I’ve been unpacking non-stop for the past week, doing my best to create a new home + studio workspace for my photography business.
There’s still a long way to go before I will call it finished, but it’s starting to take form and I wanted to give you a little sneak peek.
We’re still renovating indoor and outside so my days are packed with to-do’s but I can see the finish line now and when Spring arrives I’ll be ready to catch my breath, slow down and enjoy the result.
While unpacking my studio gear and props I came to think about how my photography career started 12 years ago. Because I didn’t always have a big house with a beautiful studio and workspace.
With my new home I’m lucky to get a large loft studio with great light, office space for daily work and meetings, a prop room for all my styling equipment and plenty of space to teach workshops.
When I started out it was with a beginners dslr camera and a kit lens – yes, just one lens and no other gear. I bought the camera spontaneously and didn’t really have it in my budget to do so at the time. It took me a few weeks to admit to my husband that I had spend that kind of money. And even worse; I had no idea how to operate the camera. I remember how stupid I felt for having this crazy dream to become a photographer….
Our budget was very limited and it was scary to make a career change while raising three small kids. I think guilt from splurging on the camera made me work really hard to make up for it.
At the time we lived in a small house and the only place I could think of to use for photography was the garden shed – a tiny room connected to our garage. The shed had no heating, no water and very poor window light (see photo below). I often had to open the door to get more daylight in. Which was very cold during the winter…uhhh. Also the ceiling was not very high and I could touch it just by raising my arm.
Despite my situation I felt so incredible happy to be able to experiment with photography and pursue my passion. I just worked with what I had and I learned that you don’t really need much to make beautiful pictures. Many of my favourite photos to this day was captured in that tiny garden shed.
Here’s a few photos taken in my garden shed…
The truth is….
- You don’t need a large studio with big windows
- You don’t need a lot of expensive equipment to take great photos
- You don’t need a room full of props, and things for styling
It’s nice to have – not a need to have.
You can succeed as a photographer with very little space and very little gear.
Why? Because photography is NOT about the camera you shoot with, the space you have or the props you collect. Great photography is about creativity, passion and the willingness to play, experiment and use what you have.
The perfect workspace and the perfect camera will never make up for the lack of skills or inspiration.
I can’t believe it’s only been four years since I left my garden shed. It feels like so long ago and so much have changed since. It’s been a wild journey and when I look back I’m so thankful for every step of my path.
It’s the journey that is the fascinating part of life; it’s when you live, learn, grow and become wiser.
All the ups and downs are part of reaching your dreams. Even the struggles are important and valuable because those are the lessons that will spiral you forward much faster and every set-back often leads to a better solution.
So if you’re thinking that you need a perfect workspace, beautiful props and an expensive camera to start your photography dream, I’m here to tell you NOT to worry about that. Don’t hold back because you don’t have the perfect circumstances.
Just start with what you have and remember that creativity and your artistic abilities will beat equipment anytime!
It’s taken me 12 years to get to where I am today from when I took my very first photo. Many days started early, hours before the kids got up. I had to make the most of my time if I wanted to built my business while running a household and taking care of my family. If you told me back then that I would be moving into this beautiful house today I would never have believed it.
Luckily, our mindset grow as we grow. When you take action and start to see results, you become more brave and dream bigger dreams.
Below you can see a few snapshots from my new workspaces; my office and my prop room.