As I write this, I'm closer than ever to being back in business with a studio. It's not just my studio though, its a collaboration, almost a partnership, of other serious photographers and creatives coming together to form a Creative Collective in downtown Aurora. This effort could not work anywhere else, not in my mind. Aurora is creativity.
If all goes to plan, and the plan is somewhat fluid as it's still being tweaked as well, the studio I and my colleagues are working on will be a member partner working with Aurora's Indie Studio Space owned and run by Bob Lockwood. Bob's business will be able to rent our space and his member's will be able to use our facility and we, his. Yes, they will remain separate businesses but will operate as close to one as possible. Bob is building a nice business and name in the creative spaces of graphics design, writing, acting, videography and podcasting along with offering his real estate, portrait and drone photography services. The studio myself and my cohorts are building out is steep in good old fashion still photography. Portraits, fashion, beauty, commercial advertising and products just to name a few "genres" are our thing. It's going to be a full featured facility too, suitable for use at any professional level. Yes, it will be offered for use with monthly memberships (only 2 available for now) and daily rental with suitable notice. All lights and equipment will also be available for rent. Backgrounds and props and such are included in a standard daily rental.
With the added help my member partners provide, I will no longer be the focal point for all the studio activity. I will have more time to run my photography business and spend time with my wife on the personal front. She is retired, and wants to do all sorts of cool things active retired people do. So some of my time will be pursuing that. But I will have a studio available when its needed and this is some studio space! We actually have an option on another slightly smaller, more industrial space as well but that would not become available until mid to late 2018. It's practically next door.
This primary space will have it's own parking lot. The space is very open and right at 2200 sq.ft. with beautiful old colored brick walls. It's got an old barn type sliding door which is functional now but won't be for liability reasons once we occupy the place. It's on a second floor of a warehouse operation but there is a lift for bringing equipment in and out. Up and down. It has a large 4x6-ish skylight which provides very soft light. It has bay windows, more soft light. And the room is ringed with other windows here and there. Available light photographers will love this place but so will all-around lighting capable sorts, since it has plenty of options for lighting too. Very high ceilings, at least 15 ft., and a very cool looking floor which we are working with the building owner to preserve. Key pad logged entry will be used this time. Plus 2-3 security cameras tied to the keypad log.
I've probably said too much already and promised myself I would not talk about it but the owner and I have a verbal agreement on price. We are just hammering out occupying dates, which will probably be February 1st, and some other things dealing with walls and paint. This owner knows what he is doing and is very reliable. Highly recommended by the City of Aurora and Invest Aurora.
So stay tuned in the coming weeks for more info. February is not that far away! This place is what I have always envisioned a photo studio to be. My old place at 46 West was a great spot to open, learn and run a photo business from. This place, with my member partners, is the next step. It's evolution. And we want to continue to evolve.