This is the third year I've had my Greenwich CT Studio. It's one of my favorite places, mostly because I got to decorate the entire space myself. It's not a big area, but the three South-facing windows and white walls really light up the room. The one thing I've noticed over the years is that my Studio (and interior design style) is a bit simpler than a lot of other photographers. I, for one, can't stand clutter. I worry about safety.. and I hate spending frivolously, so everything I've purchased for the Studio over the years has been meticulously researched and planned for.
Client Meeting Area
I decided to go with a comfy couch and coffee table instead of a more traditional chair setup. I wanted this meeting area to feel like a living room, not an office. And even though everything is quite white in the space, it's all washable (that's important when working with children). I will admit that most of the furniture was procured at a reasonable price, with money spent on the pieces that matter. In this space, the photographs are the star of the show.. everything else is selected for comfort and function with the idea that replacing it, if needed, wouldn't break the bank.
Oh, and another fun fact is that the entire Studio was created with child safety in mind. All outlets are child-safe, the coffee table is acrylic (not glass), and zero-VOC non-toxic interior paint was used on all the walls (which also actually seals in any off-gassing from previous paint jobs). The walls and flooring were also selected specifically to be neutral, without any color casts which could affect the photos. And you will notice the large TV to the side, which is used for video slideshows and sometimes to review photo options. Unfortunately for all the kids (and sometimes Dads) who come to the Studio, it's not hooked up to any sort of TV service.
Backdrops & Shooting Area
My Studio gets re-arranged a bit for its two main purposes.. 1) client meetings and 2) portrait sessions. Since the space is small (under 400 sq feet), I needed to figure out the best way to set up the different areas when I first started photographing in the Studio. It might surprise people to find out that I don't rely on beautiful natural light for my portraits (mostly because natural light is unreliable). My backdrops are at 90° to the windows and I use a Profoto strobe to create a soft natural look at any time of day. And when it comes to my background colors, I have white, cool gray, and warm gray.. which not only reflect my style, but also go with pretty much everything.
Some of the equipment I have around the shooting area is as follows.. There are large white foam-core panels, called V-flats, to the left, and a set of panels that are black which are often use to create a little changing area in the corner. There is a variety of posing stools, which get moved around (by me, but more often than not, by little kids as well!). A clothing rack... and a fan to create hair movement, if desired. I've photographed 12 people at once in this space before, and I'm sure I can fit more if needed. It's all about using every inch wisely!
The Reveal Wall
When my Clients come back (usually about one week after their session), they get to see their final photographs, printed and matted, displayed on the Reveal Wall. It's one of the best ways to make this type of purchasing decision, because it feels like shopping. Clients are able to move their images around, place them next to each other, and consider groupings for wall art or gifts. And the best part? Clients take the photographs they purchase home with them right after the appointment, right off the shelf!
Work Table & Refreshments
In the far end of the Studio is a little alcove with a desk and mini-fridge. (The fridge, specifically was hard to find because I wanted a white one.) I don't actually work at the desk since I do most of my office management tasks and editing from home (you can see my home setup here).. but it does serve several purposes. It's a hair & makeup area during sessions, if we need it, and a place to keep packaging ready for my Ordering Appointments. The mirrored wardrobe next to the desk provides an easy way for Clients to check their makeup, but also hides my boxes, stands, and equipment inside. It's an important part of keeping the clean look of the Studio. And if you look closely, you will notice the little woven basket, which is full of toys - it's a great way for kids to entertain themselves if they're waiting for their turn or happen to accompany parents to the Ordering Appointment. Oh, and hair spray is always available, if needed.
Everything in the Studio has a purpose. Every item is meaningful in some way, even if its sole function is simply to add beauty to the space. I will usually have a candle burning (don't worry, it doesn't stay around if there are little kids) and classical music playing, all to create a relaxing atmosphere for my Clients. I have a vintage camera that's pretty much indestructible, and plenty of product samples and frames to touch and consider. But really, when you look at my Studio, it's anything but cluttered. It's important to me to have clean surfaces, to allow every object the respect and attention it deserves. It's the way I approach my photography.. so why wouldn't my space reflect that as well? I curated everything inside my Studio.
I hope you enjoyed this sneak peek at my Studio! It's such a cozy little space that brings me joy every time I step through the door. And if you've been considering doing a portrait session (like, if you just had a baby.. or haven't had photos done in a while), don't hesitate to reach out! I reply to emails within 24 hours and can send you a free Session Brochure for you to take a look (email firstname.lastname@example.org)