More Home Sweet Studios--Home-Based Studios That Work

 By Stephanie Boozer

(Here we feature two additional home-based studios as a supplement to "Home Sweet Studio" in the June issue of Professional Photographer magazine.)

Think that working out of your home will cramp yourstyle? Time for some fresh food for thought. With planning, resourcefulness and creativity, you can run a successful home-based studio without compromising your professionalism. The owners of these six successful home-based studios have found a balance between work place and home space. If they can do it—even with kids and pets—maybe you can, too.

KELLY MUNCE
NEWCASTLE, NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA
SQUARE FEET: 162.5

Kelly Munce positioned her studio (kellymunce.com.au) at the very front of her two-story house, so clients could walk right in without feeling they were entering a private living area. Because the room is slightly set back from the hallway, it engenders a feeling of seclusion and privacy. Munce specializes in baby and maternity photography, so the studio is designed to accommodate the special needs of babies, as well as to be a comfortable site to host pre-session consultations. Other kinds of sessions are done on location.

Images ©Kelly Munce

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Munce uses a chest of drawers to hold and display an array of props and blankets, and has an elaborate hanging system that keeps props visible and handy without looking cluttered. “As they’re out in the open and easily seen, they get clients excited,” says Munce. “They realize they’ve chosen me for a fun experience.”

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One wall is dedicated to a backdrop setup, and the mottled brown wall behind it can be used as a backdrop as well.

Munce handles all of her editing, pack aging and the day-to-day business from a large study that she shares with her children, but is out of sight to clients. It’s perfect for the Munce family, because everyone can be at home during shoots without disturbing clients. Because Munce typically shoots no more than two newborn ses - sions a day, she doesn’t need a permit from the city, as long as she’s mindful of parking.

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DANIELE ROSE PHOTOGRAPHY
CAMARILLO, CALIF.
SQUARE FEET: 300

Images ©Daniele Rose Photography

Daniele Rose’s home studio (danielerosephotography. com) was somewhat the result of a happy accident. When she built the house six years ago, pre-children, it included an open two-story living room area with beautiful arched windows and hardwood floors. But after the children arrived, the reverberation of every sound in that high-ceilinged space made it much too noisy for everyday living. Her solution was to close off the second floor and create a loft, which curbs the noise and provides a private area with amazing natural light. Primarily a children and newborn portrait photographer, Rose usually shot on location, but now those arched windows give her the flexibility to shoot in her own space as well. Clients enter the home directly in front of the staircase to the loft.

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“The setup is great because clients never enter our living area, and I don’t feel like I have to clean like mad before each session,” says Rose.

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In the loft, Rose has neatly organized her props and an antique-style buffet table laden with product displays on top and baby blankets below. A plant shelf does double duty as a changing station for newborns.

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“I keep it simple so that set-up and clean-up is quick,” says Rose. “It’s all about working with what you have.”

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Rose’s downstairs office, generally a client-free zone, is the site of packaging and workstations, where she manages her online proofing and ordering. Clients do walk past the office, so Rose matched the decor to the colors of her brand, and she keeps the room neat and tidy. Zoning and permits weren’t an issue for Rose, as the site of the house is outside city limits.

“When I started shooting in my home studio, I thought I might have to deal with my clients’ not perceiving it as professional,” says Rose. “I’ve since found that isn’t the case at all. I think my clients connect with the warm and homey environment. They’re mostly new mommies, or mommies-to-be, so they’re interested in how I’ve used images of my own children to decorate my home. It sparks ideas for their own homes, and that only helps my sales.”

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