Studio tour: Elizabeth Messina

Name: elizabeth messina
Location: california
Company: elizabeth messina photography & kiss the groom

What is your aesthetic? i love sweet simple style….vintage inspired….clean…real….life & style….a beautiful plate of organic vegetables….a perfect pair of shoes….a chocolate truffle….a chandelier…..a kiss….

How does your studio style convey your professional aesthetic? my studio is a blend of art & function….in the middles of my office is an an antique chandelier (from my wedding) hanging above a dark brown wood table flanked by two vintage deep orange velvet couches (that belonged to my grandparents)….the table if often strewn with various photographs that i am editing or packaging….. their is beautiful window light & soft sheer curtains….i move between my MAC computers in one corner, to my encaustic & art project table…. i have a collection of vintage cameras & crowns on the shelf & a amoire in the back filled with vintage dresses….my office is a mixture of a gallery space, a work space & my home….my space is very personal & very functional…its a place i want to be & where i can get alot done….i tried to create a space that was full of light & beauty, where i could edit, email make art & dream….

Favorite part of your studio? the chandelier that hung above our wedding table….

Where do you go for inspiration? i feel inspiration is all around us….in the little sweet nuances of day to day life….i am infatuated with nautral light…the way it caresses & illuminates a face, a flower a pair of shoes….my work & my life are intrinsically connected….i love to photograph my children…. the pot of stew i’m cooking for dinner….and the soft  affection of people in love….i am a romantic….

What tool do you use in your business that you can’t live without? film film film…..i love the timeless beauty of film….my favorite camera is my contax 645….that and natural light & i am completely happy….

Is there anything you’d upgrade to? the only upgrade i need is more balance….i want to be the best mother i can be, the best friend, the best wife and a photographer that evokes feeling & beauty with my work….i am often pulled in several directions at once…i strive for more peace & balance so that i can follow my dreams & sip a cup of tea in silence….

Anything else we should know? i am in love with photography….it is the language of my heart & i am so grateful i found this incredible art form…..surprisingly i have also found myself falling for blogging….its been so wonderful to share a little bit of myself without anyone editing me or my work….i feel connected to the world in a way i couldn’t have imagined….

[images by Elizabeth Messina]

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Studio tour: Clark + Walker Studio

Name: Luke Walker (and wife/fellow photographer Alisha Clark)
Location: Troy, NY
Company: Clark+Walker Studio

What is your aesthetic? Clean and contemporary with a little bit of bold and and a hint of vintage.

How does your studio style convey your professional aesthetic? Because our studio is located in the antiques district of our city, we wanted to blend a little local flavor by using a window display full of old frames that were almost throw-aways. Our local community has given us an appreciation for adding a bit of vintage into our studio space. Overall though our studio gives the clean and bold look of Clark+Walker Studio. From the commercial grade wallpaper accent to the italian tile flooring to the bold slate gray and gold studio coloring…we wanted people to walk in and have the same in-person experience they’d expect from the Clark+Walker brand.

Favorite part of your studio? The meeting area has to be our favorite place by far. A comfortable place for all of us to gather and share ideas, as well a place to watch our in-studio Apple TV if one of us needs to come up for air from editing. Our videographer proposed a rule of “no shoes” during winter time, only slippers. We believe in comfort over here.

Where do you go for inspiration? This may sound cliche, but I believe there is a day that comes in the evolution of becoming a photographer where you start to see the world through a camera lens. The everyday view of the world sort of goes out the window, at least it did for Alisha and myself. When we go to Puerto Rico for vacation we walk the cobble stone streets and brightly painted buildings and no matter how hard we try not too, we are both seeing different photographs. When I see a child running by us waving the Puerto Rican flag I think “what an awesome prop that would be for a local shoot.” When I see an older man on the corner playing guitar trying to make a couple bucks I see a great photo opportunity with people dancing behind him in the cobblestone streets. I’m a believer that the greatest source of inspiration is getting out, trying new things, and changing up your comfort zone whenever possible.

What tool do you use in your business that you can’t live without? I know I’m supposed to say my 50mm 1.2 lens, or Photoshop or something techy. But honestly…the tool that I can’t live without is email. While I certainly believe our work is good (I’m probably biased though), what really books us jobs and takes our business to the next level is the relationships we form. Whether it be with brides who are looking for photo and/or video or whether it’s fellow wedding professionals, our business is founded on relationships and our network of supporters. There is no way we’d be shooting all the fashion runway for The Knot, and getting weddings from Bermuda to Hawaii by just taking great pictures with cool toys. Any successful person or business has a network of supporters backing them, and we really try and make sure we utilize the speed and convenience of email in keeping up with our network and trying to support the people who support us.

Is there anything you’d upgrade to? Yes I’d like to propose facebook upgrade it’s email system! Anyone else have a great email system set up only to have it ruined or slowed down by so many people sending emails through FB now? Something that I actually can change though is bringing on a full time production manager which we are currently hiring for right now. As the number of weddings we do grows we have to continue to grow with it.

Anything else we should know? We like long walks on the beach and…oh wait…oops! I mean, we love meeting new people and making new friends!  Our online home can be found at clarkwalkerstudio.com and we can connect on facebook at facebook.com/cwstudio. We’d love to hear from you.

[images from Clark + Walker]

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