My space

Top wed­ding pho­tog­ra­pher Jeff As­cough guides us around his workspace in the North of Eng­land

NPhoto - - Gear Zone -

WE used to work from an apart­ment that we have in town, but the mar­ket­place has changed dra­mat­i­cally over the past 24 months to the point where we only now only see a couple of clients each year face-to-face – we usu­ally speak to them on Skype now – so it seemed daft to run an apart­ment just for see­ing clients. So we de­cided to let the apart­ment and set up an of­fice at home in Oc­to­ber last year.

We com­pletely gut­ted the space, took out the ceil­ing and put some Velux roof win­dows in. They’re de­signed so that we can com­pletely black out the of­fice or have dif­fused daylight stream­ing in. My wife Sarah, who is also a pho­tog­ra­pher, needs the daylight for al­bum work and for as­sess­ing prints. I need the dark­ness for work­ing on im­ages.

A Solux lamp pro­vides daylight-bal­anced light for when the room is blacked out. This en­sures our im­age edit­ing is in­cred­i­bly con­sis­tent, no mat­ter when pic­tures are be­ing worked on through­out the year. The white cup­boards hold ev­ery­thing re­gard­ing work – pa­pers, al­bum leaves, over­lays, mats, inks. It’s sort of be­spoke – it was bought off-the-shelf, but we had a joiner come in to do some al­ter­ations to make sure it fit­ted and worked. We wanted to have ev­ery­thing hid­den so that we had a clear space to work in and, be­cause the of­fice is still part of our home, we wanted to avoid work-re­lated stuff spilling out into our pri­vate lives.

We’re still us­ing the orig­i­nal Ap­ple Cin­ema dis­plays. All three of the mon­i­tors are quite old now, but they work very well, and are very closely matched with our printer. If it’s right on the screen, we know that it will look fan­tas­tic from the printer.

We use the large-for­mat printer for all of our print­ing. This is mainly wed­ding al­bum pho­to­graphs and wall pic­tures for our clients. We don’t print any­thing un­der 9x6, and we don’t print any­thing on stan­dard pho­to­graphic pa­per; it’s all on fine-art pa­pers. For an av­er­age wed­ding we do about six me­tres of print­ing, so mul­ti­ply that by 20, plus other bits and pieces, and we use up to around 140m of pa­per a year. Hav­ing the abil­ity to print our own work was al­ways a pri­or­ity for us and work­ing out the best place for in­stalling quite a large piece of gear was a bit of a headache ini­tially – it has its own room!

We don’t have any wed­ding pic­tures on the walls; we look at wed­ding pho­to­graphs all day so it is good to have some­thing dif­fer­ent in our space. The at­mos­phere is really im­por­tant be­cause we spend so much time in our of­fice; lit­tle things like be­ing able to stream Spo­tify mu­sic add to the en­joy­ment of work­ing from here. It’s turned out far bet­ter than I ever imag­ined it would.

1 The win­dows are de­signed to al­low for the room to be blacked out, or for the light­ing to be dif­fused

2 When the room is blacked out, the Solux lamp gives day­light­bal­anced light

3 The white cup­boards have been al­tered to fit all the pa­pers, al­bum leaves, over­lays, mats and inks. Hid­ing all the messy bits makes for a bet­ter work­ing space 4 We use orig­i­nal Ap­ple Cin­ema dis­plays. They’re quite old, but they match our printer bet­ter than any other mon­i­tors

5 I’ve got a 30-inch mon­i­tor con­nected to a MacBook Pro. I use Light­room a lot, which is very much a onemon­i­tor pro­gram

6 Be­cause Sarah does other things, such as al­bum de­signs, mar­ket­ing and so­cial me­dia, she prefers to use a two-mon­i­tor setup

7 The pic­tures on the walls are by other pho­tog­ra­phers. We’ve got one of An­tonin Kra­tochvil’s pic­tures up, and some Tony Ray-Jones prints

8 In 2012 I was in the South of France men­tor­ing Don McCullin for a film project on his first steps into dig­i­tal cap­ture. The high­light was see­ing his face when I showed him his first inkjet prints

9 We print around 140 me­tres of pa­per a year, so the 24-inch large­for­mat printer is an im­por­tant fix­ture in our space

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