We are excited to introduce a new column to SSG. Spaces We Love will be a monthly feature showcasing amazing spaces that photographers all over the world are rocking. We hope that we can inspire you to create a space you love!
Featured Photographer: Salome Klopfenstein of Salome Photography
Location: Angola, IN
How big is your space?
About 500 square feet.
Tell us about your business journey how long have you been in business have you concentrated on seniors or other genres?
I’ve had my photography business for about 4.5 years now, and I’ve been specializing in senior portraits exclusively for the past two. 🙂
What was your turning point in deciding that you needed to open a space?
When I decided to specialize in senior photography, I also decided to start offering hair and makeup with my sessions, and in person ordering sessions. I really wanted to offer those services in a good location that my seniors could come to for that, so I ended up using a room off of my home’s entry way initially. This space worked great, but then I started also offering studio looks as part of my session offerings, and I just really outgrew the space I had. My husband and I also moved our home to be closer to his job, and we went house hunting with having a studio space in mind. After much searching, we found a great location with an unfinished walk-out basement, and the new Salome Photography studio space was born!
What would be your one tip about financially planning for opening a studio space?
I am a big proponent of not going into major debt for your space. You can make a gorgeous space without taking out a second mortgage, and personally, I recommend saving a portion of your profits for a space until you feel like your business can no longer grow without taking that next step. Furniture, lighting, and fixtures will be some of the most costly items inside the space, but there are so many ways to re-purpose used items, and bargain hunt for new, so that you can fit a lot more into your budget!
How long was your process of opening your space?
From the time we started working on the space until opening, it was about two months or so, but my husband is an awesome handy man, and we did all of the work ourselves in the evenings and on weekends, so it would have taken less time if we had been able to work on it full time.
What was your favorite part or is your favorite part of your studio space?
ALL of it!! Haha.. No seriously, I’ll say my favorite two parts of the space – I love the dressing room for it’s functionality for my seniors, and just for how pretty it is! And I really love that I now have a designated shooting space with room to move around. In the other space, I had to take down and put up backdrops in my front door when shooting studio, and it was so cramped and cumbersome. I love having a space that’s just always ready for shooting!
Looking back on your growing business, opening a space and currently running in your space what would be something that you might change?
I wish I wouldn’t have waited so long to move into a bigger space, haha.. But I’m also happy that I did, because it allowed me to have my business at a financial place to be able to support a bigger space. So that was a fabulous answer, non-answer. haha
How has having your own studio space changed your business?
It hasn’t changed my business as much as it has just allowed me to offer something more luxurious and fun for my clients. They all rave over the space, and it’s just another reason for them to be excited about their Salome Photography experience as a whole! 🙂
What was something that was a surprise during this process whether it be a positive or a negative that you would want somebody going into opening their own space know about?
I think it’s just the time commitment, especially if you’re doing things DIY like I did. Whatever your budget and time frame is, make sure you double it and then you’ll be a little bit closer to what it’s actually going to cost in dollars and time! Just be flexible and enjoy the process! 🙂
How did you go about designing and decorating the layout of your space? Did you hire a designer do it yourself?
I used a ton of Pinterest inspiration for my space.. I looked at other photographer friend’s spaces and talked to them about what they liked/disliked about their spaces, and I also took aspects from my old tiny space and took things that I liked and didn’t like about that and incorporated it into the new space. 🙂 I didn’t hire a designer.. I love doing these things DIY and I just had a ton of fun with it!
Thank you so much SSG for talking to me about my studio space!!