I made the decision to take it, to move in, to put my name on the wall, it was one of the single most gratifying experiences of my life. And yet while I stood there watching the man install my name letter by letter I knew I was getting into something, something great and scary and stupid, but I didn't care because I loved the way those letters looked on that wall, loved them enough to pay 300 bucks to put them there.
Because what I found out was having a studio was a lot like dating a coke addicted stripper. At first its a lot of fun, like a lot of fun. Until you start looking at your numbers, and you see how much she's costing you, and suddenly your not having a good time, your paying for one.
There is also another similarity between a coke addicted stripper (CAS) and a studio, they are both empty inside. A massive void, hollow, capable of anything, but holding nothing.
There are a lot of cool things to do in a studio, if you havnt blown your bank roll on rent, but my fun money that I used to use to make images for me, well the fun money became rent money, and the rest went to things like food and gas and I found myself with a big beautiful space that I couldn't afford to fill. So I was able to use it to do quite a bit of product work, which was great and it paid the bills, but thats not why I moved in, I wanted to create, to build sets, to really make images.
But now I had something on my back I had to keep my CAS happy, and that meant marketing, marketing more than I ever have before, and stress. When I worked from home and it was slow it sucked, when I had a slow week with my CAS it was terrifying. That first job used to be in the bank, now that first job was owed on the first of the month and sometimes that first job didn't book till the 5th and didn't pay until the 25th. And thats when things changed, when I realized if I keep running around with this chic shes gonna kill me. I really wanted a studio, but I didn't really need one, but I really liked being in one. Exciting in that near death experience kind of way, your heart is racing, your making bad decisions, and beautiful images that are costing you 19-21% on a credit card, it all seems worth it, until you remember your credit card company wont take an image as payment, my photo portfolio looked great, my financial one quite the opposite.
Then the curve ball, my wife and I going to have a baby, and as you can imagine when he finally makes his appearance in about 3 months everything will change. The home office I wanted so badly to be free of, starts to make a lot more sense.
So last week I decided to break up with my CAS, it was a clean break, and I know that if ever need her I can hire her for a reasonable day rate.
Thats what I had always done in the past, rent a studio when you need a studio, I knew it, but I couldn't help myself, and I had an incredible year, I met some awesome people, took some great photos, my profit went up from the last year, and my expenses when way up from the last year.
I still don't know for sure if I made the right call, I don't think I will know until the baby comes, and I feel a) I'm so glad I can be here and spend so much time my son or b) I really wish I could go back to the studio, or somewhere, anywhere else just for an hour.
But the decision has been made I am moving out and I cant help but feel again like I did when I moved in, that I am about to start on something great and scary and stupid, but I love it and I know I want it more than anything else.