Where The Magic Happens
Is the traditional photography studio dead?? Yes and no. And let me tell you why. . .
I have an actual physical studio space. This is pretty rare these days for photographers. “Back in the day” when I was a kid (in the 1970s and 80s), most people went to a photography studio for professional portraits. Maintaining a studio space with lighting, backdrops, and props was (and still is) pretty costly, so only people trying to earn their living solely from photography did portraits and had studios back then. Now, with the affordable price point of a decent digital SLR camera and the capabilities of computer editing software, a lot of photographers who would have been hobbyists “back in the day”, are now charging for their work and taking portraits using existing light outdoors. The consumer thinks this is fantastic because they can get updated images of themselves and their families at a lower price point since the hobby photographer has less overhead than the pro. The experience feels more relaxed to many, expecially those with children. No need for them to be quiet and still (which is not really in a child’s nature anyway), so they can run FREE!! As a result, studio portraits aren’t as common. Even the established, “big name” chain studios from my childhood are closing their doors.
There’s nothing wrong with the new way of doing things, nothing at all. I love a good outdoor shoot! People may think I’m crazy for having opened a true brick and mortar photography studio in this day and time, but I did it anyway. The creative possibilities of doing studio work were just too fabulous to pass up. I’ve been in my current space a little over two years and it’s a little slice of heaven for me. It’s a place where I can be my true self, explore my creativity, and push myself as an artist. Yes, I can play with studio lighting, and that’s a good fit for some clients. I can also do softer images using natural light in my studio as well and we can play inside no matter the season or weather, which is a real plus. No rescheduling sessions due to rain or snow or heat or cold. Plus, boudoir sessions are MUCH easier in a studio than outdoors or in a hotel room. Although, I will do boudoir on location as well because that can be a great artistic choice.
I think for my clients, though, my studio is simply a place where “magic” happens. Portrait photography “magic” is that point of connection between photographer and subject where both parties are open and vulnerable. Beautiful portraits and artistic images are made in this magical space of connectedness and trust. Now, I can take that magic out into the world during location photo shoots no problem, but my studio is my wellspring. I always need to come back to it. I need it for myself creatively as much as for any business purpose. I walk in every day and take a deep breath and SMILE all the way down to my soul!
As luck would have it, about the time I thought I was outgrowing my special place, I have been given the opportunity to expand! This is both exhilarating and terrifying. The terrifying: Now I have another project on my plate at a very busy time in my business. I have additional overhead. I have more area to clean, furnish, and maintain. The exhilarating: I also have the chance to make this already magical place EVEN MORE AMAZING for my clients. More magic???? YES, PLEASE!! So, sticking with my 2017 promise to myself to let go of perfectionism and get stuff done, I’m taking this leap and getting this new space ready as quickly as I can. The overall awesomeness can be tweaked more later on. I’ll keep you all updated on the progress on the blog and social media. When it’s all done we’re gonna have a party!!!! Woohoo!!
So, no, the photography studio experience is not dead. It is very much alive. It’s undergone a significant transformation since the groovy “double exposure” days of the 70s and 80s and it’s ready to rock your world! I’d be thrilled to share my modern portraiture experience with you whenever you’re ready.
P.S. I went with the less than perfect cell phone shot of my studio because of that whole “2017 is the year of letting go of perfectionism and get stuff done” thing. I’ll snap a new one with “the good camera” one day, soon. Promise!! It will be even more glorious and wonderful after this studio expansion and makeover is complete 🙂