Capturing the Best in Ourselves

Before and After: The Making of an In-home Studio

Last year I took some time to redo my studio and finally finish it the way that I wanted to when we first bought our home.  Of course, it is still a work in progress, but I wanted to go ahead and post some pictures of the near finished project.  As I have looked through our "before" pictures it is still amazing to me how different our home looks.  It has been fun to put this all together. Many photographers have asked me how I like having an in-home studio.  While, sometimes I would love to have a completely separate place for my business so that I am not "at work" all of the time, the way we have configured our home has really worked for our family.  We are able to have family space and photography space all in the same building.  When we were looking for a new home in 2009, one of the major considering factors was if I would be able to have an in-home studio.  Joe was so gracious to give me almost 1/3 of our living space at that time to convert into a natural light studio.  I am so thankful to him for his faith in me.  So, since we are almost finished with the design of the studio, I wanted to post our progress for those of you who haven't been able to come in.  I wanted to show you what you are missing!  :)  Please come anytime to experience the fun for yourself.


Welcome to our Home!!


One of the first things I changed about the house was the back of the door color.  I painted it turquoise.  In my life, and in my house, I am always looking for something a little unexpected.  I felt like a turquoise door fit.

We also removed the grasscloth wallpaper, painted most of the walls white and added transom windows to bring more light into the entryway.  Since I don't have a separate studio space, my home has to double as my gallery.  I have three perfect subjects for the first gallery as you can see...


We love our house because it is a 1960's ranch.  Personally I love it for its innate style.  As we make design decisions we are always trying to stay with a mid-century modern feel.  For my business, I love it because it provided me two large rooms at the front of the house:  the living room and dining room.  In the 60s you had separate larger living rooms for entertaining guests.  Houses aren't made like this anymore.  So we were so lucky to find a mid-century home, that we loved and had a larger front living space.  It isn't huge, but big enough for me to move around in.

This picture shows our work in progress.  You can see the black wall we painted in the entryway and the new light grey walls in the studio (pre bamboo floors).  I wanted to show you the windows.  Our home has beautiful casement windows.  And although I love them for most of the house, they don't provide much light.  One major change to this room is that we put in three large windows in their place.  See second picture.

As you can see from these after pictures, on the left I now have storage for blankets, skirts, cleaning supplies, toys, etc.  On the right I have an area for the parents to relax in during the session.


We used the same wallpaper on both of these front walls.  I think it gives the room just the little bit of sophistication that it needed.  For the storage area, we used inexpensive cube shelving and we spray painted a bed spring for hanging skirts and bows.


I use the wall opposite the windows as another gallery.  I also have my ever growing collection of chairs in front of this wall which helps to hide my backdrop storage.


Now for the moveable wall...  I use a white wall for most portraits.  This wall can move in position for sessions, but then it moves out and in the storage corner for View and Order appointments.  A very talented friend made it for me.  And last year I finally added storage to the back of it.  It is now super functional too!


The final part of the studio are the back walls leading to the office (which I will post about later).  Now these walls hold a changing table full of storage (yay!) and changing supplies, and my smaller chairs that could fit up on a wall.  We used my great aunts dresser for the changing table and antique door knobs to hang the chairs.


Well, that is about it.  Like I said, it is a work in progress.  I hope you like the way things are progressing.  Here is a picture of my girls when we first bought the house.  There is nothing better than running around in an empty house!  :)