“I’m not afraid of the dark,” says photographer Rafael Soldi. He’s talking about the deep gray color he painted the kitchen and dining nook of his Squire Park apartment, but his assertion also applies to the black-and-white photographs he collects and displays in every room and hallway. Born and raised in Peru, Soldi attended the Maryland Institute College of Art, majoring in photography and curatorial studies. After working for a photography gallery in New York City, he moved to Seattle in 2010—only planning to stay for the summer. He’s still here, surrounded by photography both in his position as marketing director for Photo Center Northwest (pcnw.org) and in his home. “My favorite pieces have a story attached to them,” he says of his collection, which contains many shots by photographer friends as well as his own work. “Something about knowing the artist changes the art—I see them in it.” Soldi has also managed to collect prints by famous photographers such as Vivian Maier, Richard Avedon and Abelardo Morell (the last of whom originally inspired him to be a photographer), thanks to galleries with accommodating payment plans, which he says is common practice almost everywhere. “Never be ashamed to say, ‘This is my budget, how can I work with you?’” he advises.