More ABout Dean

DeAn Sullivan

Dean Sullivan, founder of Sullivan Studios, has been in the photography business over 30 years and has been in the graphic design business nearly as long.

After shooting his first wedding in the late 70s while still in high school, Dean continued through school setting up darkrooms and teaching at other schools in the area. After attending college in San Luis Obispo, he became staff photographer for a local magazine where he quickly became familiar with graphic design -- early 80s old school design utilizing type setting, border tape, layout grids and waxers.

He went on to work for a local newspaper and soon started his own newspaper, The Bay News. One paper became two, then three. For almost 20 years Dean ran a string of newspapers while continuing to photograph professionally; weddings, events, products, hot news stories and more. Dean retired from the newspaper business in 2007, concentrating on graphic design and photography. “Knowing what the end product will look like, I am able to photograph the person or product just as I need to, with that final product in mind” he said.

Dean has clients ranging from the Central Coast State Parks Association (CCSPA), Cal Poly, Morro Bay National Estuary Program (MBNEP), to local Chambers of Commerce, along with hundreds of local business through the county. He is proud to be among the 5% of professionals nationwide to hold certification from the Professional Photographers of America. He also teaches photography. Sullivan Studios is a member of the National Association of PhotoShop Professionals, Wedding and Portrait Photographers International and more. Dean is an award winning photographer who was recently chosen from many local photographers as one of the top three wedding photographers in the New Times Bridal Supplement. He also won ‘Bridal Idol’ with Central Coast Bride Magazine.

Shari Sullivan

Shari Sullivan holds a BA in Art, with an emphasis in Metalsmithing. She began a career in commercial photography, working in print labs and shooting weddings, in the 1980s. She's since worked in theater, nonprofit arts administration where she first started designing websites in the early 1990s and in publishing heading up the production department of several local publications and starting a couple of her own. She considers herself lucky to have been able to write for several publications and continues with select side jobs in editing and writing.

She joined Dean in the studio in 2000. When their youngest child started first grade (with another in second) she stepped out of the studio and spent nearly five years as Education and Outreach Coordinator for the Morro Bay National Estuary Program where she worked to interpret science for a variety of audiences, designed communications elements for a variety of projects ranging from invasive species management to conferences and everything in between.

Now working at Cal Poly in University Marketing, she consults on marketing and web projects for the studio.

Shari's a member of the W3C consortiums task force on responsive images, where she learns a great deal and wishes she could contribute more.

In her "spare" time, Shari makes jewelry, tries to make everything from scratch (at least once), likes to get off pavement as much as possible and enjoys burning dry Christmas trees far more than she should.


Community focus

Community is important to both Dean and Shari. Despite busy lives running a business, parenting two great kids and tending to their tiny 'urban' homestead (two dogs, six chickens, two birds, three hermit crabs and about a dozen fruit trees) they do their best to carve out time to volunteer. Dean has serveed on the board of the Central Coast Wedding Professionals, as well as a number of other community oriented non-profit organizations including the MBNEP, and Chamber of Commerce. Shari has volunteered on the board of directors for the Central Coast Natural History Association, has served on the Monarch Grove site council for years and spent a brief time as a Girl Scout troop leader. The donate studio resources to organizations whenever possible.