I am extremely lucky to own a great loft that also serves as my studio. One of my dreams in recent years was to have a live work space that would be inspiring to work in and cool to live in. In 2015 'BINGO' the universe answered me and I sold my house and bought a lovely industrial loft space. I am fortunate enough to have invested in property since I was very young and this has helped me work towards having the space that I now have.
But although I love my space and its amazing to be able to have lovely light and 17 foot ceilings, the reality is for a lot of photographers that owning a studio is not always a possibility, moreover many photographers work from home. My loft is also my home, its big and flexible as a space.
But having a studio in my humble opinion does not a better photographer make.. I think that creativity and inspiration can be found in any space. I say this but I too longed to have a lovely studio which indeed I now have, but has it made me a better photographer? The answer is no. It does give me an immense amount of flexibility and it is nice to be able to have clients come on set to work with me or brainstorm ideas, but when I lived in my house previously I could have done all of that too. I had a lovely three story period home in a cool Montreal neighbourhood, I had the basement completely dug out as additional space to use as a studio, but my favourite part of the house to photograph food was... in the garden or inside the full glass back door where the light was divine all day long.
There is a point to all this... do I regret buying my studio, absolutely not. Its definitely a cool space to live and own, I wanted that NYC loft living feel and I definitely have that but probably at least 3 times bigger than most in NYC. But the reality of it is, I get creative and inspired wherever I am. Last year in Italy I managed to photograph drinks on an old floor with glasses I found in a cabinet. I found the holy grail of old farm tables in an old shed and photographed on that. Now recently returned from England I bought some metal dishes at a carboot sale for less than $5 for the lot, used some old pieces of wood from a garage I helped a very dear friend clear up. And along the way I found she had some lovely old cutlery, and a selection of items she actually wanted to throw out. So now I have a little shelf in her shed with some old props that I will use when I visit, there is always nature that provides something interesting to shoot and with a few hours to myself on a lovely warm and sunny British bank holiday weekend I created a selection of images that will fill me with nostalgia for years to come.
You don't need an expensive studio, fancy equipment, lots of props and hours of planning to create something, creativity is just looking and interpreting what you see in whichever style or discipline that you follow.