Are you mad?
I wish I could remember the exact words when I decided to move my product photography studio out of London. I remember it being something like the following:
“Time for a change, I’m getting out of here”.
Although I can be quite quick and reactive to some situations, moving out of London was actually a well thought out decision. To understand why I knew I was not as mad as others suggested, I have to supply a little background info:)
The build up.
I have had the most amazing and privileged career opportunities in the last 30 years. From leaving my photographic college and starting a life in London, I have always lucked out and worked in really cool studios! To be honest, studios are pretty cool places, so this was not a hard task. Being a product photographer, I learned my craft and put my hours in training myself whilst working for others. I loved looking at what stuff studio photographers kept hold of; old backgrounds, weird and wonderful models and props and of course I loved playing with the kit.
Throughout my career I have owned and shared various shooting spaces and this ‘space’ has now a special meaning to me. It symbolises my passion in life, it represents all of my decisions (good and bad) and when I view my work I can picture each and every studio so clearly. I could almost say a studio has spiritual meaning for me.
Changing my Ideas.
My love for photographing products and objects has never changed. Who I work for, and how I go about the work has changed significantly. I am not one for looking back and bemoaning industry shifts. My ‘Aha!’ moment was when I realised the work I wanted to do as an image creator is shooting varied high level creative and considered product photography for great brands, and to develop my product photography training business. It was going to be hard for me to be satisfied with the work being produced and the business opportunities by staying put. I needed to get more variety into how I work with clients. I wanted to find a better way to serve them. I knew there was another way…
…Getting the hell out of Dodge.
I need a studio space to conduct my work, this is a must. I love open spaces and genuinely are very grateful for the occasional moment of peace and calm. I am always 100% committed to doing whatever it takes to get a photoshoot executed to give the best result for the client. This is why I work with my Associates. So I can provide 100% of what a client wants. This standard has not changed and never will. However, as the need for change grew, I visualised how lucky would I be if I could continue to work as I wanted, serve as I wanted but could also travel less and have a nicer environment around me. To feel inspired to go to work, not dread the commute. This vision became my holy grail. Hunting around commercial properties between London and Oxford (where I live) became a fun pastime. I quickly found out that what I did not want to do was to spend the next 10 years on an industrial estate – no way! So, what then?
Life on the Farm.
And then I found it! A lovely sized studio, big enough for 95% of all my studio shoots. The studio is on a working farm, not far from a place called Lechlade. It is a creative place where events are held in a beautiful barn and many small businesses thrive from smaller workshops. I had found a buzzing community, no less.
This place is a far cry from the inner-city hustle and bustle, but I couldn’t be happier. My biggest hold up in the mornings is someone riding a horse or the occasional tractor. What a difference to South London! The long drive up to the farm is lined with trees and fields, and there is wildlife aplenty. I can park directly outside the studio! Infact, everyone can park!! Courier drivers have an amused look when they turn up, but upon a quick chat and a cup of tea, they quickly say how nice it must be to work here. I most heartily agree with them.
The Studio Set Up
We have the main studio which is big enough to be shooting 12ft by 8ft by 8ft sets, as well as smaller still life. I then have a storage unit next door for all my kit and props. This keeps the studio clean and uncluttered, whilst being great for clients who deliver me loads of boxes! We have an outside area for eating and relaxing and a separate space next door can be provided for anyone who need some quiet me time or privacy for video calls and meetings.
Let me list the benefits of my new Product Photographic Studio:
- It’s situated in beautiful Oxfordshire country surroundings.
- Everyone can park! No more meters or tiny spaces to squeeze into.
- The studio space is wonderfully clear and open with a client area and a kitchen.
- My storage unit can house many products whilst they are waiting to be shot or picked up. We have counted 60 large boxes whilst still having room for more.
- There is a great studio sound system with a…record player! Please please bring your own to play!
- We have the facility to provide a modern and comfortable room next door for creatives and clients to have their own space and base away from the busy shooting area, should it be needed.
- Many boutique country pubs and hotels for post shoot dining or overnight stays.
- We BBQ our breakfast outside, even in the rain and snow. (My favourite pastime)
- We have a Chef on site, who can knock us up amazing lunches😊
- There is an outdoor seating area for those hot and dreamy summer days.
- Dogs run around.
- Birds sing.
- Horses neigh…
…The list goes on.
Doesn’t this sound great?
If I have not convinced you by now that the studio set up will be the most amazing experience for your next product shoot, then I have not done my job properly! I care about the work you need to produce, and I care that it can be done in a situation that meets everyone’s needs.
Convinced or otherwise, I am at your service!
Contact me soon, Phil.