New photo studio!
Nearly 8 years ago I found a studio space in an old warehouse here in New Jersey, and transformed it over time into a full-equipped photography studio with an extensive range of Profoto lighting gear. My initial post about this — Finally, my own studio space! — will show how I started out with not much at all. It was a transformational move for me, enabling me to shift my photography career towards commercial work and studio portraits and headshots and product photography. Much of this is challenging and awkward when you work from home. Having a studio space of my own was liberating! It changed my photography and my photography business.
Eight years later, the limitations of that first place became more and more wearying — 3 flights of dingy stairs up to my studio; a freight elevator that was a bit of an “adventure”; an obscure place without a clear address. Also, not having a private restroom in the studio. These were among the things which I felt were a real limitation, especially when it comes to the client’s experience. It was just harder work impressing a client, even with a great studio, when the experience of getting there was defeating some of the positive experience the client has with me as a photographer.
Also, the 1,000 square feet place was starting to feel tighter and tighter, as I had accumulated more studio gear over the years.
With that, it was time to move on up to a better studio space … and it is official now! I have moved into my new studio!
It’s larger than my previous studio, jumping up from 1,000 to 1,700 sq ft, giving me much more elbow room for myself and all the studio toys. It is easier to get to, with parking right in front of the studio. No dingy stairs or elevators. You just walk right in. The ceiling is lower than I would ideally have liked, but I can make it work — and everything else are just positives. So I made the decision.
I’m looking forward to what this next adventure might hold for me. It was both exciting and scary, especially in “these trying times”, signing the lease on a new, larger (more expensive) studio space. I have been weighing the pros and cons of this decision for a few months now, and it (mostly) makes sense. Still, I am both elated and scared.
If you’re local to me in NJ, or visiting the area, let me know, and come visit.
And do keep in mind that I rent out my studio to other photographers.
14 Comments, Add Your Own
Congratulations on the new space, Neil! It will be nice for you to be able to spread out and I look forward to seeing how the new space plays out on your creativity as reflected in these posts.
I had the chance to visit your old space for one of your workshops, and what it lacked in ease of access and curb appeal, it more than made up for in character. I have some stunning photos of Anelisa and Anastasiya taken in that freight elevator! The place was a great early 20th century industrial backdrop, with all the good and bad that came with that.
But onwards and upwards: enjoy the new space. I look forward to the time when you get back to doing studio workshops so that I can visit it in person.
1.1Neil vN says
2Johan Schmidt says
All the best Neil
3Raleigh Wedding Photographer says
Congrats on the new space Neil! It looks fantastic and I’m a bit jealous. :) Just curious if you are going to do a full cyc wall or stick with seamless… i’m in that quandry myself.
3.1Neil vN says
A cyclorama wall would be ideal, but the budget is kinda maxed out at the moment. So maybe in time.
3.2Darryl Harris says
Hey Neil, definitely a pleasure shooting in your new space yesterday (1-29-21)
Your equipment and lighting options are top level, reliable and extensive. It was also great knowing you were willing to help assist in any questions about the equipment available. Taylor was happy with her photos and I’m looking forward to working with your studio in the future.
Eyes On YOU Photography
Jealous ! ;-)
Congratulations and good luck !
Oh, one more thing…
I am curious what your studio looked like before 2013?
5.1Neil vN says
There wasn’t a studio.
6Alfredo Zordenoni Junior says
Parabéns pelo novo estúdio… toda mudança no começo é um pouco difícil, mas tenho certeza que tudo vai dar certo pois você planejou tudo antes… você é muito capaz, é um grande profissional e Deus ajuda quem trabalha duro e honestamente… forte abraço meu amigo.
6.1Neil vN says
Obrigado pelas amáveis palavras.
Congrats on the new studio space! Nice to have more elbow room with your larger square footage of the new space.
8Claude Carrier says
And a pizzeria just next door! I think that the real reason you changed your location! Joke appart, I hope you will like this studio as much and more than the old one. Probably a lot of memories related to this old studio. I had a chance to take a private tutoring session with you in that studio and reproduce the “famous” shot on the 2 color concrete wall with my wife!
Aside from more elbow room and a good location, what would you consider to be must haves for a place to be even considered a potential photo studio? And leaving aside any physical constraints, is there any idea studio setup or is it really dependent on the the photographer’s budget, equipment, style and work flow?