When I began Lottie Bone Photography, I remember one of the first things I thought about was- well where am I going to set up? When I was practising, learning and creating I used my daughters bedroom. She has the biggest windows in the house (no joke they are over 10ft) and the natural light is amazing. And being a natural light photographer, this is an important factor to consider. The room itself is beautiful. I was just worried that people would prefer or perhaps not take me serious if I didn't have a 'proper' studio. I use the term 'proper' very lightly. All you want to do as a business owner is make a good first impression and to make sure people to have an amazing experience.
My first experience of bringing people into my home studio was around Christmas time- when I did my first Christmas Minis. These went on all weekend and it was a suripisenly busy time. It was a really eye opening experience because as families came and left they seemed to comment vocally (or after in their review) that they loved the location and how welcoming it felt and that they preferred it to a separate commercial studio as there children seemed to respond better to a home from home surroundings. WINNER! So the self-doubt was quickly booted out the front door. I realised that this was a positive and an incentive to my families. So it was time to embrace the space and create something special.
I kind of look at this way- it was either start the business at my home or not start it at all. As long as my clients/families are happy with their end results, then that is all that matters really. After all, the first thing people see when booking are your photos from previous shoots. Don't get me wrong. My dream is to have my own space and studio EVENTUALLY.
So if you weren't aware, I live in a converted Mental Asylum, called High Royds, with my two daughters, husband and cocker spaniel - ever since we moved in back in August 2020 (covid summer!) I remember the original hospital back when I was a teen and then the older I got I started to appreciate the history, the historic buildings and the spectaular grounds (which are particularly useful for outdoor photoshoots!) The hospital opened in 1888 as the West Riding Pauper Lunatic Asylum - it housed male and female patients with conditions ranging from schizophrenia to post-natal depression. It then closed and was renovated into homes back in 2003. The part of the building we are in wasn't completed until 2020 which is when we visited it as a building site and then moved in. I could go on but it's actually all over the internet and even the BBC made a documentary on it.
Look at it this way- when you enter my home you will be walking into history (or should I say the old kitchens). It isn't spooky and it isn't haunted - I promise. Once you enter my home you will be welcomed by a very smiley Lottie. We will swiftly climb my flight of stairs and enter my studio. I have ample amounts of space for families to come, relax and enjoy the experience. You can expect to have fun- truthfully.
It shouldn't be a stressful experience. I never book more than one photoshoot in a day (unless it's Christmas) so it doesn't matter if your baby needs to feed or have a change of nappy for example - I always allow slightly longer for the photoshoot for settling in. Making sure your children are happy and comfortable is my priority. I have lots of props to keep them occupied, happy and entertained. If my singing, silly faces and games don't do it then the props surely will.
I have tonnes of props and backdrops to suit your photoshoot. Whether you are booking a family photoshoot, cake smash or a sit & smile session, I have plenty of chairs, blankets, seats, props to help your photos look diverse & effective. You shouldn't need to bring anything with you unless of course you want to! I am always investing in the studio with backdrops and props so when you book we can always discuss what it is you're visioning. Some like me to take the reins which I'm also happy to do.
Pro's & No cons-
Home from home
Light & Airy
A more personalised experience.
No time restrictions
So just because I don't own an independent commercial studio please don't let that put you off. Sometimes it's the little things that have a big impact. And to finish my Blog as always with a Lottie Bone quote of the day.
"Wherever there is light, one can photograph"