The Good News and the Bad

The bad news is that our first IUI didn’t work.  I wasn’t REALLY expecting our first medicated cycle to  do the trick, but I sure was hoping.  The logistics of fertility treatments once you already have a child are much more difficult and the whole process was pretty stressful so I’m NOT looking forward to the next installment. I’m taking solace in the fact that I can stop the icky progesterone AND can drink wine with impunity.

So I may not be giving birth to a second child anytime soon, but I AM happy to announce the “birth” of something very exciting to me..

I’m standing in my new studio!!!!!!! (wet hair and all, looking like a dear in headlights)

I never thought I wanted/needed a studio space, but the last few months brought a slew of newborn shoots.. which I love, but also hate mostly due to the fact that I do on location and the amount of props to load and then unload and set up, and then breakdown and unload again.. and then put away was REALLY getting to me.

And THEN.. I started carrying organic bloom frames and ordered a ton of studio samples and started bringing them along to my on location in person sales sessions..which turned into ANOTHER load/unload nightmare, not to mention that I just don’t have ROOM to store all this stuff. SO I seriously started to entertain the idea of renting a studio space if I could find the right one.

And then I DID.. I just didn’t know it yet..

A family  friend had her office in an old historic building that used to house a gigantic funky vintage clothing store called Udelco (there is actually a facebook page “I used to shop at Udelco!” ) and it’s where I did these images of Janaki:

I always thought it was a really cool place, so asked my friend if she knew if they had any empty space and sure enough someone had just moved out next door to her office!

When I went to go see it, I was super impressed with the light (GIGANTIC large windows!) but the space just seemed unworkable to me. It’s very long and narrow – 28 feet long by only 9 feet wide and has no closets or cabinets or anywhere to put my props etc.

So I didn’t really do anything about it and let the idea marinate for several weeks.  I started looking at what else was available and nothing had the quality of light or the funky studio feel that this odd little place had. At the same time,  a local photographer friend had given up his gigantic studio and was amenable to the idea of sharing a space, so I asked him to come take a look and give me a second opinion.

I’m so glad I did, because seeing it again through his eyes I realized that even though the dimensions leave something to be desired, the beauty of the light and it’s odd charm are undeniable.  So we did it!  We can move in August first!

There is so much work that needs to be done, not the last of which is figure out a workable use of the space, find the right furnishings etc.  But both Chris and I are excited for the challenge and I know Jeff is thrilled that he we can get all my props and crap out of the closets at home!

Here is an image that illustrates the long and narrowness of the space:

And another that shows the giant old windows (there are 6 of them!)

We are having them stain the floor a darkish blue gray called “riverstone”, which I hope was the right call.. I wanted something neutral, but I’m wondering if we should have gone warmer (thoughts?)

So my vision for the space is that in the far back will be a sitting area/viewing area where moms can relax during shoots and where we can do ordering sessions. This will really be a shooting space/ordering space only, there is no room for computer workstations and storage is at a premium, so instead of a computer I’m thinking of a dresser or cabinet where we can store blankets/props and just have  a flat screen or large computer monitor on top of it that we can plug our laptops into for viewings.  JUST in front of that seating area I want to run a tension rod or wire where we can have a fabric to pull across and cover the seating area so we can utilize the length of the studio for shooting and have an uncluttered background.

About halfway down we are planning on hanging a large seamless holder from the ceiling with three colors. The combination of the seamless and whatever curtain we put in front of the viewing area should give us a lot of variety even in that tiny space.

For a tiny bit more rent our landlord agreed to let us put Chris’ very large metal cabinet which will have to act as the “closet” for equipment and props because there isn’t one in the shooting space.

The whole project has me really excited about photography again in a way that I haven’t been lately – my wall guides business has taken up so much of my time and attention that editing shoots was just seeming like a bad time investment. Plus, like I mentioned the loading/unloading was really getting to me.

I can’t wait until the floors are done and I can do my first shoot in the space, which will have to be Jasper of course!

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Stephanie says:

It’s a fabulous space, Ariana! Congratulations!!!!!

Maisi says:

The studio looks amazing!!! Congratulations. Look forward to seeing the finished product!

Juliana says:


congratulations!! All the best to you and your new space. With your good taste I am sure this will be a wonderful place to have photos taken.

ariana says:

Kelly, thanks for sharing your happy ending! To go from none to 3, what a blessing!

Carrie, self taught, mostly from hanging around photography forums :)

Carrie Lee says:

Ariana, how did you gather your knowledge of photography and photoshop…did you take classes, go to college for a full degree or are you self taught? I’m curious. Beautiful work! :)

Kelly says:

I had issues also after having emergency surgery for an ectopic pregnancy which left me with only one functioning side. It was a very long process after that and after having our first and wanting a second it took over 4 years (full of different procedures). Just when I had accepted having one child and being at peace, understanding that was how it was supposed to be we made our 2nd. After the 2nd we thought well the first two took forEVER we better get going on the 3rd…. the 2nd and 3rd are 18 months apart! Keep trying and don’t let it stress you out. :)

as for the studio, it looks amazing! What a fun space. I can’t wait to see the finished product.

ariana says:

Thanks for all the well-wishes everyone!! It certainly does take the sting out of the BFN to have something to throw myself into creatively!

Angie says:

AMAZING space I can’t wait to see the product of all your hard workd. Best of luck!

Chantal says:

I’m sorry about the IUI, but am so excited for you about the studio space! I cannot wait to see how it all comes together and how the first shoot looks. Yay you!

Christina says:

I’m sorry to hear about the IUI but PUMPED about your studio space!! Wow! I love your images and am always surprised to read that you picked this up just a few years ago? Amazing work! Congrats on the space and best wishes for your next round.

Ava says:

Woot! How exciting on the studio space. You’re right. Lugging things left and right is a major pain. And sharing a studio space sounds like a perfect solution. Just make sure you update your insurance/liability policy accordingly.

I am bummed about the IUI though. I had low hopes for our first FET round and it produced a BFN. Here’s hoping the next round will go the way you want.

Nicolasa says:

Sorry to hear about the IUI. We are struggling to get pregnant with our first and it is a long journey.

Congrats about the new space! How exciting!

Bethany says:

Congratulations on your new space! It looks like a great space with endless possibilities!

Kristin says:

In regards to your pregnancy issues, I am so sorry. Hang in there though. I’ve lost 6 to miscarriage (four before I had my first child) but have been blessed to have 4 healthy little ones. Don’t loose heart!

Kristin says:

My first thoughts are: too cool for the floor. I prefer warmer tones and love the effect in the images. Plus, I think it makes the room feel warm and inviting. But, a cool floor might work if you do a warmer top…not sure on colors…still having to figure those out for my own home.

For the sitting area, why not do a floor to ceiling wardrobe type closet with a couch on one side and two cozy arm chairs on the other. This would provide the storage you need, a homey feeling and add some drama to the space. On the other end, you can work the whole adjacent corner (short side for babies, individuals, couples and the long side for boudoir if you do those, larger groups and other shoots that require more room) and then use heavy curtains to help direct the light from the windows how you want them. You can even set up a table to fit just beneath the window to use as an additional back ground and back lighting.

Just my first thoughts. Congratulations. It is a space I would LOVE to have!!!!

Nina says:

Congratulations! All that yummy natural light coming in is amazing!

Maybe you didn’t get pregnant this time because your body knew how busy you would be next month!

Kelly R says:

WAY TO GO! This sounds perfect and it’s an adorable space. :)

ariana says:

Thanks Cathy!

Amy, I’d love that! Let me know :)

Amy says:

WOOT! I am super excited for you. I was just thinking about you and Jasper yesterday and how much I wish I could visit and get a photo session in for my little guy. Maybe in a few months ;o)

Cathy says:

Congrats !!!!!!
The space looks amazing. Light is everything and you will rock out the sessions. I relate to looking like we are moving in when we come for a session. It will be nice to have a place to display frames and product and store props!
Once settled in the new studio I bet you will have more good news to tell us.