January 30, 2013

Finally – my own studio area.

Today has been an exciting day – I signed the lease on a large studio space. I’ve been sharing studio space the last year, but it’s become obvious over time (even before then), that I really, really need my own space.

My own studio, and my own office area away from home. And here it is – the studio as it is now. Two iPhone photos just to show what it is. It is huge, and as you can see, lots of window light. And it’s just 10 minutes’ drive from my home here in New Jersey.

This was in February, and since then the studio has had a transformation. This is how it looks right now: NvN studio

I’m obviously very pleased with this. It would be more ideal to have the personal tutoring sessions here (than at my home, like previously). It will also be where I would hold the individual workshops.

This will hopefully be the start of even better things this year.


update: a week later

A few photos to show the progress during this first week:

The first morning, Monday, Feb 4th, with some stuff I dropped off last night, and a bunch more lighting gear that I dragged in today … and a new Apple Cinema display.

That same afternoon with a new shelving unit assembled. It’s still looking a little sad and empty.

That same first evening after the 2nd carload of stuff was unloaded. We’re getting there!

On Wednesday, Feb 6th – the carpeting is being installed in the area where I stood for this photo. I shifted all the gear and pieces of furniture to the other side. Just some extra furniture and the auto-poles, then I’m pretty much set up. Which should be by Friday hopefully.

This is all happening quite fast.

The other side of the studio where they just started laying down the carpeting.

The transformation continues. The carpet is in! The carpet fills half the space and completely changed the look of the place. The acoustics is hugely improved too. Next step, the rest of the furniture and two bookshelves.


update: 10 days later

I’m nearly there! The bookshelves are in place, and the canvases are up. Now just a few other items need to added, such as the lovely couch that is on its way.

This is the view along the one wall, as you enter the studio’s door. These 7′ tall display banners are intended for bridal shows, but they may as well serve a purpose here in the studio.


update: 2 weeks later

I’m settled in!


and I’m done!

Everything in place: furniture, 3 bookshelves w/ sample albums, brochures, books, etc.
(The one bookshelf just has photography books.)

Here is how it looks with the over-head house lights turned off. Cozy.


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{ 45 comments. } Add a Comment

1 ray January 30, 2013 at 7:28 pm

Best of luck in your new space Neil.


2 denton January 30, 2013 at 7:39 pm

Very nice, looks like you’ll be spending a lot of time building it out. NJ?


3 Richard Skoonberg January 30, 2013 at 8:10 pm

Looks great, Neil. A much nicer space with good light.


4 Gary Derbridge January 30, 2013 at 8:19 pm

Congratulations Neil!


5 Andrew January 30, 2013 at 8:29 pm

Exciting news, Neil! Congratulations! Looking forward to see how you will organize the studio. Good luck!


6 Tom Dougherty January 30, 2013 at 9:10 pm

Congratulations Neil! Great looking space!


7 Trev January 30, 2013 at 10:18 pm

Echo all sentiments above. Great space.


8 Gregory January 30, 2013 at 10:37 pm

Alright! Lets get to work! Blessings, Gregory


9 Bob Halloway January 30, 2013 at 11:45 pm

Congratulations Neil.You deserve your own studio space. I’m sure we will all benifit from the informative articals, tangents, and wonderful photos that will be created there.
Congratulations again.


10 Angela R January 31, 2013 at 12:41 am

So happy for you! Congratulations and, of course, THANK YOU for all your insights!


11 Omar S January 31, 2013 at 1:32 am

Good for you, and good for us :)


12 Johan January 31, 2013 at 4:08 am

Great stuff! – looking forward to all the new articles created in your new ‘sandpit’ – all the best


13 Stavros January 31, 2013 at 4:15 am

Best wishes Neil.

Till now (since beginning of last year that I’m following your blog) I was happy with every post just for myself.
But now, I am twice as happy because one of my mentor’s dream comes true.


14 Pete January 31, 2013 at 4:22 am

Congratulations Neil! Great news and good for you! Maybe an article on being a photographer without a studio/getting a studio could be interesting for everyone and you can share your experiences with us. Keep up the great photos and blog, I enjoy it. Cheers from London.


15 lawrence January 31, 2013 at 4:37 am

Congratulations and all the best with the new venture!


16 Terry Whyman January 31, 2013 at 7:03 am

Looking good – I look forward to seeing the progress of the space on your blog.


17 Paul Hunter January 31, 2013 at 8:09 am

Good luck – hope all goes well. Nice window light and will be great to see when you are fully set up and running :)


18 Richard Liston January 31, 2013 at 8:48 am

Good luck with the new studio Neil, it looks like a great space.


19 Walter January 31, 2013 at 9:31 am

Hey Neil,

Congratulations and best wishes for an even brighter future now with your own studio.


20 RON LEMISH January 31, 2013 at 9:42 am

Great news! What part of the North East ( what city or town ) is it located ??


21 james January 31, 2013 at 12:24 pm

Hello neil congratulations on your new studio :-) i have been watching your new seminar on youtube love it,your videos and site have helped me massively i really would love to attend your workshops i am in scotland though so will be tough to arrange.Next time you are in europe i would love to arrange to meet you if possible :-)


22 bill taylor January 31, 2013 at 1:59 pm

good job!
i’m a bit envious. hope it serves you well.


23 Ángel January 31, 2013 at 3:07 pm

My most sincere congratulations. It will be a fantastic study. Good luck in his new career.


24 tom January 31, 2013 at 4:32 pm

What a kick ass studio.


25 udi January 31, 2013 at 4:57 pm

Hi Neil,
mazal tov! love them windows.


26 Ed Weidman January 31, 2013 at 6:43 pm

Neil, best wishes in the New Studio. It looks great! You’ve been a real help to my learning Portrait Photography and using your Black Foamie Thing. Kindest regards. Ed Weidman


27 Jason Rodgers February 1, 2013 at 4:53 am

Great news mate, which way is the window facing? Lots of light great, just got to kit the place out now. Im quite envious ha. Looking forward to more studio tangents.


28 Neil vN February 1, 2013 at 5:00 am

The windows face north-east. So yes, a lot of window light.

I have most of the lighting gear I’d want. In other words, our house have been very crowded up until now with all the equipment stashed here. I just need a few more items still.


29 Tilo February 1, 2013 at 5:43 am

whew, congrats! such a large room in NYC — that’s pure luxury!! cheers, Tilo


30 Neil vN February 1, 2013 at 6:52 am

The studio space is in New Jersey, so it’s about 10x more affordable than NYC.

Have a look at the size of the apartment you get in Manhattan for $990 a month! Then you’ll realize that an actual studio space in Manhattan is still a far away off.


31 Neil Patel February 2, 2013 at 12:30 am

Congraduations!!! When Im in NJ i will make point to visit your Studio. Best wishes


32 Lanthus Clark February 5, 2013 at 6:10 am

Congratulations Neil! Keep us posted as you get set up, I’m interested to see what you do with the space. :-)


33 Dave February 7, 2013 at 11:44 am

It looks modest now but will be great once you set it up fully!


34 Trev February 8, 2013 at 1:10 am

Looking good Neil.

You certainly will have lots of room to work with judging by the looks of that.


35 Trev February 16, 2013 at 4:13 am

Great news it’s finished.

Now, if only this couch was not so . . . well . . . comfortable, I’d be up and working. :)


36 michel February 18, 2013 at 12:40 pm

congrats Neil with the new studio
like the big windows


37 Sri February 18, 2013 at 5:16 pm

Congrats and good luck Neil !


38 Regina February 21, 2013 at 6:32 am

Congratulation, Neil. Keep us posted. Really nice space!


39 Laura N. February 22, 2013 at 12:52 am

That’s a gorgeous space! Well deserved, Neil :-)


40 Joe February 26, 2013 at 10:28 am

Hi Neil,

Did you get the 7′ retractable banners you use for trade shows locally or did you use an internet company? I’m looking to get several of these made for myself.


41 Neil vN February 26, 2013 at 11:45 am
42 Christina March 2, 2013 at 3:39 am

Welcome, Neighbor….looks STELLAR, even with all that intimidating gear of yours!

Looking forward to seeing you this weekend!

Best wishes in your new space!



43 plevyadophy March 8, 2013 at 8:13 pm

I have been following your blog for ages and ages and have learnt so much from you (it was you who made me no longer scared of flash), and I am so so so happy for you that you have this space as I know how expensive, stressful, and difficult to obtain a studio space can be plus I guess it’s almost every serious photographer’s desire (to have their own studio space).

Also, from the photos, you are clearly blessed with a strong feminine side; coz the lovely layout and homeliness of your studio is far better than the garden shed laddish layout I would have in such a place.

The space looks awesome. I just hope it ain’t costing silly money ……….. and if it is, I hope you earn enough to pay for it three times over. :o)

Well done, and I wish you many happy and prosperous years in your new space.

Warmest Regards,



44 Neil vN March 9, 2013 at 3:00 am

Thank you. I did want to give a part of the studio a home-y feel where I could meet clients or just hang out.

Here is the updated view of what the studio looks like now.

The rent isn’t scary, fortunately. And if I compare it to what I was paying for shared studio space, then it was obvious I had to make this move.

I also intend renting the studio out, so that too will help making the studio profitable over time.


45 Rolf April 8, 2013 at 6:21 pm

For what you have shared over the years – I wish this new enterprise pays you back many, many times over. ALL the best!!!


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