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Studio Tour | Longview, Tyler, Family and Newborn Photography

I've finally gotten around to writing this post.  I've had a few questions from other photographers about my studio.  When I was building and planning, I loved NOTHING more than a great, visual studio tour for ideas.

Even though I'm a natural light, on-location photographer, I've always dreamed of having a great space to not only work and edit in, but also to host clients and even have a place to shoot small children and newborns.  With the advent of Pinterest earlier this year I was able to let my imagination run wild!

I wish I had before pictures - but the studio, before it was a studio, was just a dusty old two-car garage.  Nothing fancy.  It DID have AC vents when we moved in, so that was one thing I didn't have to worry about.  Also in August, I flew out to California to work alongside Megan Squires who also has a natural light studio.  She does an amazing one-on-one mentorship for newborn photographers and you can learn more about her here:  http://www.megansquires.com/

In August I got the go ahead from Mr. Man and we dove right in.  The two months prior to that were full of planning and designing (you know I had a MASSIVE spreadsheet going, not to mention idea boards).  And - I was on a budget.  I was not only building a studio space, I was also having to buy equipment, back drops, back drop stands, blankets, props, etc. so that I could shoot in the space when it opened.

We hired a contractor to take out the garage doors and install a wall of windows and french doors.  The windows would be my shooting light.  Everything else we did ourselves.

I got my sign made at a local sign printing company.  
 My canvas wall.  I've had a lot of questions on the dimensions so here they are:  (2) 24x30 and (4) 24x16.  From Canvas on Demand Pro - 1.5" thick.  Book paper wreath from a local store: Sew Junkie Boutique.  I also have gotten several of my newborn knits and petti-rompers there. 
 I got my dresser from IKEA and use it to store blankets, knits and small baby props.
 I think clear promotional pieces are important.  I have a small folded pricing guide that also explains my digital collections.  This seems to really help my clients make buying decisions.
 Accordion album from Miller's.
 I have a couple ledges with some prints in different finishes.  Shown here is metallic and my other favorite - Fuji deep matte paper. (I've only been able to find this paper at Pro DPI.)
 This is the back wall of the studio.  I have a small seating area in front of the desk.  To the left is a flat screen where clients can view their images from the iPad (which they hold in their hands during the ordering session).  Chairs - I got both from TJ Maxx.  Curtains - IKEA (cut myself and did the iron-on hem thing - so proud of myself as I am domestically challenged in a big way).  Desk - freebie - woot!  Tissue Poms - Etsy: I've used her many times and she is SUPERB: Prost to the Host
 To the right of my desk I have another sitting space.  I want to mention, because I was working with limited space (around 550 sq. ft. not counting the storage in back), I wanted to make sure everything was multi-purpose.  The chairs, stools, couch - I wanted to be able to incorporate them in shoots as well.  This couch I found online for a steal.  Coffee table - something old I already had.  Suitcases - found at a flea market.  In the back corner you can see some of my drops from Rock the Drops.  Love them and you can find them here: http://rockthedrops.com/

Also - I have about 200 sq. ft. of storage in the back for props and all kinds of equipment.

I also get asked a lot about the "mural thing" behind the couch there.  That's a fabric wall cling and I adore it!  You can find them at Pro DPI: http://www.prodpi.com/
The cameras (replicas) I found at Hobby Lobby.  The pillows at TJ Maxx.  (I shop there a lot).  The Eiffel Tower card holder is from Ballard Designs.
 My family books that I offer are lay-flat and you can find them at Miller's:  http://www.millerslab.com/

 The door on the right there goes to a hallway into my home.  I plan on doing the hallway in large prints and frames of my family to show my clients MORE examples of what they can do.  One of the biggest advantages of having a studio is helping clients SEE what they can create for their homes.

Where I keep my packaging supplies.  I'm running a little low on supplies after the holidays - time to re-stock!  I get my DVD cases from Kraft and Jute.  The Audrey Hepburn children's book is from Anthropologie.
 My husbands old camera from High School...

Luxe frames (this is hanging on the wall now) from Miller's: http://www.millerslab.com/  These may be my favorite new product.
  Here is a pull-back.  Depending on how the light is coming in, I just move my stand around to the best spot.
 Here you can see my window.  I think it's 10ft long.  Also notice, it comes very low to the ground.  A MUST for newborn work.  Those with higher windows will often work on top of a raised surface.

  No studio tour is complete without a shot of THE bag.  Kelly Moore: http://kellymoorebag.com/

 Large wall print (all prints over 8x10 come mounted on styrene.  Shown here with Fuji deep matte paper from Pro DPI.
 Luxe Frames.  (Miller's)
 Coffee Table Books: Miller's

 Lay-flat binding for pano-spreads.  Shown here with glossy paper.

 Pull back.  I also use a reflector when necessary.  Drop is from Rock the Drops and flooring is from The Savvy Photographer Store:
A few shots in the studio:  Drops all from Rock the Drops or Savage Paper.

And some images from our grand opening: 

 My girl Kendra!  Love her and was very thankful to have her at the grand opening to shoot some images for me.

 So there you have it!  If you have any questions I'm an open book!


samantha said...

Oooh GORGEOUS! This is SO not helping my studio fever right now, I'm slowly (and I mean s l o w l y) decorating my 15x24ft studio space and I'm having a hard time with the slow pace. I LOVE that couch, do you remember where you got it? I am SO jealous of those windows *swoon*

Ally said...

Love your studio! Thank you for posting such a detailed post on everything!!!! Love the wall cling. Your blog rocks. One of my best find.

Lori said...

Samantha - check out Laurie Sachs' studio (if you haven't already). It's gorgeous and her dimensions are about what you're working with.

Ally - thank you so much! I get so excited when I get comments here - you made my day.

Lori said...

Here is the link to Laurie's space: http://lauriesachsphotography.com/blog/where-the-magic-happens

Samantha said...

Thank you!!!

Shannon Jones said...

Thank you so much for sharing! What a great space!!! I'm drooling and I'll have some questions for you, I'm sure!
Like if you are just starting out and want to try studio work, what backdrop dimension should I buy first?
See told you I'd come up with something!

Lori said...

I'm very new to studio work as well so I am probably not the BEST person to ask! But - I would think if you're just wanting to try something out and see if you like it start small. I didn't want to invest in expensive back drop roller systems and huge muslin back drops. Instead, I bought a fairly simple back drop stand and some seamless paper. I also love Rock the Drops - they are surprisingly durable, no glare and a great price.

Here is an example of a photog that just opened up her garage doors and went to town:

My backdrop stand was similar to this one:

And the Rock the Shop drops that I got are ( I think) 60x72:

You can buy seamless paper from B&H - I think I've used the Savage brand.

Tori said...

What a gorgeous set-up. Fabulous job!!!

Lisa Dabbs said...

Wow! Just Wow! As an educational consultant, I'm strictly a hobbiest, but your space is amazing! Thanks so much for sharing it. You've given me more ideas for how I might revamp my home office and guest room. I also LOVE TJ Maxx and practically live there :)

Shannon Jones said...

thank you Lori! I'll check it out!

Amanda said...

FYI my husbands boat needs to vaca from my three car garage so I can build a studio like yours!!!!!! To die for!!!!

Diana said...

What an awesome studio. Thanks for sharing. met on CM!

Rachel Nielsen | Utah Photographer said...

Wow! Absolutely gorgeous!!!! Thank you so much for sharing. Love the idea of turning the garage into your studio! I am jealous ;)

Lori said...

Thank you guys for such sweet comments!

Shannon B. Lenoir said...

I LOVE your studio. I would convert our garage in a minute IF I could stomach the $ and figure out where to put all our stuff!

traci said...

this was such an awesome studio tour. thank you so much for sharing. if you don't mind me asking, what do you use as a viewing program from the ipad to the tv?

Lori said...

Right now I use an app called Portfolio. I use Dropbox to move client images into their own gallery in the app (which is customized with my branding as well). I re-size the images to around 900px first or it would take a long time to load the images. If you have an iPad 2 - you can mirror whatever is displayed on the iPad to a tv as well. Works well for now. I've heard a lot of great things about ProSelect - but I haven't wanted to spend the money on it yet.

traci said...

thanks so much lori. i have thought the same thing about ProSelect that is why I asked what you are using. I will give that a try.

Frances Matteck said...

Love, love, love how you did this!! I'll be coming back to this post for inspiration when I *finally* get to this point. Great job! =)

Lindsay Hamilton said...

i'm drooling, this is gorgeous. you did a beautiful job, i love it!

Lori said...

Thank you guys!

Jessica - KraftandJute.com said...

ahhh! So lovely, Lori! I'm sorry that I'm just now seeing this post. BEAUTIFUL studio - and it was fun seeing some of our Kraft & Jute CD sleeves on the shelves as well! Best wishes to you; hope you are doing far more than you ever dreamed! Keep up the great work!

Lori said...

Thank you Jessica! I'm a big fan of Kraft and Jute!

Victoria Simmons said...

Such an absolutely beautiful space. I am so envious. Do you know how many square feet you're working with? So stunning! I seriously would die to have a space like this. Awesome work!

Lori said...

Thank you Victoria - I do really enjoy it! It's been a while since I measured but I THINK the space is 20x24, not including some storage space in the back. It's a little larger than a standard 2 car garage if that helps. (It used to be our garage).

Emily Elrod said...

Love your studio. Where did you find the white couch?

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