About Us

WHO IS ROWLAND?


 

Rowland Studio is a Seattle family story of passion and success.

In 1947, in the aftermath of World War II, the hectic pace at Isaacson Iron Works in Seattle began to slow down. That’s when ironworker Gustuf Rowland Johnson decided to transform a hobby into a vocation: photography. He converted the den in his modest Seattle home into a studio, his basement into a darkroom and Rowland Studio was born. His reputation for photographic excellence grew quickly. In 1951, he was chosen as the official school photographer for Roosevelt High School. For over half a century, senior portraits by Rowland Studio have been a school tradition. After several years of renting a studio in the Roosevelt district, Rowland completed construction on his own building. In 1955, he moved into a commercial location on 65th & Roosevelt Way. After 60 years in that location Rowland Studio has moved to 69th & Roosevelt Way, still in the Roosevelt district. Two years later, there was a new employee: Bruce Rowland Johnson, Rowland’s 12-year-old son. Bruce shared his father’s passion for photography and when he wasn’t holding a camera, he would spend hours in the studio darkroom. Bruce left the area long enough to study photography at North Park College in Chicago, then returned home to attend the University of Washington. Eventually, Bruce returned to his photographic roots and rejoined the family business, where he continues to maintain the Rowland Studio tradition of photographic excellence.