Inside the Studio: Allison Cahoon
This month, we’re going inside the studio with Allison Cahoon, a maternity and newborn photographer, as she takes us on a tour of her studio at her home in Alberta, Canada.
Some may think that living in the country would prevent clients from wanting to drive to my studio – we live about 10 minutes from a small town and 20 minutes from a very large city. However, I’m very blessed to be busy – almost too busy as I have 4 young children under 8. It is a constant balance act everyday between the people I love and the things I love to do.
I mainly shoot maternity and newborns. Those newborns do grow up and so I do photograph babies and families as well. All my family work is done outdoors in the spring, summer or fall. My studio is located on the lower level of my walk out house. My plan for the next 3-4 years is to build a loft studio on top of a separate building on our property. For now, what I have is working well. My clients come to my home and have to walk through my home to get to my studio. This will be nice when they can just walk right into my studio. I try to keep a very clean house but with four kids – it is very difficult. In my waiting area, I have seating for my clients to relax while I shoot. For all my newborn shoots, nice my shooting area is very small, they relax in my waiting area and usually fall asleep during their newborn’s session. The husband’s often watch a movie while their wives sleep away. I love that my clients trust me to take care of their newborn and they can use those few hours that I’m working with their child to regroup and catch up on some wanted sleep.
My shoot area is in a large bedroom that I have converted into my shooting space. There is a HUGE walk in closet that I use for all my newborn backdrop fabrics. I also have a large collection of newborn hats that I have hanging from a wall in my studio with curtains rods and clips. This helps me to quickly and easily choose hats and props for my up coming sessions. I LOVE to sew and knit and so I produce a lot of my own props. Because my studio is so small, it is easily heated to the desired temperature I need for my newborns. It gets nice and cozy so they are very comfortable.
I have a large storage room in other places in my house where I store larger props that I don’t use very often. This is one thing that I wish I have more of it LARGE storage space for props. I have to weed out props that I don’t use all the time to make room for new ones.
There is a bathroom close by my studio that my clients can use where I have displayed LARGE portraits of my images. What else are my clients going to be doing while in the bathroom- Looking around of course. I make sure I show my best images in there.
Just off the sitting area I have a mini kitchenette where clients can prepare formula, a snack or pop some popcorn if they like. I want my clients to feel right at home when they come to my studio. While they sit, there is also a coffee table that I have my albums, album sample covers and sample frames that they can choose while waiting.
I have been in my studio/home for two years now but I’m really looking forward to building my dream studio. Right now, My studio is very comfortable. I feel like my clients feel at home when they are here and they can relax. For me, I really want my images to stand out – so the larger prints I show and the more simple I display images, the better. Clients ALWAYS comment on my cluster of 9 black frames when they walk in. These are one of the first things that they see and they stare at them the whole session. There are a variety of poses and can explain my sequence of my shoots with these images.