Yeshen Venema
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Blog for Photographer Yeshen Venema. Features tips, links interviews and behind the scenes stories.

The difference a studio can make

My work has taken me all over London, shooting in homes, workshops, on the street and even a manor house - every shoot is different. From ceramics to textiles and jewellery it's crucial I'm able to adapt and improvise around the products in a variety of spaces.

Here's some examples...

Making it work in a small space with Waffle.

On location at Cockpit Arts, Depford - DIY backdrop!

Shooting some cheese boards at the home studio - note stairs, far too close to tripod!

Many of the shoots take place in my home studio. It's small, but those who have worked with me know I can get a tremendous amount out of the space. Using simple props and backgrounds to place the products in an appropriate setting, from a work desk, to a bathroom or dining table - not to mention our famous white brick wall!

However, sometimes there is no substitute for a larger space. It's not all about the products, but also the peace of mind for the client. Being able to lay out your range and create multiple setups is important for any designer, this gives you perspective - and it's more relaxing than cramming it all into a tiny room! 

Shooting cutout images for Woven Oak at Studio Four N16.

Studio Flock setup in Studio Four. This space is wonderful, every shoot I've done here has been great.

Take Studio Four for example, where I've worked on several shoots now. It's not just a beautiful space, with lovely window light, but also has a relaxing atmosphere. My shoots there with Studio Flock (textiles), Feral Sphere (Fashion and accessories) and most recently Woven Oak and Iozzolino Design (cushions/lampshades) have all demonstrated the power of the studio!

UPDATE 7.6.14: You can see more results from Studio Four by checking out my recent work with HAM, Victoria Eggs, Jemima Vine and The National Portrait Gallery Shop.

Lighting some lighting for Iozzolino Design.

If you're shooting cushions for example (I shoot a lot of cushions!) you can create an intimate setup on a tabletop or chair without too much trouble, but what if you want to use a couch, a bench or show a wider range of designs? A larger work space gives you options to layout your scene and allows the photographer more options to stand back and shoot from different angles.

A lovely example of wide window light, streaming in across the scene.

A lovely example of wide window light, streaming in across the scene.

Of course, perhaps most importantly, there's the issue of light. The larger the space, the softer the light and the more options you have to use studio lighting to create a mood. Natural light is wonderful, but especially in winter it's in short supply!

Scroll down for some more examples of the difference a studio can make..

In 2014 I'll be creating some great studio packages for designer/makers, in some cases offering subsidised spaces to keep the shoots affordable. Drop me a line to find out more.