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