My very own photo studio

I’ve been working on a project for a few months now. It’s not a new cookbook—but I’m as excited as if it was.

It’s a remodeled office with my very own photo studio.

Let me tell you about it.

For the past several months I’ve been working on my photography. I got a new camera, then a new lens. I learned basic photo post-production. I polished my food and prop styling.

One reason I’ve been doing all this to help my blog look better and to attract more followers. But it’s also because I’ve lost more than one job because the client wanted a recipe AND a photo, and I felt compelled to point out that, while I can take a decent shot, I’m not a real photographer.

So I decided it was time to do away with that compulsion.

Along the way, I’ve been taking shots in various spaces around the house—each time schlepping out the camera, lights, props, surfaces, then dutifully putting it all away to restore some sense of order.

Finally, my husband the art director, who knows of things like photography and who has been a champion and teacher throughout this becoming-a-photographer process, made a suggestion.

He suggested I create a photo studio.

See, like many of us who work at home, my office is in a spare bedroom that also served as a guest room.

Why not get rid of the guest bed, he suggested, shove all the furniture to the outer edges of the room, and put a tabletop for photography in the middle?

A very good suggestion indeed.

So with apologies to the handful of friends and family who thought they might one day use our guest bed, I set about remodeling.

I got rid of all the furniture. Bed. Desk. Various Ikea shelves. I gutted the closet.

Once the room was completely bare, I repainted. And had the carpets cleaned.

Photo studio on

Then, in my now-pristinely clean white space, I installed bright, white shelves. Lots of them. One wall-full for props, camera equipment, office equipment, and cookbooks. And another with one wide shelf as a desktop and more shelves for desk stuff and ephemera.

The closet got reconfigured with wire shelving for files, office supplies, more props, and household doo-dads like gift wrapping supplies and family photos.

In each corner of the room, there are spaces for additional supplies—bounce cards and scrims, backgrounds and surfaces, and ingenious sticks in a can for lighting and backgrounds.

Photo studio on

All of which makes for a pretty, clean, super functional work space, one with a place for everything and everything in its place.

Happy happy.

But even better—and more to the whole entire point—a space with a huge, roughly 8-by-10-foot area in the middle for photography. I bought a not-too-big Ikea table as my shooting surface. And it’s on wheels so I can easily move it around within the space.

The net net?

An office/guest room transformed into an office/photo studio. A realignment of my feng shui. A renewed excitement about coming to work every morning.

And no more hesitation about calling myself a photographer.

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