EE's Ray of Light Studio

Tech Tour

Name: Erin Woolsey - EE Photography
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Size/Room: 12ft x 14ft office area
Years lived in: 2

You're in for a treat today as we take you on a tour of a professional photographer's bright, inspiring office space. It's packed to the brim with digital camera equipment, thoughtful organizational solutions, eclectic accessories and more hard drives than you can wrap your arms around. Let's take a peek...

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The first thing you'll notice about Erin's space is just how warm and inviting it feels.
The sunlight basks the space in a soft light, and you suddenly feel like you're either in a flashback sequence from "Big Fish" or in the middle of a "Florence + the Machine" song.

There's lots to look at, so you'll find your eyes bouncing from corner to corner taking in all the details. Computer displays, vintage furniture, camera lenses, globes, hard drives, pinwheels; its a perfect marriage of modern tech meeting traditional simplicity.

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Erin travels all over the world shooting up to 40 weddings a year in addition to countless other photo sessions. With such a demanding schedule her space needs to function as a peaceful escape that whisks her away from all the hustle and bustle. She accomplishes the effect by outfitting the space in comforting, non-intimidating vintage furniture pieces and soft fabrics with muted tones that relax and soothe.

On the technology side of things, Erin depends on a few digital essentials and a couple workhorse Macs to progress her shots through her workflow board. Transforming each exposure from RAW to timeless masterpiece while escaping to inspiring Pandora tunes inside her Sony Headphones.

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She keeps the lesser used gadgets like printer's and speakers behind closed door to cut down on tech clutter. Everything else is labeled, organized, and placed inside either disaster-proof security chests or small metal storage boxes she found at a local Army Surplus shop. She has a lot to wrangle with her many clients so the organization aspect is key and once established becomes one less thing for her to worry about.

But what about all that data? How does she manage all that? Why she stores it amongst an array of 19 mirrored 500GB hard drives, of course (nearly 10TB's!). She's hoping to one day migrate those to Solid-State Drives (once the prices get reasonable), for quicker access and improved reliability. Nobody likes a hard drive crash.

But finally, let's look at Erin's bread and butter. Her satchel full of photographic goodies which includes 8 total DSLR cameras outfitted in various lenses for quicker shot transitions. Who has time to switch lenses in the middle of a wedding shoot? She also admits that she's a little bit of a lens junkie with 14 total lenses at her disposal (soon to be 16, with two more on order).

She's definitely got herself a tech universe. And with a real passion for the craft, and a space that inspires her to keep doing more, we're thankful to be floating in it.

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AT Survey
My style - An eclectic blend of flea market finds and a smidgen of modern touches.

The inspiration for my home office - My photos tend to have a romantic whimsical feel, so I wanted the office to match that brand. I needed a space that was warm and relaxing since I spend so many hours each day editing.

Favorite element in your space - My favorite element is probably the organizational aspects. I found these great 5x8 metal bins at the Army Surplus store. They perfectly fit my photo archiving system, and they are rather durable so they can easily handle the weight of hundreds of DVDs.

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Biggest challenge in designing my space - All my camera gear needs to be easily accessible, but it's bulky and doesn't match anything. So, it's been a challenge finding a space and then being able to get to it. Farrow and Cobb helped combine the organizational elements with the minimalist approach to create a happy and clean, yet functional space.

What friends say about my space - They usually smile and then start asking where I found some of these random items. There's lots to see and touch.

Area where there is room for improvement - I'm a little constrained because the space is inside an apartment. So growing the room and doing something innocent like taking down a wall here or there might not go over so well

Proudest DIY (do it yourself) project - My work flow board. I found an old frame and had an enlarged photo put behind glass. As I work through all the steps of a client's wedding (edits, creating a photo album, mailing the photos, etc.), I can track my progress in an easily visible manner. It is a useful and encouraging way to measure success.

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Biggest indulgence with respect to my space - The whole room was done on a modest budget and whatever I had available at the time, so the largest indulgences have to be the computers. Not to mention all the camera equipment this space revolves around.

Best advice about organizing or incorporating tech into the home - Only use what is absolutely necessary. If I don't use it everyday, I find a place to organize it, hide it, or even get rid of it. For technologies I use infrequently like my printer/scanner or extra speakers, I find myself choosing to occasionally pull it out of the closet rather than have to deal with the stress of the extra clutter all the time.

Dream source for stuff - Right now I really am loving Pinterest, and it's always a great resource for me.

Resources Tech Hardware

  • Apple Mac Pro with 18" display
  • iMac 18"
  • Macbook Pro
  • iPad 32GB, 3G + Wifi (for client meetings and blog posting)
  • iPod Nano and Bose Speaker Dock
  • 19 - 500 GB Lacie by Starck external hardrives
  • Harman Kardon Soundsticks speakers
  • Satechi 12 Port USB Hub with Power Adapter & 2 Control Switches
  • 2 Sentry SENF2300 Safe Fire-Safe Waterproof Insulated Security Chests
  • Sony noise-canceling headphones (to keep the peace in the space)
  • Plus, an endless amount of camera gear including
  • -3 Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • -2 Canon EOS 5D
  • -24mm f/1.4L
  • -45mm f/2.8 tilt-shift
  • -50mm f/1.2L
  • -70-200mm f/2.8L IS
  • -various other lenses, flashes, and light stands.

Furniture & Accessories

  • IKEA Mikael desk in Birch
  • IKEA Lack Shelves
  • IKEA lamp with mustard lamp shade
  • IKEA organizational systems
  • 5" x 8" grey metal containers from The Army Surplus Store, Fort Worth, TX
  • Vintage chair, desks, and other storage finds from The Furniture Junk-It in Abilene, TX. This little shop finds flea market steals and turns them into wonders for your household (you pick the paint, they do the refinishing).

If you're interested in reading more about Erin Woolsey or seeing her breathtaking photos be sure to drop by her blog. Also check out more interiors design solutions by Farrow and Cobb.

Photos by Erin Woolsey

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