Okay, I finally just opened my new photo studio in DTLA. Undertaking such a project is a lot of work - but it is a labor of love for me. And it is familiar task as I have previously opened 2 studios in Boston - Boston Studio Photography and BSP West, along with my partner Younes Jabir.
Each studio has a different personality and requires a different approach to make it workable and useful for photographers. I have the luxury of having gone through this experience before, know the great things we did and the mistakes we made. This new studio is so different from the last one and that one was different from the previous to that.
The first studio, Boston Studio Photography, is located in downtown Boston. It is in an old building with creaky wood floors and amazing bright windows across 3 walls. We loved the light! Then discovered the challenge to blocking said light for low key shooting which we addressed with lots of blinds! Also with no central AC we found we had to buy 6 window units in order to try to keep things cool in the summer months - this we discovered in our 4th month when the temperatures soared in the building. We learned, we adapted.
BSP West is in a gorgeous old building with very high ceilings and so many amazing places to shoot. Art photographer Brooke Shaden held one of her workshops there and proclaimed it was one of the best studios she had ever been in. Likely because it was so old, majestic and full of crazy old props in the basement. It is a beautiful antique building and one of the best places I have had the luxury to shoot in.
Which now brings me to my newest studio - Penumbra Studios located in the Artist Lofts @ the Brewery in DTLA. My experience with my previous studios gave me insight into how to set the studio up, what equipment, props and backdrops are needed, and how to take advantage of the existing structure. What's different here is it is a relatively new structure. It has 20' ceilings which is really nice. It has concrete floors and white walls allowing for all possibilities in terms of defining a look. And it has central AC which is so awesome as I sit here writing inside while the temperature outside is in the 90's today. It is more modern and sleek than the previous places and that opens up new opportunities and looks. Ultimately, the bottom line is that it is mine - I created it, defined it, outfitted and went from vision to reality. And that IS my labor of love.