May 2017 – the new JPP studio! My SHE shed!

So, 2017 has been slow.  Painfully slow.  Mostly because we moved.  We were finally able to purchase our first home.  It’s a darling house in Thousand Oaks, built in 1960 but recently remodeled inside and out.  The property is large, but the house is small.  Whereas I used to have my studio and viewing room in my 3rd car garage at the old house, now we have no garage at all.  So, I had to have a good way to continue showing my clients their images and wall displays.  I had all the equipment but nowhere to put it.  My solution?  A custom shed built just the way I wanted and decorated to match.  I found the shed online at backyards unlimited.  The price included on-site installation.  So one day, a guy brought all the supplies and a ladder and a few tools, and he had the entire 10×16 foot shed built, roofed and finished in one day!  I think I did about four loads of laundry in the same time he erected a building.  There’s a quick way to feel incompetent!

After the shed was there, we had the task of finishing it, which was actually harder and more expensive than the building itself.  First, we had to run power to the shed so that I could run the AC or heat, the computer and projector, the lights and sounds.  In order to run power to the shed, we first had to run a lot more power to the detached garage.  We trenched the ground 50 feet from the main panel to the garage, and then from the subpanel there over to the shed.  Once it had a power line, the electricians still had to install outlets and recessed lights.  After all that was done, we had a new crew come in to drywall the inside.  Because of the barn style roof, there was a lot of added framing and detailed drywall work.  Then we painted the inside and the outside, including the trim.  Finally, we laid the flooring and furnished and decorated it.

Now that all the hard work is finally finished, I have the most amazing little studio behind the house!  The flower garden was my own ingenious idea.  Since we currently don’t have a sprinkler or watering system in the backyard, real flowers couldn’t survive out there without diligent gardening.  I’m the kind of gardener that kills any plants I touch.  I have a black thumb.  So…how about fake flowers!?!  I went to the 99 cent store and loaded up a cartful of purple and yellow flowers of all sizes.  And then for the first and last time, I was a diligent gardener as I carefully shoved about 200 fake flower stems into the dirt.  I love how it came out, though!  One day, the backyard landscaping will be an inspirational little walk to the she-shed through a beautiful garden.  For now, it’s cement blocks, wood chips and river rocks.  The shed is almost too cute for the backyard.  Therefore, clients should just hold off on judgment until we arrive inside the studio.

Now that my little shed is finished, business is flowing again.  It is so much easier to show my clients their images on a large slideshow than on a tiny computer screen.  The emotions are lost when photography is displayed on a cold computer screen.  The emotions are what I do this for!  My job means nothing if I can’t see the emotional impact my images have on my clients.  I get to watch their faces, hand them a tissue if they get choked up.  The studio also comes equipped with this amazing wall art software which allows me to show my clients their own images in exact sizes and in room displays to show scale.  Since most clients are not interior decorators with a good eye for measurements and aesthetics of wall art, the software takes all the guesswork out of it.  This allows my clients the freedom to play around with their images to see what display they want the most for their home.  The final products are always stunning, too.  There is no way to really appreciate a fine art photograph unless it is printed on a fine art medium.  The art medium brings images to a whole new level of art, and what better way to decorate your home than with the people you love most?

So, I am thoroughly enjoying the experience the studio shed has brought to my business.  My spiritual baby sister and former employee of forever has started her own photography business, too!  Emily Elizabeth Photography will be offering a Conejo Deal similar to the ones I have run in the past when I was just starting out in the Conejo Valley of California.  I think her deal will go live on June 1st.  Besides the fun session and beautiful images she will be giving to her new clients, they all get to see their photos in the new studio!   I hope the space and the experience is pleasant for everyone who comes!

Here are some progress photos of the studio as it was completed between December of last year and March of this year: