Amy Pate created Catchlight Studios to give other photographers something she didn’t have when she started out–a fully-equipped place to do their work.
“I wish I would’ve had that, and I couldn’t find anything like it, so I said ‘I’m just going to do it,’” she recalled. “I did some research and I really wanted to share my studio with people and rent it out to other photographers.”
She named her studio Catchlight, after after the light found in a subject’s eye. After opening her business on Morris Avenue, Pate shared the studio with photographers she knew. Soon after, as word got around, Pate’s business grew. She moved to the Good Old Brown Building and then her current location in a building on First Avenue North.
In the studio, photographers are welcome to host client meetings, use her props or store their own, and make use of the space as needed. “I came here and as soon as I walked in the door, I knew this was it,” Pate said. “The look of it, with the brick, is just great. Natural light—photographers love the huge windows.”
Pate manages her business and photographers’ appointments on a blog, catchlightstudios.net. With an online calendar, photographers are able to schedule their studio time in an orderly fashion so no conflicts arise. To book a spot, a photographer looks at the calendar and then emails Pate to confirm a time. Studio appointments are booked in two-hour increments: 30 minutes to set-up, one hour to shoot and 30 minutes to clean up.
Pate offers two ways to use Catchlight Studios: as a nonmember or a member. To become a member, a photographer needs a blog and business license; members must also have been in business for at least a year. Members pay an annual fee of $250 and $25 per session. Nonmembers must have a business license; to use the studio, nonmembers pay a $35 props fee and $25 an hour per session.
Among the current members, the photographers specialize in family pictures, senior portraits, bridal pictures, and corporate headshots. “I wish I had more senior or wedding photographers. I would love to have any type of photographer. I think a lot of the newer photographers are intimidated because it’s a studio, but it doesn’t matter how new you are or how long you’ve been photographing,” Pate says. “Anyone is welcome.”
Catchlight Studios has two interior spaces, one for natural light and one for strobe light. A variety of backdrops and props provide the photographers with a range of options. “I try to keep up with everyone’s shooting style by offering different backgrounds,” Pate says.
Pate is planning to host workshops at Catchlight Studios in the new year. The monthly classes will focus on lighting, Photoshop, newborn, and posing.
For a chance to see the studio, attend the open house in January. “If you’re hesitant please stop by,” Pate encourages. “Once you see it, you’ll be excited.”
Catchlight Studios is located at 2300 1st Ave N, Suite 101. For more information or to schedule a session, visit catchlightstudios.net or call (205) 401-6828.