Friday, November 4, 2016

My Etsy Studio

Okay, first off, I often dream of having the perfect studio: white walls, tall windows with great natural light, lots of room to store all my items and pack them up when purchased,,,,,

However, that's not what I have, not even close. So: you gotta make do with what you have, and this is what I have:
Now, it's a cozy little room and I'm lucky to have it. Once upon a time it was the children's playroom. Later, it became a "hang out" room for teens. But, unless we need another bed for visitors, now it's all mine!  

Actually this is an upgrade from the "studio" I used to have when the children lived at home, which was simply a stairwell with white walls (to read about that, go here).

Off to the right of my studio is a bathroom, which is super handy, especially for cleaning items before photographing them.  I have a desk with a computer and printer, and an old table that serves as my "photography studio":
To tell you the truth, I don't know a lot about lighting, but did the best I could, using cheap clip-on work lights from the hardware store and bulbs that had been recommended to simulate, as much as possible, natural light (6500K Daylight GE energy smart compact fluorescent bulbs, 26 watt--100 watt replacement or equivalent bulbs). 

(Natural light, oh natural light: I only dream of you!)
On the walls above my photography table are magazine clippings for "staging" inspiration:
I have two pieces of white matte poster board on which to put my items. And when there's too much glare from the lights above, I put this white screen over them to keep out the glare:
It's actually part of one of those folding "light box" kits you can get on Amazon or eBay, but the lights that came with it didn't really work well for me, so eventually I took it apart and just use this folding nylon screen.

I keep a box handy with potential props:
And close by I have stacks of old books and bread boards, which are particularly helpful when photographing white items.

(By the way, this note for other vintage or Etsy sellers: I run ALL of my photos through Pic Monkey before posting; if that still doesn't get the look I'm after, I run them through Foto Fuze.)

Also in this room are packing materials--brown paper, packing peanuts, bubble wrap, plastic grocery bags, etc.--which I keep in a chest of drawers as well as big old baskets:
My scale is here, too, along with a measuring tape, ruler, and Scotch tape:

and my cards to include when something is purchased (I always add a "Thank you" and personal note in my own handwriting):
Bubble mailers are stashed under my desk, and poly mailers in some drawers. 

There's a door in my studio that leads out into the garage, and my unruly stash of boxes, which my husband is very patient about (well, usually):
Finally, there are also shelves in my studio where I store some of the items I'm going to photograph and list in my shop:
Of course, since the "hunt" is part of the fun in being a vintage seller, there are lots of other items, too (probably enough to keep me listing for another lifetime), which I keep in a separate shed out behind our house--a building that is definitely "Off Limits" to everyone except me. 
But that's a story and a tour for another day!

Kris McLaughlin sells vintage on her her website and in her her Etsy shop. She's a writer, photographer, and grandmother of 5 who lives with her husband in the beautiful hills of New Hampshire.


  1. Very insightful glance into the life of a vintage Etsy seller! Awesome! I think I prefer your actual studio to the all white studio, it looks more inviting.

  2. Thanks, Beverly--you are officially invited to visit with your kind comment!

  3. Loved your tour, Kris. It's so clean and tidy. Mine is kind of all over the house type thing. I would be lost without our nice dry unfinished basement, though. That's where all my storing and packing of things happens. Up and down the steps, up and down, up and down. Yet, it really hasn't helped my ever growing hips.