Wednesday, 22 May 2013

22nd May 2013 - Bluebells








Sunday, 5 May 2013

4th May 2013 - My First studio

Over 2 years ago, up until a couple of weeks ago, I started renting a small studio in Harlow Town. As i am frequently emailed questions about running a studio and running your own business I thought i'd write a little blog answering questions and to talk about my own experiences!

For most of the time I shared my studio with other photographers, but had 2 very bad experiences. The first of which I shared a studio with ended up waiting until I went on holiday and stole everything and trashed the place, and the second studio partner turned out to be a pervert.
From my experience, my top tips of sharing a studio with another person/people would be..
  • If sharing the equipment and paying together for equipment, always make sure you get reciepts for what you have paid for, so that you have written evidence of what you have paid for and what you should get back if for whichever reason you end up going seperate ways.

  • If possible, try to buy your own equipment to avoid later issues.

  • Make sure you know the person before moving in together. It may be a good idea at the time, but you may find out things you don't like about the person later on.

  • Don't mix too much friendship with business.
Personally, if I was going to start renting a studio again, I would not share it with anyone else. Two things I get very annoyed at are people not treating your possessions with respect and people being very very untidy and unfortunately both of those things happened.

 The studio was quite small so would never have been a long term thing as I did come accross certain complications with size.
  • Some lenses could not be used in the studio.
  • The ceiling was too low down for the backdrops, so extra tall people were too tall for them. A lot of photoshop was involved!
  • When photographing families/bands/big groups it was very very difficault to fit them all in at times!
So size and heights of rooms for me would be a definite look out for me when thinking about renting your own studio!


Although I had a lot of bad luck with studio partners, the experience with my first photography studio was amazing. I met a lot of awesome people throughout my time there, not just clients but also fellow studio renters. The studios were once old office space that were converted into studios by a local art charity, which mesnt rent prices were very fair and affordable. This studio just costing £210 per month including electricity and use of kicthen and toilets.
Studio before decorating/building work.

When first moving in to the studio it needed a lot of work to it to make the rooms presentable and 'liveable'. There was gorgeous  glass panels seperating the rooms before, but sadly we had to get rid of them to block off unwanted window light in the studio room. Everyday over about 4 months was spent cleaning, painting and doing lots of other work to the rooms.

On the first day of moving in I met a lovely artist called Hong Voong, and he has been my boyfriend ever since. A lot of the time I feel like I got to keep the best thing about Gatehouse Studio number 7. He has been my rock throughout the whole studio experience and I love him with all of my little heart! (cheesy).

As a self-taught photographer, everything I learnt about how to use a camera, how to use studio lights, and how to use photoshop I taught myself. I never studied photography at college or uni. I started photography as a hobby and, somehow, 4 or 5 years later it has turned into a career. I am so so so lucky to do what I love most as a full-time job and try to never take that for granted.
I have tried to take photography lessons, tried to watch online tutorials and tried to read books about photography and photoshop before. But for me, I learn better with a hands on approach, as I know a lot of photographers do.

At first, it was quite difficult trying to teach myself how to work in a studio environment. Learning how to use a flash metre or ever how to set the lights was a huge learning curve for me. But like most things in life, practise makes perfect (well not perfect but a HUGE improvement), and it wasn't until almost a year after moving into the studio i started taking on paid work.

Frequently asked Questions

How do you Advertise yourself/ get client work?

I mainly got job offers off of the internet. Advertising yourself there is always a win. I found that once I had a few studio jobs they started to snowball after that. As clients recommend you to friends and slowly you get your name out more.


What is your definition of beauty?
Colour, details, doorknobs, i love the sound of bawdy old telephones, making mistakes, dappled sunlight and soft grass. i love the bare minimum, poetry and visual stimulation (there should be nothing but) and perfect moments, sleeping boys and shallow breathing. beauty spots and crisp, fresh notebooks. raindrop patterns on my window and spiders in my panes. texture and bark and velvet and marble and satin. touch, sight, sound.
blood and and the rough and ready. mess and tidy. skin on skin and colours dancing behind eyelids. lipstick prints on glasses. strawberries without the cream, criss-cross ice cream cones and amaretto. difference and clear-thinking. humanity. lips and eyelashes and flushed cheeks and warm breath.

What studio lights do you/have you used?

I have used both Bowens and Elincrome lighting. I recommend both as both do a superb job.

Do you prefer studio lights or natural lighing?
I much more prefer natural light to studio lights! I prefer the natural look to the harsh lighting.

What's your favourite thing to photograph?

Weddings! I love weddings, how can you not?! Also anything with models and anything creative.

What's your least favourite thing to photograph?

I find nothing in this world more boring than photographing objects. Bags of food, sticks. That kind of thing.

What are your plans for the future?

I hope to get into weddings full time. It would be wonderful to make a career out of that alone. Model portfolios. Now that im out of the studio I want to make the most out of beautiful natural light.

Photographing Model Portfolios
I absoloutly LOVE photographing model portfolios. One of the best things about my job is being paid to photograph beautiful people. I love that everyone is beautiful in their own indivual way, and everyone deserves a photoshoot to feel it every once in a while!

My number 1 tip for shooting modeling photos:

In the studio I always kept mirrors behind me, I felt it helped models with their posing to see what they thought looked good and what didn't!
























Children/Family Shoots



I have been lucky enough to be apart of lots of exhibitions over the last 2 years, but best of all was sharing an exhibition with my boyfriend in October! Thankyou to everyone who came and viewed it! :)

the book I made to sell at the exhibition!

 Self Portraits

Another great thing about having my own studio was the fact I could take lots of proffessional selfies whenever I wanted!