Know? Ellen Adele of Studiosomething 2. Event Review – Behind The Scenes of Samantha Wynne’s Bridal Runway 3. Expert Advice […]



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