The new website has been up for a few months now, and I’m finally getting around to kickstarting the blog. It’s been a big year for Kentucky Songbird Photography so far and it’s about time I finally sit down and start telling you all about the latest milestones in the journey!
(I have to back up a little bit before the start of 2022 for this all to make sense, so bare with me.)
In the spring of last year, Cameron, Xavier and I would take regular walks in our neighborhood to get some fresh air and let Xavier enjoy the outdoors in his stroller. Our halfway point where we would turn around to head back home was a yellow building that always appeared to be vacant. It had lots of windows, a nice yard, and I just felt drawn to it.
After a few walks, we finally gathered up the courage to walk up and look in the front porch windows. There were piles of toys and random household items, but it clearly wasn’t used regularly. We couldn’t find out an owner’s name and there wasn’t anything posted about the space being for sale, but I mentioned vaguely that it would be an awesome place to have a studio.
I guess I couldn’t get that out of my mind, because in July, I started seriously considering the idea of a studio. I was still in love with shooting weddings and on location portrait sessions, but I was ready for the next step – I wanted to branch out even farther. Having a studio would mean more opportunities, and it would also mean having a dedicated creative home.
At first I came up with some rough plans for a DIY “she shed” in the backyard. In hindsight, I have no idea what I was thinking, because there never would’ve been enough room. I think I was also nervous to present too grand of an idea to Cameron and my parents in the fear of being shot down.
After talking to everyone and brainstorming ideas, the “she shed” then became a 20′ x 20′ building. The only problem was, we couldn’t build it ourselves. It still seemed a little small, but I figured we might be able to make it work.
A contractor came, looked over my plans, and told me he’d call back the following week. Nothing. A few weeks went by. Nothing. Another month. Nothing. He never got back to us. I was feeling a bit down, but still hopeful another plan would fall into place.
We then started seeking out buildings around town that were for sale. I really wanted a space of my own rather than renting. I knew that it was a big commitment, but it was one I was ready to make.
In November, a building came along that Cameron and I started to fall in love with. We imagined a future with it, and it was right in town where people would easily be able to find it. It seemed like a Hallmark movie, the possibility of owning it. We toured the place and decided to take the next step and get an inspection.
The wind was knocked out of our sails, though, when the inspection came back less than ideal. I think Cameron and I both cried. I know that probably sounds dramatic, but at this point, we had been anxiously waiting for months on a tangible plan for a studio. I kept worrying that maybe it was the Universe telling me it wasn’t meant to be…
…but I was like, no! I want this. I feel so drawn to this, just like I did when I started Kentucky Songbird Photography in the first place.
So, that night after we got the call about the not-so-amazing inspection, I sat down with my dad and said, “You know what? What about that yellow building in the neighborhood? The one that made me think about the idea of a studio in the first place? Let’s ask some neighbors if they know who owns it and if they have a phone number we could call.”
I think my dad was a little taken aback by this, but he also seemed to like the idea as we sat and talked about it. A little while later, a trusted neighbor got back with us and gave us his name and phone number.
Within a week, we were able to meet and tour the building. I remember stepping inside and feeling confident that it was all going to work out. It just felt different, I swear. It felt like I already knew the place. I mean, I HAD been looking in the windows (haha), but that’s not exactly what I mean when I say that.
We came to an agreement and I was on cloud nine! Actually, we all were!
The following inspection went well, and a few weeks later, on January 14th, we officially closed and got the keys to the studio.
Talk about a way to start out the year!
However, the month of January also brought an equal amount of stress and sadness. Cameron’s grandma passed away just a few short days after we got the keys to the studio. And a few days after her funeral, we caught covid.
It’s an odd thing, to feel both joy and sorrow at the same time.
Amidst the chaos, we got started on the studio. We had to install lights, paint, do the trim work, put up doors, and lots of other small things that I can’t even remember off of the top of my head. It was a labor of love and I had the best team to help me get things kickstarted.
Our first set of sessions in the studio were Valentine’s Mini Sessions, and oh my, it was surreal! I don’t think I’ll ever forget the feeling I had when my clients were walking into my brand new studio. Things were still rough and there was lots of work to be done, but still…it was mine, and that was amazing!
Since then, we’ve accomplished so, so much with the studio. It doesn’t even look like the same place inside in a lot of ways.
The final “big” things we need to do are hang up the sign on the top of the building (it’s HUGE), and do some work to our front porch. As soon as those things are done, I’m hoping to get some really nice photos of the building to share with you all on here. I’d love to include some “before” pictures, too, so you can see how far it really has came!
Besides the opening of the studio, it’s been our busiest year of sessions and weddings yet. It’s been everything I’ve ever dreamed of and sometimes I can’t believe I’m where I’m at, honestly. Everyday I feel truly and completely grateful to pursue a career that I’m in love with.
If anyone had read this far, thank you. For being invested in KSP and for supporting my passion. I’m beyond thankful for you!
More to come…but for now, here’s a few fun photos from our first few days working at the studio!