The Journey Towards a Perfect Home Office for My Photography Business
Man, my home office is always a mess. From the very beginning, it was pieced together with random extra furniture (or garage sale finds) and had photography gear just laying around on the floor. Though the room is technically the master bedroom, it was packed to the brim with everything that I needed to run my wedding photography business from the home. I had a packaging table, a computer desk, a printer desk, photography books and manuals, a fridge for film and a dresser where I kept my photography packaging. Four pieces of bulky furniture took up the entire home office. Oh, and there was also a walk in closet and attic full of cardboard boxes and shipping materials, backgrounds, light stands, and more junk.
The very first step towards de-cluttering was when my photographer pal, Mary Corcoran, was selling off her standing desk and packaging station! I went to her studio clearance sale for a small dresser for another room in my house and the next thing I knew, I was buying desks. Yikes! It was a total pain to get them down the stairs of her photography studio and then into my office, but with some brawny pals with a truck, we made it happen. Her two pieces of furniture from Pottery Barn have changed my life!
I literally can do a kickboxing workout in my home office with all of the room it freed up.
The only thing I needed to add was a stand for my desktop computer so it was even higher. I picked up a sexy eco-friendly bamboo stand from Evernote’s market shop. The stand has a spot for my iPad too (I like watching documentaries or comedies while ‘wediting’). I also scored a free two-drawer file cabinet from my pal Erika from Gallery Salon. That helped remove a few sticker covered plastic file bins that now are in the attic with old tax info where they belong.
So, the only drawback was that I noticed my photo editing was now being affected by the orange wall color since the computer was moved from the center of the room. Over the winter, I had my good pals (and past Groom) from Ryan and Sons Painting come in and paint my home office a nice middle grey color. Perfect for editing photos.
I took everything out of the closet and decided that nothing goes back in that is not photography related. On the right hand side, I made a great storage area for light stands, umbrellas, my giant flash, camera bags and more. It has since been expanded/perfected since this picture was taken. Also in here are mailing supplies and over stock of packaging supplies, like print boxes.
A benefit to my new setup is that now I just walk over to the computer and I have zero distractions from the rest of the room. Everything has it’s place and nothing is in the room that does not need to be in the room!
Additionally, I’m always just facing the computer and a small file folder with current projects. Generally, I’m able to keep my desk pretty clean with a paper planner and that’s it. This picture is about as messy as my desk gets. That bag on my packaging desk is my camera bag, which goes into the closet after each gig.
I also totally love having a standing desk and am so much more productive! It really is amazing.
Not really shown below is my new battery charging station, which sits on the film storage refrigerator. It is a breeze to prep my gear for a wedding now and I don’t have to sit on the floor to do it. Score!
Are you wondering what the artwork is that was chosen for this room? Well, I sure as hell look at my own photos all day long, so I decided to only put these stunning black and white woodcuts on the walls. They are of scenes of Africa from my late Auntie Carolyn and were a motivator towards working my butt off to earn money so I could go to Africa myself. It worked and I went. Her use of shadow and negative space is so inspiring to me as an artist.
The only other expense was to finally change out the ceiling fan from the old 1980’s era one that came with the house as well as replace the green window stops. I bought a modern fan with LED lighting, as is fitting with my sustainable business practices. And Viola! My home office remodel is complete! It’s the office of my dreams and efficiency for sure. Since the remodel, lace curtains have been added to the windows and to the closet opening, which really tie it all together and soften the modern look.