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  • Writer's pictureTamara Duffy

Out with the old, and in with the new!

This year has been all about transitioning. Personally, professionally and environmentally.

One certain transition was needed especially for the studio. Instead of keeping it as a shared space with my kids and their toys, I decided it was time to change the space to just my studio alone. This meant purging and rearranging much to my daughter's dismay. Nevertheless, the basement needed a change for the better.

When my husband and I bought our home in 2005, I had no idea that it would ever become a photography studio. We had grand intentions of creating our basement into a gaming space with a poker table, and a bar. The plus for me was my sewing room! We had a hot tub, a bar, a TV screen that can be turned around to face the hot tub. To top it all off, Toronto Maple Leafs blue walls for my everlasting Leafs fan of a husband (insert face palm).

The Blue Wall

I can remember my contractor at that time begging me NOT to paint the walls bright blue, but who was I to disappoint my husband's dream? ... well... Looking back I should have done things differently.

When I recall those blue walls, I can remember feeling embarrassed whenever I had clients over because the Toronto Maple Leafs tribute did not exactly set up a serious studio space. Especially when you're a Calgary Flames fan.

Dad and Dollhouse

My Dad and my Doll house!

Once our daughters were born and grown into little beings who needed a play space, the basement was the perfect place to be! It was a great place for my girls to enjoy the doll house that was once mine, and all the barbies and accessories that I hung onto. The Doll house was particularly important to me, as it was made for me by my Dad. I guess growing up in the eighties brought the glamour of Barbie and I never outlived it until I was well into my teens. Eventually the girls sadly outgrew barbies well before I did. Thus, this year it was time to pass on my doll house to the next generation. I often remind myself that saying "Good-bye" to the things of yesterday means getting to say "Hello" to the new things of tomorrow.

YYC Photographer Tamara J Photography

Well this year was my year to take that basement and make it my studio - permanently. My plan, new flooring. This meant packing up everything and purging the stuff I no longer needed. In my sewing room, I had years of accumulated sewing patterns, fabrics, knick-knacks... Okay I admit, it was A LOT of Junk! Thanks to Maria Kondo, I was able to purge with happiness and let someone else find joy in the items I donated. Plus I made some extra cash on the side by selling some items that were of great value and in excellent condition. Now if only my kids could really get into their stuff and do the same.

Safety First!

Renovation Image

My desire was to create a studio space that was enjoyable for my clients of all sizes. Plus, I was struggling with the carpeted flooring as my studio strobe lighting was pretty much tipping over whenever I would try to move it across the floor. This was a huge safety issue for me and I didn't want to risk having carpet any longer. Plus I needed storage. Proper storage for my backdrops, my props among many other things.

Renovation Image

Now when it comes to home renovations, some things are just best left to the professionals. To start, I needed a contractor and not just any contractor. Home renovation contractors are very hard workers, and when you find the right one - they are a precious commodity. We are so lucky to have our contractor Jeff from B.A.C Construction. He was able to walk me through every step of the process and ease any anxieties I had with the process. Before construction began, I would get these crazy creative ideas in my head, and just like that they made my vision a reality. They worked extra hard at all those little details so I wouldn't have to worry about them.

Next up - Flooring!

Custom made steps for the stairs!

Where in the world do you begin with flooring? The choices are overwhelming if you don't know what to look for.

New Stair Tread

At All Floors Design centre, they were able to narrow down my choices to what was most ideal. One of the benefits with my studio floor is the heated flooring. This warm floor makes the room the perfect temperature for my tiny clients and I needed a flooring that was smooth for rolling my light stands yet soft on the feet. Vinyl planking turned out to be a perfect fit for my needs and for my budget. Along with the custom built steps for the stairs, it all began to unfold magically.

Renovation Image

Calgary Newborn Photography

Only one rather large problem - those blue walls!

Slowly but surely, things are starting to look better!

Oh how I loathed them and I wanted them gone like this wretched pandemic we are living in. I talked to my husband and after some convincing, he agreed to let go of the blue walls. Then I made the call to Wow 1 Day to help me remove these embarrassing blue walls. In the blink of an eye (really it was the very next day!) they sent their team over and before I could say BOO, they started the work and in just a few hours all the blue was completely gone!

In just a matter of days, it was all completed. No more blue walls, no more carpet. Just clean neutral colours to set the tone for the new studio!

Renovation Image

With a new professional-grade backdrop stand that holds 3 backdrops, plus new storage features to contain all my props and everything else in-between. Now the studio is ready for it's next adventure!

YYC Photographer Tamara J Photography

Last but certainly not least. My studio space would not be complete without a beautiful large canvas of one of my most favourite creations! Of course, I look forward to filling all my wall spaces with more portraits!

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