House hunting in Wahoo
We moved to this little, adorable town in 2011 and we house hunted knowing full well I was about to change careers. Ryan gave his blessing for me to quit my rad tech job and pursue my dreams of full time portrait photography. BEST. DECISION. EVER.
We actually had a lot of options for housing at the time (different story today!). We could find an acreage (which would have been social suicide). We could buy a dinky house, flip it or use it as a rental until we decided what neighborhood. But ultimately we chose a 1-owner 1960's brick ranch on a double lot with a solid basement and room for an addition.
We moved all our belongings into a storage unit, lived bare-bones in the basement for 8 months while we tackled renovations on the first floor. My kitchen was a folding card table, a microwave, and the dishes that were in the dishwasher when we moved out of our Kearney house. McGuyver, I was.
On shooting with no studio
Before I had visions of a studio, I was 99% shooting outdoors or on location. But what I found was that, at first, I had a ton of clients driving from out of town and weather was always a huge stressor. Wind...rain... heat. I quickly realized that I needed not only an office, but shelter for my clients. So we began planning in 2012 to add on a 2 car garage/shop and a studio. My dad is a contractor, so he was a major help. We did all the work ourselves (with the exception of concrete and roof) and it took 18 months to complete.
And now I've flipped. I prefer shooting in my studio most of the time where I can shoot in climate control. (I melt when it gets above 80 degrees and hate Nebraska summers)
My studio is totally me
Over the last 10 years the studio has had many upgrades from when we built it initially. Since I never had a studio before, I didn't really understand how I'd fully be using it. I knew I wanted lots of natural light so we have huge windows and a commercial style garage door. It's actually, at times, too much light. So I've found clever ways to diffuse it when I need to. I also have a hair/make up area that's worked out so well this year. Including a mini fridge to keep all our drinks cold.
And I'm a Facebook marketplace junkie. Always buying and selling. Thrifting. Keeping my props fresh.