What a year we all had in 2020 and things were constantly changing on a daily basis. Pro Exposure Photography had been using studios for commercial, product, portrait, headshots etc. in and around our home town in Leighton Buzzard Bedfordshire, as well as travelling out to other studios or clients where jobs required. The travel restrictions and lockdowns soon changed our business model and we were loosing clients and jobs because of the situations we were finding ourselves in.
In December 2020 things looked like they were not going to get much better in 2021 so we started looking around at options for a space where we could operate and keep flexible to the changing world around us. We had looked at extending our house and renting business premises to use as a studio space but those options soon became the wrong ones for us at this time. We looked at garden office spaces as we had a good size area in our garden that we had not put to use and it was calling out for us to do something with it.
We found Dunster House website at this point and looked through their extensive range of log cabins to see if any would work for us, the space we had and that we could build ourselves as at this point in time we would be unable to get any assistance from friends and family due to the impending lockdown. We looked through their YouTube channel as they had some great step by step build videos which really helped us to see if this was even going to be a possibility for us to build between me and my wife. We found a log cabin that worked for us it was called a Terminator Pent Log Cabin which featured double glazed doors and windows it also had thicker walls, floor and roof compared to some others we had looked at too. A bonus was they were fairly local to us too.
The decision was made so we followed the website through checking out the added features and treatments available along with some great customer photos and pushed the buy button. That was it we had a studio space in the making!!!
Soon Dunster House contacted us to arrange a contactless delivery which I was apprehensive about at first as with something so large and with so many pieces I wanted to know it was all there before the delivery team left but we went along with it and I must admit it was pretty seamless on delivery day and once they had put the lodge pieces on the driveway and the team had left we checked through all the sections and we were missing an item..... Roof Felt :-(
After a quick call to their customer service team they soon rectified this (by the time my build was ready to fix the roof felt to the lodge it was on the way and arrived a couple of days after so very good service again)
We got all the sections in order and started the build layer by layer the studio was coming together.
As it was winter the cabin build took longer than we expected but this was purely down to the fact that we lost daylight so fast but if this has been the summer I think we would have had it built within 2-3 days and ready for treating it was really simple to put together. I will not forget the Christmas period being outside building the cabin. Yes it got quite cold at times hahaha. Spending the evenings reading through the instruction book to make sure we were getting everything done and in the right order.
Here we were the outer shell was built and just needed to fit the roof felt and then onto the inside flooring.
As 2021 can along the studio was looking good and we were able to get it treated with 2 coats or sealer then 2 of top coat but it really could do with another which we decided to wait and apply in the summer once the cabin had settled a little and been through spring/summer weather changes.
Now it was time to start making the cabin work for us as a business so we started adding the electrics, lighting, internet and other options we needed to make this work for us.
Our studio was ready and we could start getting some clients back onboard and see what the space could actually do. We has 4m x 3m to play with so a lot smaller than we were used to but we had confidence that it would work and we would get the most out of it that we could.
We were able to get some clients back on board and the bookings started coming and we quickly found out how versatile the Dunster cabin was we had been able to photograph commercial projects, ecommerce, products, jewellery and as lockdowns eased into 2021 we have been able to use the space to shoot things like fashion, headshots and maternity photoshoots. We had a sharp learning curve into photographing in this new space and had loved the journey so far.
Here are some behind the scenes shots from the cabin from some commercial and product photography shoots:
The studio has been settling into its new location and changing with the weather as expected. One thing we wish we had purchased at the time is the hook and eye stays for the doors which I will make arrangements to get soon so we can work and have the doors wide open too. We have made some changes and additions to the inside as we have been growing with the space and workloads and still have to finish off the outside space to incorporate it into the garden some more with a decked area to the front. We have been busy and lots of clients are excited by our new space and the flexibility it gives us as a family. We can work while being involved in family life and we can be far more flexible for my clients now and even incorporate 24 hour turn around times on jobs if they are needed urgently which before would have been a tough thing to offer.
To finish off this post I want to thank our clients for standing by us and supporting us through these difficult times and being flexible and confident in us to be able to produce the images we do for them. Also I wanted to add this isn't a paid for post for Dunster House either but a post out of genuine interest in the studio and how it came about.
........Although without the service from Dunster House and their log cabin giving us the backbone to be able to work as we do currently and who knows where we would be now so a big thank you goes out to them too.
There you have it the story behind the studio.... why it came about and how it works for us.
Thanks for taking time to read this far and if your still here and need some images let us know?
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