In this post, I’ll give you a little tour of Luminarium, my first photography studio!
First, you have to realize that having your own studio space is a dream for many photographers. It had been one of my biggest goals ever since I started photography, and the funny thing is that I had actually eyed this specific building too.
Built in Montreal in 1923, the Grover Building operated as a textile factory for 70 years before shutting down. You still see hints of this industrial past all over the building. Parts of it are crumbling, the elevator is a precarious wooden cage, and bathrooms are in dire need of renovations. An optimist like me would say that the building has character.
The Grover was about to be converted into condos, but thankfully the owner was convinced to offer the space up to artists. Now, there are over 300 artists in 200 studios, and I managed to claim a small corner of this microcosm, a little nook with North-facing windows and soft, natural light.
When I saw the space for the first time back in December, it wasn’t in the best of states. Lots of things were left there, including a fist-sized hole in the floor that opened right up into my downstairs neighbour’s studio. There were about a hundred stickers stuck all over the walls. As I started removing them, I realized to my despair that each one was covering a hole in the wall. We all deal with our problems differently. So I dealt with all of that, and in a span of a few weeks, my studio space went from a messy room, to an empty box, to what is now Luminarium.
First and foremost, it’s my working space. It’s where I create, research, edit, think. Its where I meet most of my clients and where I hold some shoots when we’re not going on location. But it’s also become a second living room for my friends and I. The best thing is that it’s conveniently located just a 5-min walk away from my home. And we’re also allowed to bring our dogs, so it’s really a perfect spot for Fuji and me.
In an effort to make Luminarium as cozy and stylish as possible, I’ve enlisted the help of my artist friends who make nice things. In the photos you’ll see the Kumo chair designed by Mitz Takahashi. I’m absolutely in love with it—it’s part lounge chair, part cloud, part hammock, part sculpture. The sleek table is by MTL Beer Garden, operated by designer Léa Berger from DFIGraphik. They’re beer garden tables imported from Germany. It’s the main work desk when I host coworking sessions at the studio.
The space is ever evolving. And after opening it up to artists for artist residencies in the past few months, I’m thinking of converting the space into a full-time creative hub by renting it out to more permanent co-workers / co-creators.
More on this soon! ;)