To say I love my studio is an understatement! It is everything I have ever wanted and so much more! It is an overview of my style, an extension of my personality, the realisation of my vision, my happy place to create art, my heaven on Earth...my dream studio!
The studio was designed by me and built by my amazing super handy husband John with the help of my Dad, brother James, brother in law Paul...and Piper (if she wasn't making a mess! lol) too!
This is actually my 4th studio, having moved around quite a bit!
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Where it all began...
Going back 3 years ago when I first started Newborn and Baby Photography, my first studio was actually Piper's bedroom. There was no room for props or more than 3 people! It was teeny TINY but as I was just starting out with close to no props, it was perfect! My light source were the East facing windows which meant the light constantly changed in the morning, It was always a case of adjusting the curtains while in the middle of a shoot. The more I practiced, the more I understood my light and I knew I needed a South facing window.
Then came my second studio which wasthe lounge, located at the front of the house and the windows were South facing! It was also wide enough that I can have two set up going at the same time and even fit a sofa for my clients. I had a small cupboard and my props fit perfectly! The new studio was almost perfect except for the toilet being towards the inner part of the house. My clients have to go through my house to use the toilet and to be honest it is quite hard to get a house clean and tidy with a baby around.
John then suggested to move the studio into our MAIN bedroom and it made perfect sense as there was an ensuite for my clients and a walk in robe for my growing collection of props. I tell you, my husband is my biggest supporter and only he can sacrifice the comfort of our bedroom and ensuite for my passion. He even built an internal door half way through the hallway so when clients come in, they can't see the mess on the other side of the house and for privacy purpose too. It was perfect! Life was good for a year! Then one day, I photographed twins who came with their parents and grandma. I also had a photographer friend help me that day. We were constantly bumping into each other, it was crowded. That's when it dawned on me, I need a bigger studio!
The process of converting our garage into my dream studio.
John being the great supporter and doer that he is, suggested we convert our two car garage into my 4th and final studio! It took a little convincing for me and Istarted looking at commercial places to lease but the rent was just unjustifiable. John then started clearing things from the garage and started painting the garage door from grey to white, he even started fixing the walls, just so i can see the potential in the garage being my studio. Lucky, I did and I wish I listened to him months before! So in June 2014, we embarked to convert the garage into my dream studio. John worked full time so he would spend 3 hours every night (after putting Piper to bed) painting, cleaning and installing the floors. He was determined to give me the studio of my dream! While halfway through the renovation I had a clever idea to also take over the lounge room which was adjacent to the garage and my dog's house as the toilet!
The studio measures 6x6 meters and the study/parents area is 4x4 meters.
Then in September 2014, I photographed my first client in the new big and amazing studio I have now! And I have never looked back..I LOVE MY STUDIO so much so that I even have a film about my studio!
It's no secret I'm addicted to props hence my studio was designed based on my love of props and babies. I want to WOW my clients when they first enter my studio and I knew I can achieve that by making my props (and art work) a feature in my studio instead of hiding them in a cupboard or walk in robe.
John built everything in the studio since he loves renovating and to keep the cost down except for the shelves. The one splurge I did was the custom built shelves built by a local cabinet maker which at that time I thought was a lot of money but I am so glad I went for it! It's what makes my studio special and original. It is the WOW factor i wanted!
I love my Whippoorwill Nest Bonnets so much I just have to display them for everyone to see! The top shelf was the perfect place to display these beauties. It is so pretty up there! I used polystyrene balls that i wrapped with linen fabric to hold my bonnets. Then a candle holder from Ikea to keep it from rolling.
I love my kitchen, It is small but it serves its purpose. I had the option of adding cupboards on top of the glass splash back for additional storage but I thought a huge wall art of my clients' beautiful images is a better way to utilise the space. This stunning Acrylic Wall Art is a custom size measuring 110cm by 147cm to fit the space above the kitchen.
It was quite hard to choose just one image for my wall art so i did a collage instead of my favourite client images at the time. It goes to say that there were a lot of heartache in getting this art piece done perfectly. We had to do them 3 times to get it perfect! It was worth it in the end though! It's a beautiful masterpiece.
My drawers...gosh I love these so much! I have 8 huge drawers and I thought i have enough but of course it's never enough. These drawers were meant to hide the untidiness of my little props but I just can't help myself but to organise and keep these tidy..and colour coded! Some of my favourite newborn and baby outfit vendors are Andrea Zoll Photography, Mia Joy Studio, Goodnightmoon Props, No. 2 Willow Lane, My Darling Emma, Tracy Raver.
My source of light is a massive floor to ceiling window measuring 5.7 meters by 2.1 meters! It is south facing with no direct sunlight entering the studio at anytime of the day! Please note, SOUTH facing windows are best for Australia or Southern Hemisphere and NORTH for USA and Northern Hemisphere countries. John built the frame of the windows in a way that it allows the garage door to close when I am not shooting and when we are on holidays for security purposes. How clever is he?
I have two kinds of curtains in my studio, one sheer and one block. I move the block curtains to channel my light as I please. I usually have them half open, depending on which side I shoot. The sheer curtains stay close at all times to give it that soft look.
My walls are painted white white except on the left hand side of the studio where i shoot my parents and baby images. The paint I used is Dulux Porcelain Pink Quarter. I have also painted my white boards the same colour as my wall and removed the skirting.
My dark and white wood are real rustic old wood I got from a demolition.
I love how my windows are so big it allows me to shoot back lit ethereal images just like this beautiful mum and baby portrait I did recently. I have a small window on the right side of the image too that I use as an additional light source.
My shelves were designed around my props. My flokatis fit perfectly, so are my bowls and baskets, even my fluffy wool and little beds. I made sure there was room for all of my props..or so I thought! Ha! I actually have so much props, i ran out of room! Lol!
I love this corner of my studio. It is literally prop and baby heaven! I specially love the Christmas reindeer canvas of my daughter Piper. It reminds me of the time when I was just starting out with not many clients but Piper :) She was the best baby model I could have asked for.
This is my office/parents/toddlers/IPS area. It is adjacent to the studio. This used to be my formal lounge aka 2nd studio. It measures 4 x 4 meters.
I love displaying my art work for everyone to see and appreciate.
This one is a canvas collection of Lola and is my best selling wall art. The bigger the better! Or the more the better :)
My favourite part of the office is what I call my Piper corner. It is adorned with images of my beautiful girl. I change the images I display from time to time as she has so many pictures! The below wall art looks like a canvas but it is actually an airbrush painting. It is STUNNING and one of my most prized possessions.
I also have a TV in my office for toddlers to keep entertained, for my in person sales and of course for my late night editing..It can get lonely all by myself, thank goodness for the TV :) For my IPS, I connect my Imac to my TV using Apple TV.
I hope you enjoyed my blog and that I inspired you one way or another :)
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