ViewFinders Community: Working Spaces

In Community, Conversation, How-to, Inspiration, Lighting
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ViewFinders Manifesto:

We believe in the transcendent power of really good light.

We all need it, we crave it, and we all know it is a key factor in creating a successful image. You all know it brings your images to life, as well as adding mood, contrast, texture, depth… As photographers, we know how to manipulate it and control it when we are shooting, yet sometimes we don’t pay enough attention to how it affects us when we are editing in our work space. Whether your computer is in a basement or in the brightest room in the house, it is imperative that we all pay attention to the light conditions in our working environments, in order to maintain consistency in our results.

However, as much as we all try, that doesn’t mean the light in our working spaces is ideal. As a matter of fact, it doesn’t even mean our actual space is ideal either. Many (maybe most) times we can’t control what or where our working spaces will be and I know for a fact many of us dream of the beautiful working studios we see on Pinterest, but we end up taking whatever room in the house your family is not using, or sometimes even only a part of one room! Even then, we make the most of what we’ve got by buying some office essentials to turn a regular room into a place of work; many of us will use a site like Office Monster to get all we need, from office chairs to desk supplies.

Today we are sharing images of our work spaces, of the places where we spend hours editing the images that we create, share, and/or sell. And we’d love to see your working spaces as well, either here in the comments or on Instagram and Twitter. Don’t forget to tag your photos #viewfindersio and #workingspaces. Thanks for playing along too!

Here is my space, a small corner in our music room. It’s busy but I love it, surrounded by books and so many memories of my family. We live in the house I grew up in, and this has always been our music room; you can’t see but behind my chair, there is also a drum kit and a grand piano. And on my desk, totally not related to music, there is a 3D printer because you never know when you might need one of those!

I come down here often as early as 6 in the morning and edit away while the rest of my family sleeps in rooms above me and the sun rises. I also have a small sofa just behind me too where I like to sit and read. Mainly cookbooks because that’s what makes me happy. I love having a big desk where my family can join me if they want and I can spread out maps and books with recipes. I am a very tidy person so you wouldn’t think I could work here, but I actually love being able to cast my eyes over our shelves.


My little space is tucked into the corner of our family room, which is both a blessing and a curse…I’m close to all the action, and I’m close to all the action (ahem). But, honestly, it works for now. My desk is old and worn and, while I could use more workspace, I’m quite attached to this desk with its warped legs and scuffed surface. Old wooden crates flank the desk and I cram in file folders and journals and favorite books. I have a fantastic view onto our backyard and the room is filled with amazing light. Sometimes while editing, I need to pull the blinds in order to reduce glare on my screen. This can be inconvenient but my friend suggested that I should look into shutters for the windows as these allow you to control the light coming in by closing and opening each shutter as you wish. She said they stock them in a variety of places, such as on this website for example. I just love being surrounded by windows! It’s a cozy spot in our house. Some day I hope to have a bigger space (with a door!) but I’m rather fond of this nook. I can look across the room at any point in the day – while in the midst of schoolwork with the kids, while mopping the floor, while walking through – and spy my desk. Just seeing this corner (my corner) sets my soul at ease. It’s not much…and yet it’s rather a lot.


My workspace is on an antique desk in our guest bedroom in our house here on Cape Cod. Here is where I post to ViewFinders, edit photos, pay bills, write emails, write grants (my side job), and organize my thoughts. The room is dappled with filtered daylight, and there are plenty of lamps to create the kind of light I need on rainy days or in the evening. I love this room because it is filled with antiques, art, and items that Dan and I have collected. To the left, out of sight, is an antique drop-front desk that Dan restored for me where I keep all my paperwork and supplies, and to the right is a huge cupboard filled with my treasured books, knick knacks, sea glass and found objects, and Dan’s collection of plough planes. Because I do a lot of editing of photos on my iPad, and I can easily relocate my laptop to another space, there is never an issue when guests arrive –except to tidy up!


minnesota-family-photographerHere we are in the suburbs of Minneapolis/St Paul, Minnesota. When I want to do major working, this is where I am. The rolltop desk that is very much not suited to computer work, was my grandfather’s, and when he died, it needed a home and it landed with me. We moved into our home about a year and a half ago, and this office that I share with my husband is probably the least moved-into part of the house. I wind my way over to the desk and install myself for a time. If there are projects that I need to do on a more drop-in basis, I tend to use my laptop in the living room. (FWIW, my Lightroom catalogs live on an external hard drive that I can move to whichever machine I’m using at the moment.) Also, side note, the yellow paint in this room is going to have to go soon ;)


This is my desk in my attic studio. I feel extremely blessed to have this space all to myself. It is literally the very first time in my life that I have had a room entirely to myself! Prior to moving into this house, I worked at my laptop perched on our kitchen counter. It wasn’t pretty (or ergonomically correct) but at the time my children were very young and I needed to be near them. We moved to this house about five years ago and at first I continued my routine of working from the kitchen. But as my work expanded and my children got older, I started to look more seriously at moving to the unfinished attic space that we hadn’t found a use for. My husband and I pulled up the old carpet and discovered a beautiful, rustic sub-floor. The entire space got a fresh coat of white paint and we added a simple desk and comfy chair. Here I sit to edit photos and films, work on my Viewfinders blog posts and manage my growing fine art photography career. There is also space (not shown) to meditate, which is an important part of my creative process and general sanity-saver. Something I hadn’t anticipated — that I can still hear my children very clearly from the attic. The sound of their banter (and bickering — ahem) travels up the stairs, allowing me to feel connected to the family even while I am working.


I used to have an office, and then my kids got bigger and I knew that they each needed their own space. My workspace is set up in our family dining room under the double window. I often sit side by side my children as they finish up book reports and homework- I think it’s a blessing and curse to be so close to the family action while I work! I try to keep it neat, but often fail. I keep my Ripley and Starbuck Pops there to keep me in line and remind me to kick some ass. πŸ™‚


My workspace is in a state of disarray as we focus on unpacking other parts of the house, but we managed to get my computer set up so I can tackle a few client requests in the meantime. My desk is my favorite thing about my workspace. Years ago when we were remodeling our Houston home, I got into a discussion with the cabinet maker. He said, “I only really do cabinet work so I can fund my passion of making furniture.” That thought really resonated with me because I was still working in the corporate world full time and only tinkering with my camera on the weekends. Before now, my desk was always in the center of the action with windows behind me casting reflections all over my screen. Now, I get to be tucked into an office in this rent house with the light streaming in from behind my screen only in the late afternoons. I’m optimistic that my change of desk location will allow for much more productivity in the mornings when I’m at my sharpest!


My work space is in the corner of the living room. I love being able to scan film while still watching TV or hanging out with the family. It sometimes gets a little cluttered because it is one of the first tables you encounter then walking into the house. I also store unscanned film on the desk, so sometimes it gets covered in small white boxes. (There are actually three film boxes behind the computer monitor now.) We are in the beginning stages of making our small pool house into my office for my “real” job. I am looking forward to having my own little space to call my own.

Staci Lee

Well, here it is, my workspace from earlier this summer mostly cleaned up! I bought this desk to go in the corner of my first apartment a few months after moving to Philadelphia and slowly added the filing box a few months later (at the far right). The filing cabinet came along shortly after we moved into this house. As you can see, I use several storage drives at once, having backup drives in various locations around the state (thanks Mom!). This little room in our tiny 5-room house – 6 if you count the basement – connects our bedroom to the bathroom (behind me). Since I work beside a window, I’ve been using an old bulletin board from childhood to set in the windowsill to combat the glare! It doesn’t seem like much, but it works just fine to get the job done. I’ve been searching for a new desk setup for several years and have yet to find one worth the plunge for this space. I have grand plans for a studio/office when we finally find a new home. I don’t think I would like to have a cabinet in my office though, as this can take up more space. Then soon enough, everything could start looking a mess. That’s not what we want. Plus, knowing that there are solutions like paperless document software that you can find on sites like FilecenterDMS, at least I know I have this option if the papers start to pile up. There are masks hanging on all the walls from my various travels, along with a few paintings and prints here and there. Behind the bookcase is my husband’s closet, and there’s a chair sitting next to me on the left. And since this photo’s a month old, my hair is now short too!

I share my workspace with my husband (whose desk is right next to me to my left) in our guest room. I often dream of a room all to myself but, to tell you the truth, not for editing only but for reading, crafts, ironing… I suppose I will have to wait for all my children to leave for college – or whatever they want to do with their lives – to have a room of my own. In the meantime, I like to sit here early in the morning (as early as 5am!) and right before I go to bed, around 9.30pm, not only to edit my work but browse the internet and answer emails. I am also using my laptop a lot lately, so I love to curl up with it on my couch in the living room and put my earphones on to block the noise my loving yet inconsiderate family makes when Mom is working!



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