To a photographer one of the biggest things is somewhere to shoot, obviously established photographers have their own studios or a decent space to shoot in, I had nothing. Doing headshots in the lounge wasn't coming across as very professional, but my budget didn't allow me to be constantly renting studio space for shoots. Plus if I wanted to experiment with gels, lighting, shoot macro or just shoot a great portrait of the dog with out having to set up all the lights in the front room I just couldn't do it, or be bothered!
Suddenly we had to move, no we weren't getting evicted or anything like that but the growing pack of dogs, with 2 cats and already having 3 kids our previous property couldn't cope. Then add all the photography equipment that was slowly taking over rooms and we had no choice but to find a new place. And what a place we found, we moved out of the city and into the country, High Peak and it's beautiful. Apart from the great house and amazing shooting locations the property had a space we could convert into a studio.
The Garden to the new a place, perfect for summer shoots.
I found a very good carpenter, Jeff who coved out the space. He did a brilliant job, I then painted it, I have to say I do like painting, music on singing away, Well I guess the delivery man thought it was amusing anyway ( I am tone deaf!). I also wanted a black section in the studio meaning I would have to split the ceiling, I was a little worried how it would turn out but I think the line looks pretty damn straight. However the paint I had got for the ceiling wasn't as black as I hoped for, in fact next to the eggshell black it looked positively grey! This was an issue, another issue was the eggshell black was far too shiny, I needed to find something else. After a few hours on the internet, I found something that might work. I got myself a tester pot and was pretty happy with the result, at least it was black. I then repainted all the black again!
Being a massive fan of low key portraits, I can't wait to use this section, with it painted again I save time having to set up for the low key work. Yet having a black section would never have crossed my mind if I hadn't done the low key work in the studio's over the past few years, I guess I would have just painted it all white!
Getting the floor laid was a different story, first person let us down, then tried again and let us down again. So I found a local commercial floor company, who came, measured up and a few days later John was laying the floor. Though that didn't got fully to plan, he was sick on day two. But he was back the day after and finished the job, really pleased with John's work, it looks great.
Studio equipment next, with already having a good set of lights, backdrops and other equipment my outlay to fully equip the studio wasn't to much. Plus it was great to see my kit in it's own space and not dotted around the house or hidden in cupboards. Next came the test shoots!
So I lined up a few models to come to the studio and test shoot, how the light will roll around the space, or how to shoot in the black area. Using the backdrops etc. I know you are thinking What? A studio is a studio, put up the back drops, or shoot on the cove. Well my studio is more a portraits studio, it isn't very high, which is perfect for short models, or cats and dogs. Actually it's a great space for product images as well. I also got feedback about the space to do makeup, changing room, etc etc, there are a few more things I need to buy but nothing major.
So after successful test shoots, I am very happy with the studio, but the best thing is; it is my space to work in. I can practice, I can test ideas, and I don't have to pay anyone else for the space, and I can use it at anytime I want!