About Us

Capturing Memories in Seattle for Over 70 Years

 

 

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. He converted the den in his modest Seattle home into a photography studio, his basement into a darkroom and Rowland Studio was born. His reputation for photographic excellence grew quickly. Gustuf soon opened a professional studio in the Roosevelt neighborhood, where it still remains today. For over half a century, Roosevelt High School senior portraits by Rowland Studio have been a school tradition.

 

Gustuf's son, Bruce Rowland Johnson, began helping in the studio around age 12. Bruce shared his father’s passion for photography, and when he wasn’t holding a camera or setting up lights, 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 and rejoin the family business. Bruce grew the business by maintaining Rowland Studio's high standards for photographic excellence and customer service until his retirement in 2017, but the Rowland tradition continues...

 

In 2015 Bruce began planning for retirement. A talented photographer from Nashville, Tennessee named Briane Henak answered his nationwide job posting. Briane's love of photography took hold in high school when she learned to develop her own photos and design yearbook and newspaper pages. She graduated from Tennessee Tech University with degrees in Photography and Education, and has worked in the photography field her entire adult life. After meeting her for a first interview, Bruce knew he had found his successor. He offered Bri the job and held it for four weeks until she could relocate from Tennessee. 

 

Bri and husband, a Seattle native, now make their home in the Green Lake area. Bruce transferred ownership of the studio to Briane in November of 2017. She has begun to modernize a few things, and plans to continue updating what she can while holding firm to the timeless traditions of excellence that have made Rowland Studio a Seattle staple for seven decades. Happily, that includes Bruce- who still comes to the studio regularly and can still be found manning a camera at events all around town.