The Heart & Sohl

This is part of my Forever Grateful project.
As I was selling my home and placing my business on hiatus for a period of time, I took portraits of about 30 people who influenced my career over the past 12 years. This was my way of saying “Thanks” and letting everyone know that I couldn’t have done it without their support.


When I first heard about The Sohl Agency, it was from actors I had photographed who were booking lots of work and seemed on top of their game (Amir Talai to name one of them). They all spoke so highly of you that when you assistant called me to setup a meeting where you and I could talk about what you liked/disliked in headshots, I was excited and also a little bit intimidated. I wasn’t sure if I could ever live up to the high caliber of talent you worked with.

But that fear quickly dissipated as I could tell we were always on the same page. We are cut from the same cloth in many ways. When others might see us as being control freaks, I just think that we just have a great work ethic that requires us to be hands-on… all the time… because other people will do it wrong… so we might as well do it ourselves… so it will be done right… am I right?

But seriously Sohl, you’re the only agent who regularly contacted me before shoots to give me the low-down on the actor I was about to work with. You would tell me what you needed from the headshot session to help book them more work. That’s how much you cared for your talent. That’s the hands-on do-it-yourself mentality that gets the job done right.

And you were the ONLY person who challenged me to “Shoot Less.” We can joke and say it was because you didn’t have time to look through 800 photos for each client (which I’m sure was part of the reason), but really what you were asking me to do was to slow things down and take more time taking fewer shots. I had gotten into the bad habit of just holding down the trigger. I wasn’t engaging my clients as much and my photo shoots were becoming routine. You called me out and challenged me to become more present. I lost several other agents who referred me during that time… but you knew I was capable of better and you spoke up & stuck by me.

I always looked forward to our yearly outing for dinner & wine at a hip Silverlake restaurant where the bartender knew to never let our wine glasses dry up. I’m only sorry that we were such workaholics that we didn’t do that more often.

Thank you for everything my friend.

Forever grateful,


The Story Behind the Shot:

A few years back, I realized I hadn’t heard from Sohl in several months. I wondered if she had taken me off her list of photographers. “Did she find a photographer she liked better?” But before I got too jealous and heartbroken, I came to find out that she was doing what I am doing now. She sold her house and her business so she could take some time off to travel and reassess her life and what’s important to her. Her leap of faith was inspiring. These photos were taken at a restaurant in Huntington Beach. Though I wasn’t with her on her travels through Europe, this is how I imagined her time was spent on her hiatus.

Sohl – photo by Blake Gardner Photography
Sohl - photo by Blake Gardner Photography
Sohl – photo by Blake Gardner Photography
Sohl - photo by Blake Gardner Photography
Sohl – photo by Blake Gardner Photography
Sohl - photo by Blake Gardner Photography
Sohl – photo by Blake Gardner Photography

You can read more from my Forever Grateful project HERE.

One thought on “The Heart & Sohl

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