Do you want to hear something sad? Pathetic & cheesy ‘sad’, not dying of incurable cancer ‘sad’. I never had a dream. There, I said it…this whole photography thing is still kind of a shock to me. I know, I’ve been working in a portrait studio since college (college= 4 years of indecisiveness), and I never really thought taking pictures is what I would do for the rest of my life. But somewhere along the way, I had an epiphany. To be honest, I know exactly when this great ‘epiphany’ came. It was about 3 1/2 yrs ago…I picked up a part time job at the Target Deli (you’ve heard me mention this before, I’m sure)…the job was so disgusting (I know, I LOVE Target-don’t get me wrong…but cleaning deep fryers and slicing bloody roast beef all day gets old fast). Anyways, every night, we would clean our little deli area until it shined…and then wait for the inspection. The inspection was done by a 23 year old college grad with swishy blond hair and high-heeled boots. My cute, young, perky manager. She would never just say, “looks good guys, have a great night!” Nope, she would find something wrong e.v.e.r.y. night. Sometimes she would go searching for things to complain about. I hated it. I only lasted 6 months. I’ve always enjoyed taking pictures and working with kids…and I knew I had the experience…I was just scared to death of the business side of things. Taxes, insurance, EIN #’s??? Yikes.
I told Korey that I was going to start up a photography business (just on location)…before I knew it, I was buying backgrounds and props and having people come over to my house for pictures. We turned our small den into the official studio…but I rarely used it, I much preferred the natural light in my kitchen. After 2 years of moving my dining room table and chairs, and dragging backgrounds and props in from all over the house…I begged Korey to let me rent a studio space. He never liked the idea. I just wanted my own space, period. Korey kept telling me that building on our own land would be much better than renting…but he wanted to wait (he was a fan of the 5 year plan, not 2 yr plan!!). But, he got sick of being booted out of the house every time I had a session, so he relented.
We have 6 acres…we assumed we could build whatever we wanted. We were wrong. After many court hearings…I was officially granted permission to build a studio (as long as it was attached to the house-crazy zoning laws!). We decided to use our attached 3 car garage as the new studio, and build a separate pole shed to use as our new garage.
Here are the before and afters!!
And…AFTER!! As you can see, we added the new glass doors, as well as that small window on the front side. The two small windows on the left were always there….and the ‘shooting window’ on the back right side, was added during construction as well.
Aerial view! Garages are pretty tall, so we were able to do 10ft ceilings, with 8 foot separating walls. The place is broken up into 3 main rooms. The left side is the ‘lobby/sitting area’ (that white door leads into our mud room), the middle space is my prop room, and the right side is the shooting space. Thanks Wendy, for letting me borrow your wide angle lens…it was fun to play with!
4 (20×20) metallic standout mounts with wood trim…my favorite!
This yellow frame is ginormous (the actual picture is 30×30, but the frame goes out almost another foot!), but I love it!
The little dressing/changing area.
See the canvas wall? I asked you all for your opinions on which ‘yellow girl’ picture…I went with all 4!!
Prop closet. My dad built all the shelving inside…I’ve already filled it up, I am horrified! Now what am I going to do?? I used to have props stashed all over the house, so it never seemed like I had a problem! That white dresser is entirely filled with hats…mostly newborn…I know, it’s a sickness.
I have a nice little nook for packaging pictures…this is such an improvement over packaging on my kitchen counter…no more grape jelly blobs on my white boxes!
Shooting area! My windows are facing northwest…I get decent light most of the day. The very best light seems to be around 1:30pm…but mornings work too! Oh, and I got a fancy-shmancy automatic background roller thingy…works pretty slick!
Studio lights in the dark back corner…need to put some sets back there…one step at a time!
Thanks so much to my family for their support and help! Special thanks to my husband for taking me seriously, and making this whole crazy scheme happen! And to my lovely clients (current and future), I hope to see you all soon…and if this whole thing doesn’t pan out-well then Korey will have the fanciest man-cave EVER! BWAHAHAHA…