It took me forever to figure out what made me tick in an office space. I pinned on pinterest constantly, looking for ways to make my office the coolest. All the plans and ideas I came up with included me dropping two grand on pretty filing cabinets, large prints, beautiful desk organizers, new shelves, trinkets to put on said shelves, seating arrangements, and ceiling beams. Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa there nellie. A.) Two grand isn’t an option. B.) Two grand isn’t an option. C.) Aren’t I always saying I want to live a simple life with less stuff? Time to walk the walk.
Sometimes spending money on organization systems and pretty things is actually a cover up for indecision. Not always, but sometimes. I came across this quote while perusing magazines in line at the grocery store: “Many people think the secret is to get their hands on the right storage system. But no object has the power to bring clarity to your home. Make the hard decisions about getting rid of things yourself; then figure out where to store what’s left.” It struck me to the core, and I decided I didn’t need more stuff.
For me, purposeful simplicity turned out to be just what I had been craving all along. All the furniture and things you see are things I already had in the house–I just stole them from other rooms and repurposed them for the office.
Here’s what I see when I walk into my work space. It actually does stay this clean because of this habit: at the end of my work day, I clear off any clutter or papers on my desk and put them where they belong. It takes 2 minutes. But it makes the greatest impact each morning when I walk in, because all I see is a new day ready to unfold–not yesterday’s left overs.
This wall is opposite from my desk. My husband built this gorgeous wood wall, and I love the natural element it brings to the room. A white curtain from IKEA serves as my office door, since it’s an open entrance. The light on the left is a strobe I take to weddings, but in the meantime, I leave it up in my office. I like it.
I keep two chairs at my desk (which is actually a dining room table) because sometimes I like to see things from a different perspective when I work. The corner windows offer such beautiful light–I can sit facing the windows in the coral chair, or next to the windows in the wingback chair. You can also see my filing cabinet stashed under the desk, slightly hidden. It’s your basic metal black filing cabinet from Target–not attractive, but it holds all my client folders and business files.
The opposite view. The chest holds all my packaging and office supplies. You can see my mailing boxes from Paper Source stacked to the side. I found my amazing gold framed chalk board at a garage sale, and track where my clients are along the client experience. My client’s experience with me is more important than anything, so this is the only visual chart I have up in my office. I keep editing charts and album charts on my computer.
You may have noticed I only have a laptop on my desk. A few years ago, I switched over from having multiple computers to just one laptop–falling in line with the simple approach that I so prefer. It’s been outfitted specifically to handle the programs I use, and I keep it’s hard drive space rather clear so it runs lightning quick. I, of course, create backups–and more backups–on external hard drives and online servers. It is possible to run a business successfully with one laptop. :)
My inspirations are just photos and magazine cutouts taped to the wall in a fun little arch–but I only use photos that challenge me and teach me something. I know it sounds basic, but for the longest time I just put anything and everything on my inspiration board to have an inspiration board. No more–they are carefully curated and remind me of where I want my photos to go stylistically.
I love keeping my windows open for the fresh air and outdoor sounds. My windows are surrounded by trees, so I feel like I’m in a little hideaway when I’m in my office.
I just had to throw in this last photo because I bought a gold stamp pad and it makes me a little giddy. I’m obsessed with using stamps to brand things easily now. Muslin bags, tissue paper, notecards, etc.
I know some people operate better in a different style of space, but for me, the simplicity gives me energy and makes me feel relaxed all at the same time. I get inspired by keeping visual reminders of what’s important, and where I want to take my photography stylistically. I love having my work in one room, so I can embrace working when I’m inside this room, and embrace home life when I leave.
My inspiration as a wedding photographer comes from the things I hold close to my heart, as well as my surroundings. I’ve discovered, after being displaced from my office for a few months, that an inspiring work space is paramount to my productivity, connection to my work, and enjoyment of my daily activities. For me, simple is FANTASTIC. I take pride in keeping my work space orderly yet relaxed. I crave clutter-free surfaces, natural light, and simplicity–actually quite reflective of my photographic style and branding. How about that. ;)