PRO CASE STUDY

Digital Photograper - - Go Pro - Pho­tog­ra­pher and founder of co-work­ing space Old City Col­lec­tive Laura Ea­ton ex­plains suc­cess­ful stu­dio shar­ing

My name is Laura Ea­ton, I am a headshot pho­tog­ra­pher and se­rial en­tre­pre­neur. I started shoot­ing wed­dings 15 years ago, but I’ve spe­cialised in headshot pho­tog­ra­phy (Philadel­phi­aHead­shot.com) for the last seven years and I oc­ca­sion­ally take on com­mer­cial, cor­po­rate and prod­uct pho­tog­ra­phy jobs.

WHEN AND WHY DID YOU DE­CIDE TO HIRE OUT SOME OF YOUR STU­DIO SPACE?

About eight years ago, I re­alised that I was not mak­ing the best use of my space. At the time, I was a wed­ding pho­tog­ra­pher and used my space pri­mar­ily for client meet­ings. Most of the month the stu­dio would sit empty, so I wrote up a mem­ber­ship agree­ment and in­vited a few wed­ding in­dus­try friends to join the space. We started out as just wed­ding pro­fes­sion­als and were named Soiree Philadel­phia, but in time we grew to wel­come other cre­atives and pro­fes­sion­als. We re­branded last year as Old City Col­lec­tive.

WHAT HAVE YOU DIS­COV­ERED TO HAVE BEEN THE GREAT­EST BEN­E­FITS OF SHAR­ING YOUR STU­DIO WITH OTH­ERS?

The great­est ben­e­fit of run­ning the space has been the peo­ple I have had the op­por­tu­nity to meet and work with. The best thing about run­ning a col­lab­o­ra­tive space is that you tend to at­tract the right peo­ple – peo­ple who are open to work­ing to­gether and shar­ing, hav­ing re­spect for each other – that is what it takes to make a shared space work.

IN YOUR EX­PE­RI­ENCE WHAT ARE THE BIG­GEST CHAL­LENGES OF RUN­NING A SHARED SPACE?

We also rent out for things like pho­to­shoots, so­cial events, pop-up shops and work­shops. Our space is only about 950 square feet, so of­ten we have to turn away events that are too large, so that can be chal­leng­ing, but we are hop­ing to ex­pand to another lo­ca­tion soon.

Left above

GENRE EX­PER­TISE Laura is a por­trait and wed­ding pho­tog­ra­pher. As th­ese spe­cialisms left un­used stu­dio ca­pac­ity, she de­cided to share her work space with like­minded pho­tog­ra­phers

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GREATER REACH Pho­tog­ra­phy ap­peals to au­di­ences with com­pat­i­ble re­quire­ments. Pool­ing pho­tog­ra­phers also amal­ga­mates clients, build­ing an even stronger mar­ket share

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