I am mostly an on-location photographer, but I got to the point in my business where having a studio space to meet clients, do sales, and occasionally shoot sessions was a must. I opted to create a space with a studio mate, fellow photographer and friend, Erin Konrath. Our photography styles, business models, and design aesthetics are similar, so it was an easy decision. We set out with clear goals and a cohesive vision for the design of the space, and how it would function. We worked with interior designer and stylist Kelly Hurliman to bring our vision to life. Our plan included seven key elements for success, and it’s worked out beautifully all around.
Here’s how we created a modern, functional photo studio space that works for our business:
1. Look for the light.
The light in my studio is amazing! It is on the third floor, and other buildings don’t block the sun. Even on overcast days, it’s bright enough to shoot without using a high ISO. Plus, being so high up makes the studio feel private. No worries about peeping toms!
2. Design for client meetings.
We incorporated intimate spaces to meet with clients. Since I don’t shoot much in the studio, I use the space more for meeting clients than anything else. I keep all my samples in the studio, and do in-person sales meetings there too, unless clients request I go to their homes.
“…every time I step over the threshold of my studio, I have a smile on my face.”
3. Location is everything.
One of my favorite things about our studio is its location in the historic downtown of Hinsdale, Illinois, in the suburbs of Chicago. I live just minutes away and frequently run into friends on the street. My kids go to school nearby, and can stop by on their bikes to say hello. I can run down to the bakeries to pick up snacks for clients or get great Thai food just across the street. The town is so charming — every time I step over the threshold of my studio, I have a smile on my face.
4. Make it feel like home.
Erin and I have similar styles, and we wanted to create a space that feels like our homes — beautiful and cozy, but styled. We put together a Pinterest board of ideas and worked with a designer to help pull our vision together.
5. Display your own work.
The wall behind the desk is a combination of my and Erin’s work. It’s a beautiful way to showcase the different sizes of the prints I offer, as well as the frame options I can order for clients. Since it’s a gallery wall, it showcases the ways I can style my clients’ photos in their home, with multiple photographs from their session paired with other photographs and art they already have, creating something totally unique for them.
6. Create a Strong Brand.
We came up with“StudioHouse” for the name because we wanted an ambience that feels like home. Plus, we can rent out the space to other creatives, not just photographers, and the neutral branding allows other photographers to feel right at home as well.
7. Make a Refreshment Station.
I have different kinds of water, soft drinks, and organic juice chilled and ready, and I keep snacks on hand as well. I make sure the display is beautiful and appealing. It is all about creating a wonderful experience for my clients.
Let’s see your photo studio!
Do you have a fabulous photography studio space you absolutely love? Maybe it’s a trendy loft, on a quaint main street, a converted Airstream or bus, a cute shed in your backyard, or even a space you created inside your home… we’d love to see it! If you’re interested in sharing a video or photo walkthrough with Click readers, please submit a brief summary (with photos!) here. Sharing amazing photography spaces is one of our favorite things!