It dawned on me the other day that I’ve never taken any photographs of my garden studio. I’ve had it for nearly a year and a half now and meant to do a post on it when it was first built but as with most things, life got in the way and here we are, 16 months later!

When I first started offering posed newborn photoshoots I held them in my dining room, which I had converted into a temporary studio. It was absolutely fine shoots wise, if a little cramped, but having them in my home meant that my house was just overrun with props, blankets, lighting and suchlike. Furthermore, my poor husband and son Flynn would be banished during photoshoots, which during the winter months meant them venturing out into the cold and rain for up to four hours while I worked. It just wasn’t sustainable so we discussed the idea of a garden studio and agreed it was the way forward.

Quite simply, I haven’t looked back since. It was the best (albeit expensive) decision I ever made. It allows me to keep all my photography stuff separate, away from the house, and it’s given me heaps more space and freedom. Prior to the studio, my cake smash photoshoots were held in client’s houses. This was fine if they had wooden/tiled floors or play mats to lay down to contain the mess, but it was somewhat restrictive and far from ideal – I’ll be honest, if I were a parent wanting a cake smash photoshoot I would NOT have wanted to have it in my own home for fear of the mess left behind (and I’m not exactly house proud as it is). Now, parents can come to me in the studio and allow their kids to make as much mess as they like because afterwards I just cut off the affected backdrop, throw it away et voila – it’s like they were never even there!

I love that it gives me the option to shoot with both studio lighting and natural lighting thanks to the floor to ceiling windows down the whole of one side. I’m a big fan of a naturally backlit shot – and the silhouettes you can create shooting against it – especially when it comes to my maternity photoshoots. Nothing beats the outline of a beautiful baby bump shot in stunning black and white.

And I just love that it provides parents with a comfortable, relaxing setting in which to have their photoshoots, especially with newborns. I feel a real sense of achievement when I’m photographing a new baby and either mum or dad has dozed off on the sofa while I work. The fact that they feel at ease and cosy enough in the environment to have a little sleep is exactly what I wanted to achieve when I had the studio built.

Of course, I haven’t turned my back on location / lifestyle photography completely. I’m still more than happy to head to people’s homes or out in the forest for a photoshoot if that’s what my clients prefer, but having the studio has definitely given me more flexibility and freedom – and takes away the burden from parents stressing that their own homes may not be light enough, big enough or dare I say it, tidy enough for a photoshoot.

There’s still a few things I want to do to the studio – I have some rails I want to put up to hang props from, some of my favourite images to hang on the walls and there are a few items I haven’t yet transferred down there that are currently still living in the house. But even as it is, I adore it!! It’s my own little space where I can do the work that I love, meet beautiful babies and their lovely parents and create beautiful images for my clients to treasure forever. That, for me, is priceless!