Me & My Studio – Our Journey.
February 1, 2017
I love my studio! I have enough floor space for 3 backdrops up at any one time, plus a changing area, a viewing area, a comfortable seating and chill out area, and plenty of room to display my ever growing prop collection!
During my 11 years as a portrait photographer in Worcestershire, I have come a long way. I started out in 2006 working from my car as a mobile photographer which was challenging to say the least – rearranging clients living rooms and bedrooms to make a workable studio space – removing mirrors and pictures from walls, unplugging appliances and taking doors off hinges. Nowadays I have my own wall hangings, room enough to swing a cat or two, and even a Snack Station!
Once the business was beginning to bloom in 2008, we took the plunge and converted the very wet cellar in our house into a studio space. This had it’s benefits – more room, a permanent studio set up, no more loading and unloading the car, removing and replacing baby child car seats every time I had a shoot, or destroying my clients homes! But it was hard working from home with two very small children who didn’t understand that even though mummy was in the building she was inaccessible. And my clients had to walk through my house to reach the studio entrance – keeping this area free from the clutter of toddler toys and carnage was a daily battle! But one of my main bug bears was the low ceiling – to be expected from a basement conversion I know, but even though we had the floor dug out during renovation, any men (or women) above average height could only be photographed sitting down!
In 2011 I was fortunate enough to locate a small converted outbuilding in a rural location and proceeded to convert this to a useable studio space. What a revelation! I had two levels which gave me a separate viewing / office area, it was walking distance from home and my children’s school, and was, most importantly, not in my house! I had 2 very happy years at this studio, but soon outgrew it. Although the location ticked so many boxes, it was only 200 square feet of working area. Photographing clients in confined spaces over the years meant large family groups had always been pretty much impossible unless we moved outdoors and of course the British weather rarely complies with our needs! Plus I only ever had room for one backdrop and set out at a time which limited my options with attention deficit toddlers and restless children, and I had nowhere left to store my ever growing prop stash!
So in 2013 I moved once more, to my current studio at The Old Needleworks on Britten Street, Redditch. I now have nearly 400 square feet of studio space, plus a comfortable viewing / office area. There is a cafe just next door, free parking, full toilet facilities, and a large empty room right outside my internal studio door where restless children can run off steam in between shots! I have 3 metre high ceilings to accommodate even the tallest men with a child on their shoulders, plus space enough to have three backdrops and sets up and in use at any one time. I have ample storage for my props and spare kit, with room left to play. I do a huge amount of generational family portraits and the largest group so far has been 18 people at the same time!
I’m sure at some point I will outgrow the space, and whilst I would prefer a rural setting rather than town centre, the benefits far outweigh the negatives. My studio is comfortable, clean, modern and very spacious. This means my portrait sessions are calm and relaxed and my clients are happy.
To visit me in my studio please get in touch to book an appointment. My clients are always welcome to pop in for a chat and a look around before committing to a shoot.
I hope to see you soon,