If you ever wondered how to start your own photo studio or you just really interested in how we started then this post is for you!
Just to be clear, we wanted to open a space for other creators too. We weren’t really orientated to create a studio only for us and never share it, but on the contrary we wanted to give a chance for photographers or like minded people by providing them a great space to implement their ideas.
So, let’s start.
We got a commercial quarters in a really good place, but the condition of it was terrible! We had to reconstruct it from the grounds. So when we ‘got it’ (by saying that I mean when we signed the papers for the lease) we had to clean terrible Soviet decorations from the walls, tear down few of them and build plasterboard instead. We made uncountable construction works by ourselves to make this place look the way it is today.
To give you an idea how the quarters looked before we stepped in here are few pictures. We even could have seen our neighbours in the 4th floor if there had beed any.
In the beginning, we were very enthusiastic and nothing seemed impossible for us. Although eventually we had our struggle moments. It was just a matter of time when it started to seem we had enough of reconstruction work. But we managed to push each other through those hard moments, because that’s what couples do ;))
After we teared down the walls we thought when we’ll get rid of the construction bricks all the dust will vanish. But the dirt din’t disappear till we finished ALL of our works. I won’t describe all what we did in details, because my vocabulary isn’t that good even in my mother tongue to describe some construction/renovating stuff. So, we believe pictures will describe it for you better than a 1000 words…
We laid solid wooden floors for 165 square meters in the photo studio. And it did’t feel like a never ending work, because we applied putty 4 times on all concrete walls before that. This part was playing with our nerves really seriously. Not to mention we had to bring all of the wooden boards to the 3rd floor, because there is no elevator. All this pile ↓↓
Small reminder, we built it all by ourselves with help from our lovely family and friends. Thus we had many hard times finding the right solution. Because none of us felt we had the needed experience for this job, but we did it anyway!
If you asked us where all the knowledge came from, we had learned it as other modern kids – from Youtube videos!!
- build concrete block walls;
- level concrete floors;
- warm up the walls;
- and other thing construction workers do.
I think, we ended up making this place as good as we could and pleasurable for everyones eye. People say it feels like home when they visit our studio and it makes us really happy :))
In the beginning, we estimated this project will take 2 months to complete. It ended up taking 11 weeks with help from our friends and family and we did everything we physically could every minute of the day. And…we haven’t finished everything and opened yet. There is more to come.
Everyone asks us where we got our interior details from. There is a simple answer to that. We drove 3000 km back and forth from Kaunas, Lithuania to Munich, Germany with a small truck. Every year this city holds the biggest flea market in entire Europe. We were striving for something out of the ordinary and that was perfect for us!
Of course, we wanted to ship few things from Bali as we saw beautiful things when we travelled there. But we found it hard to order things online when you aren’t actually there. In the end we only managed to get one tiny car from there! But we have plans to take a big empty bag for beautiful stuff the next time when we fly to Indonesian islands.
Okay, let’s get back to the flea market. We got so many things there we didn’t have storage to keep it. We didn’t have quarters at that moment and we needed place to restore them and paint. Justinas parents lend us some place at their house where we did all the ‘manufacturing’ work… we found perfect paints for distressing techniques and worked with it till all the furniture details were done.
Justinas also wanted to build one special wall to work as a backdrop for his photos. He made a frame on the wall and then he used pneumatic staple gun to fix the wooden boards. He wanted to get a certain texture from it. Then we covered it with ocean colour paints and it was done. We wouldn’t manage to do this and other things so fast if we weren’t using the best tools we ever could!
Repurposed Decor Ideas
We certainly take many things for granted these day. We for sure don’t appreciate home goods as our grandparents did. So we took an advantage of it. When someone thinks it’s a trash others might see it as a treasure! We tried as many things as we could convert into a valuable items. Not only used things that we found at the flea market in Germany, but also get some thing from very unusual places.
One of the example is old timber for the bed in our photo studio. We got it from our friend’s barn which they wanted to tear down. We helped them to tear apart the barn and set it on fire. Yeah, it was a lot of fun and with necessary caution. These timbers turn out perfectly beautiful!
Other things came from even more special place. We got it from friends who own a farm sanctuary. They rebuilt the hut for their animals and got left with unwanted old wooden boards. We took them, painted with one of the distressing techniques and now we love it! On our way back from their barn we stopped at hogweed forest. Where we collected many of them and they became a great design elements in our photo studio.
Also, we collected some old windows with wooden frames from a windows company’s dumpster. These unwanted window turned out into a beautiful wall. We even found some chairs left by a trash dumpster. We changed their colours and now they serve as perfect office chairs!
We still have some things at our storage room waiting for it’s time to see the daylight. We are full of surprises and haven’t revealed it all yet.
Now, Another Hard Work.
Now we are working hard again. It takes 10, 000 hours of work to become a master of your craft. There are no short cuts or magic formulas, just hard work. But we are getting there, trust us!
We hope to see you in our studio soon (check Golomigo Studio Facebook page) or on our next sunny adventures!
All words by Eisve Treciakauskaite and all images by Justinas Lekavicius, unless otherwise noted.