Humble beginings

Updated: Sep 15, 2019

So this has been in the works for a long time now, I’ve wanted my own studio again.

I’ve been in photographry for a long time now but since I left my Kensington studio in 2015 I’ve been shooting on location or babies in their homes, this isn’t always very practical or allowing much room for creativity, I have an absolute mountain of props, lighting, backdrops and camera gear that is a pain to lug around and if you’ve met me you know I’m hardly a weight lifter!

So here we are at the start of 2019, the dream has been on the back burner for months while I work part time in data & admin but today I get the push I need to make this my full time focus again, my contract is not going to be renewed aka – I’m fired, who would have thought I’d actually be this happy?

I’ve been looking at commercial real estate listings here and there for months and couldn’t actually believe how cheap they were in my area, there was one that had been vacant for a long time that id had my eye on, walking distance from home and super secure, the anxiety was almost unbearable as I called the agent to enquire, it was still availiable and I can inspect it tomorrow!!!

The space is everything I want, it’s perfect, can I apply? How do I negotiate a commercial lease?! It’s so different and daunting, my previous studio space was in a big old mill converted into tiny artist spaces and owned/leased by other artists with this in mind, this was going to be all mine!

It’s been about a month since I started paperwork for the space and today I get the keys, I have no idea what I’m doing byt i’m doing it and holy crap this is real, I’m actually doing it!!!

It’s so empty, my blank canvas, so much room for activities and creativity and where do I even start?! I have a vague idea of what I want, I guess I’ll just mock some sketches, measure some rooms and use my backdrop stands to see how the walls will look and ensure everything will fit, I know I want a waiting/presentation lounge, private office/storage area and a Cyclorama shooting space (what’s that?) as the most important feature, I’ll also add I’ve never really built anything in my life and am totally gonna wing DIY-ing it.

First things first, my element, designing my new logo, what will I name the studio?! I hope this is the hardest part because it. Is. Hard!

We are named, but it’s a secret for now… logo is designed and broken down into small elements, I probably have more important things to focus on when opening a new business but this is funner.

I’ve had this vinyl cutter for years now and It’s unfortunately had little use but today we’re throwing it in the deep end and making the stickers for the front window.

Who knew this would require so much math?!

Now if I had hindsight I’d have not jumped into this the week I lost my job, I got only a few weeks notice my contract was ending and had no savings behind me for this, luckily at the time I had just started seeing a financial councilor, Marina from Good Money Morwell, this absolute angel made these walls happen with a small grant toward the building materials.

It’s only been a few days but everything has been purchased and the wall frames are together! Not to brag but I think I did a pretty good job…

Not perfectly straight, some of the wood I received was bowed, but it’s sturdy and the plasterboard is attached, I can probably hide the unevenness with plaster or moulding.