“When are you going to get a studio?”
Every day, I drive pass Bovey, and sometimes I turn off the Highway 169 Expressway and venture down through Old Bovey. This takes me past a place I know as Enstrom’s, my favorite photography studio; Mike and John took every single one of my school photos–from my awkward kindergarten shot to my senior portraits and even my first few teacher ID pictures. The large building that served as their studio, the same place that was the home of the picture “Grace,” sits vacant and empty and for sale.
People in jest (and I am sure sometimes in seriousness) ask when I am going to buy it for my own studio space. This always makes me wonder about that idea, much in the same way we do about dream homes. I fantasize about all backdrops and props and all the goodies I could have. I always reach the same conclusion, however, when I wake up.
I don’t think I want a studio space.
I feel you, my friends, and I understand the worries about bringing brand new babies out into the cold and the concern with inviting an unknown person into your family’s home. But there are several paths of logic that I follow that help me understand that a studioless photography studio is the best fit for you, my clients.
First of all, it avoids cookie-cutter images. When I take your photos in a outdoor location that is special to you and yours, it adds to much more to your story, as you are the characters in your own chosen, unique setting. That brings so much more life into your images–your memories–and that is something I cannot acheive inside against a neutral background that someone else just stood before moments prior to your arrival.
It also allows you to be in a bubble of comfort if you need it; this is especially helpful when it comes to the little ones. This is in part because I know I play a better guest than host. When a meltdown is on the horizon or a tummy gets hungry, I feel better knowing that you have everything you need within your surroundings. I know I am able to provide you a better session when you are comfortable and your littles are content. It doesn’t take near as much space as you think to stage a session (I’m kind of a MacGuyver at setting up in teeny tiny spots).
Sessions also then become an adventure! We get to play and explore. This doesn’t impact posed opportunities at all, either; we can always find the right light to strike a pose. This is also why I like nomadic sessions: We get to use the best light. Indoors is better regulated, no doubt, but there are always places with dang-near perfect lighting outside in the open. And I get that weather can be a concern, but my clients are chill–their flexibility in this case allows us to rearrange things to create literally the picture-perfect scenario for their sessions.
I understand that some want that studio experience–and I love that there are so many amazing photographers that have made their way, and I encourage anyone in need to walk along with those professionals. I’m loving living the on-location lifestyle, as it is my natural real way to tell your one-of-a-kind story.
I have the world as my studio, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.