Happenings….and ramblings….Portrait Park Growth…{Loudoun Portrait Park}

I’m finding so many folks just aren’t “getting” what a Portrait Park is…so I guess it’s time to tell you all my plans and thoughts on this new venture of Patty Schuchman Photography.

For the last few years I’ve wondered how best to maximize time at a session while still giving my clients the variety in their images they want.  Fact is, moms LOVE studio images and the beautifully-lit,-without-distracting-background headshots we can get in studio.  So I do encourage studio sessions for every senior – because moms need to be happy with the images for which they are paying.  But the teenagers all want fun, funky, interesting stuff.  And I’ve LOADED up the studio with interesting backdrops and props to give the impression of alley ways, outdoor scenes, etc.  Allowing me to light the scenes well while still maximizing the time, and not having to worry about weather or time of day.

But in the end, I still really wanted to offer outdoor shots too.  But it was a struggle to plan business-wise and have it make sense for clients.  Clients could do two separate sessions, that would maybe solve the problem and give both mom and kids the looks they want.  But that’s expensive and difficult for both me and the subject to schedule.  So more often than not they picked one or the other.

So as I looked around trying to find retail space last year for a commercial studio, I soon realized that I could NOT find the space I wanted with urban appeal and still be close enough to anything for natural landscapes.  I also wanted certain things I know clients wanted in the natural spaces – open space, water if possible, stone if possible…posing aids like walls, fences, rocks, trees.  And to make it more difficult, make it completely legal to shoot there without fear of trespassing, please.

In the end, I analyzed the costs of moving to retail space and decided to stay put in my 1500+ square feet of space I ALREADY have, and not pay the crazy costs of commercial space, with it’s limitations on usage and other inconveniences.

1500+ square feet of space – YES.  If you haven’t been to my home based studio, you don’t know.  But I can practically guarantee you it will WOW you.  I’ve been busy and when I set my mind to something, I run with it.

But outdoor spaces?  Hmm…Urban appeal I can do in the studio…but natural appeal?   Well, DUH!  I have 20 acres of property folks!  And it even has a pond.  And a field.  And woods.  Horse Fencing.  Very old trees.  And SO MUCH POTENTIAL for even more.  It needs work, and it will cost me to invest in it, but if I succeed, I will have a photographer’s dream.

That’s where the Portrait Park idea started.  I can create “sets” on my own property that will allow me to eventually offer a mixed studio/outdoor session.  Maximizing YOUR time and MINE.  And giving you ALL the results you really want.

And it will be the first of it’s kind in Loudoun County.  A Portrait Park for high school seniors & families.  A Patty Schuchman Photography exclusive.

EXCLUSIVE.  I like the sound of that….

You’ve seen some of the pond work – more to happen there with additional landscaping and some hardscape once I figure out exactly waht it is I want there.    You’ve seen the old green truck.

Next phases:  Landscaped area for family photography AND a beach hut for seniors.  If I successfully get the beach hut built the way I want it, it will double as a general store type building also, so TWO settings with one building.

Watch out Northern Virginia, here comes Patty Schuchman Photography.


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