Well I finally found some time to take a few photos of our live / work studio! We’re located near downtown Los Angeles in the heart of what is known as the Los Angeles Brewery Artist Complex. Although there are many buildings on the property, our studio is housed in the south facing wing of the former Southern California Edison Electric Power Station #3. The building itself was built in 1903 and is registered as a Historic Cultural Landmark by the City of Los Angeles.
The ground floor of our studio is 3,960 square feet while our indoor raised mezzanine deck (the bedroom) is approximately 675 square feet. In addition to our indoor space, we also maintain a fenced outside patio area that boasts an additional 1,650 square feet of usable space. Our studio is 4 stories tall (unobstructed) and the back entrance features a monstrous roll up door allowing drive-in access to our shooting area.
Update: I relinquished my lease on this incredible space in October 2010 and have since moved to Houston, Texas.
#1 – This is the view of our front door and main entrance. Our parking spaces are right next to the front door.
#2 – This is the view from inside our front door. Our client meeting area is located in the foreground while the bedroom is located on the raised steel mezzanine in the center of the studio.
#3 – This is another view of the client meeting area. The “windows” that are high on the wall are light boxes lit with florescent lights. The actual window holes were closed up decades ago.
#4 – This is the view looking straight up. This skylight helps tremendously in lighting the studio during the day. During the summer, we can open the windows using a chain and pulley system that is seen in many of these photos (including the photo below).
#5 – This is the view from the client viewing area looking back towards the front door. Some of my book collection can be seen to the left (paperbacks) and right (hardcovers) of the door. To help give you some perspective, the Grand Canyon canvas photograph on top of the bookshelves is 40″ x 60″.
#6 – This is a detailed view of the front door area. Note that the door is solid steel, angular, and was custom designed by the previous tenant who is a noted industrial designer. The neon sign above the door features my logo.
#7 – Here are a few more of my books. Most of these are signed by their respective authors. And in reference to the question I know you want to ask, yes, I’ve read most of these titles. Just a few of the authors that I read and collect include Piers Anthony, Terry Brooks, David Eddings, Robert Jordan, J.K. Rowling, Harry Turtledove, Orson Scott Card, Clive Cussler, Sue Grafton, Janet Evanovitch, and Michael Crichton.
#8 – Here’s another angle on the client viewing area to give you some perspective on the height of the studio.
#9 – Here’s what you’d see if you were sitting on the couch in our client viewing area. The television is a 58″ plasma. The photos on the left are a selection of plants from the cactus family while the photos on the right are a selection of recent wedding photos. The photos are all 16″ x 22″ matted to 24″ x 32″. The book on the coffee table is a 16″ x 16″ album featuring my fine art photography.
#10 – Here’s a view of our space from under the mezzanine looking toward the front door. Each of the squares on the concrete floor measures just over 3′ x 3′.
#11 – Here’s one of our high walls. To help put this in perspective, the photograph you see here is printed at 60″ x 90″ (on canvas). If you’re curious, it’s a photo I took on the grounds of The Getty Museum in Los Angeles. The “portholes” at the top of the frame once carried large electrical cables. Our studio is rumored to be the original transformer room for the power plant.
#12 – Here’s another 60″ x 90″ photograph printed (on canvas). This one is a photo I took at The Huntington Library and Gardens in San Marino.
#13 – The aluminum frame seen above the conference area is attached to steel cables that run to the ceiling and then down the wall to a winch. Using the winch, we can raise and lower the frame to any height. I’ve installed track lighting on the frame to light the photography and conference area.
#14 – Here’s the view of our workstations from the kitchen. In addition to the workstations you might notice my 40″ LCD TV that I use to show my clients work in real time during product shoots, a Sony Snaplab printer that I use for onsite printing, a Lexmark color laser printer, an air filter, and a scanner.
#15 – Here’s a closer view of my workstation and my three monitors. That’s a 30″ Dell monitor in the middle flanked by two 24″ Dell monitors. I admit that I rarely use the 3rd 24″ anymore. And I love my Aeron chair. It’s one of the best purchases I’ve ever made!
#16 – Here are a few 11″ x 14″ nature prints (matted to 16″ x 20″) hanging above the workstation area. These photos (and the others you’ve seen hanging in our studio) are all printed by our fabulous lab, ProDPI. Those guys are the best!
#17 – Here’s a shot of our kitchen. In case you couldn’t tell, I’m really fond of stainless steel appliances. The island is huge, but we mounted wheels to the bottom so it can be rolled anywhere in the studio. This kitchen was designed around the idea of using it for food photography.
#18 – Here’s a view of the ladder that leads up to the bedroom. You can also see a steep ship’s ladder on the far side of the mezzanine. I purchased this rolling ladder and then had it modified so I can roll it away from the mezzanine and use it to shoot down on my subjects from a very high angle.
#19 – Here’s a view of the bathroom. The bathroom structure has some really cool angles. The tall black “curtains” to the left of the bathroom are 12′ high. In addition to serving as a backdrop for many of our photo shoots, they also separate the shooting area from the all of the “junk” we have stored behind the curtains.
#20 – Here’s my favorite piece of art. It was painted by my sister and is loosely based on one of my photographs. In the painting, the drink is sitting on a copy of Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs. The drink is a Grey Goose martini, two olives, up.
#21 – If you walk up the stairs to the mezzanine, you’ll find the bedroom. The super tall pillow top queen size bed is flanked by two huge Ikea closets. Thank you Ikea! The print above the bed is a 40″ x 60″ canvas print of a photograph I took several years ago in Yosemite. It’s the same photo that appeared in the 2009 Nikon Photo Contest International calendar.
#22 – Here’s a view of the client meeting area from the mezzanine.
#23 – And here’s a downward view of the kitchen from the mezzanine.
#24 – Here’s a view of our studio shooting area. As you can see, we have drive-in access to the studio. I often drive my car inside the studio to load up before leaving on a shoot. We have tons of space–enough space to handle almost any project.
#25 – Here’s a wall in the shooting area where we store our seamless paper, rolled canvas, C-stands, rolling C-stands, and other grip related gear.
#26 – Here’s a view of the studio standing under the rolling door. You’ll notice the large light structure hanging from the ceiling. That too was designed and built by the previous tenant. Like the other lighting frame seen in an earlier photo on this post, this frame can also be raised and lowered using a built-in winch.
#27 – And for the final stop on your tour, here’s the view from our patio area, looking toward our open back door. I think the tin isn’t very “pretty,” but since we live in a historic building, there’s not much that can be done about that! Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this tour of our studio!