"The Shop" - A Retrospective

Two years ago almost to the day, I took my first photos at the old Army warehouse where Brian and his brother had set up their furniture making business. The massive industrial building immediately inspired me to step up my photography game, and it's been an amazing space to shoot for these past couple of years. I could experiment, and set a scene, and do wacky stuff without worrying about someone walking through my shot, and I cannot overstate how awesome that was.

Yesterday, I helped (well, "helped" - I'm not all that coordinated, so moving heavy things that don't belong to me is a little outside my wheelhouse) them start packing up their tools and supplies and move out. It's silly, but it feels like the end of an era. They still know people that work out of there, so it's not like I could never go back, but it doesn't feel the same. 

So, in honor of my time at "the shop," a retrospective of some of my favorite shots from the past couple of years.

One of my first really great photoshoots.

One of my first really great photoshoots.

The clocktower! And the Chicago skyline in the background! So good.

The clocktower! And the Chicago skyline in the background! So good.

My Disney princess moment. 

My Disney princess moment. 

The shop was an amazing place to experiment with my new camera when I was just figuring out what it could do.

The shop was an amazing place to experiment with my new camera when I was just figuring out what it could do.

I think this is the only time that I ever shot in Brian's actual workspace. I was dancing around to the theme song from Cowboy Bebop, and Brian started snapping some photos. Good times.

I think this is the only time that I ever shot in Brian's actual workspace. I was dancing around to the theme song from Cowboy Bebop, and Brian started snapping some photos. Good times.

More than anything, I love telling a story through photos. The shop was the perfect place for my Alice In Wonderland shoot.

More than anything, I love telling a story through photos. The shop was the perfect place for my Alice In Wonderland shoot.

You can't really do much set dressing out in the real world, but even something as small as taping a few balloons to a wall added just the right touch to this Valentines themed photo shoot.

You can't really do much set dressing out in the real world, but even something as small as taping a few balloons to a wall added just the right touch to this Valentines themed photo shoot.

My last shoot at the shop - a surreal, Tim Walker-inspired shoot. 

My last shoot at the shop - a surreal, Tim Walker-inspired shoot. 

I don't know if I'm ever going to find a space quite like the shop, but not having it to fall back on any longer does mean that I'm going to have to bring some of my weirder concepts out into the world, which is both exciting and a little nervewracking. There's no doubt, though, that I will always look back on it with fondness.