Constantly in life, we are told that the magic happens when we step outside of our comfort zone. We all know that we grow the most when we step away from what we know and work to learn new things. I have taken a big step in that direction this winter, to challenge myself in new and frightening ways!
I have leased a STUDIO!
I've teamed up with Makers & Mentors (a mother-daughter pair who teach artisan workshops) to create a collaborative space that doubles as a photo studio. Our space is in Timbre Studios, and although it's not 100% set up yet I have already done three shoots there.
The thing about having a studio is - it is forcing me to reimagine my style. I have become so versed in outdoor shooting, weddings, and events, that it is very rare I have had to photograph a person in an unnatural environment. I am starting to settle into the process now, but some things that I am learning and growing into are:
1) How to get people to feel comfortable in a small room with lights shining in their faces.
2) How to instruct people into different poses more frequently - I can't move around them for a different angle and background... my only variable is THEM. Encouraging changes in the way they are sitting, standing, relating to one another, interacting with the camera, etc. has been the steepest learning curve of all.
3) Dealing with mixed light. The overhead lights in our studio are a cozy in-home yellow feel, while my studio lights are bright white like daylight. When they mix the result is BAD. Adding equipment as I go, and finding out just how many lights I need to mimic natural daylight has been interesting. Surprisingly, what I've found to be my favourite is just shooting with only the natural light in the building, and not using any of my professional studio lights. I find my subjects are more comfortable, I have more flexibility with what angle I can shoot from without adjusting any lighting first, and I am able to be more spontaneous when shooting. Luckily I have a camera that can handle low light very well, and the ability to scrap the traditional studio set up when I need to.
I'm not surprised to find that I don't like shooting in the traditional "studio" way - with vinyl backgrounds, props, and lights. As in everything I do, I'm a little bit left of center. I'm not sure I will always want a studio, since my first love is still shooting outside, but this has already been a fantastic learning experience for me to grow my skills and diversify my style.
Here are some samples of what I've been able to create there so far, with a few of my incredible clients!
Timbre Studios is hosting a public open house on December 16, 2016. Register for a free ticket here and come check out the studio! There will be fires, Mayday Hotdogs, and Blindman Beer, as well as a DJ and several other great start-up businesses for you to meet!
See you there!