Earlier this year, I’ve opened my own photography studio — The Hollow Box (Facebook). Well, it’s not just a studio per se, I’d like to call it a ‘creative space’ because you can rent it as an exhibit venue, an events place, etcetera. Being an art/photography student [for 3 yrs] myself, I’ve personally undergone the stress of trying to look for an appropriate venue where I can hold photo and video shoots. The places were either too far from me, too small and cramped or too expensive. So upon graduating, I knew I had to make Hollow Box a reality.
The idea was to create a blank environment for artists who needed a place to work in.
But mind you, it was not a piece of cake.
Aside from the primary dilemma which was capitalization, I also found out during my last few weeks in college that I was pregnant. Although I see this as a blessing and I am more than grateful for it, I knew it would stall the studio’s progress. During the last few months of 2013, I oversaw the construction and bought finishings for the structure. I did not have excess finances so I had to carefully prioritize my investments — my choice of tiles, fixtures, furnishings. Come 2014, I did a soft opening. I invited personal contacts and friends from the industry to rent my studio for discounted rates. I was and am transparent regarding the available equipment. I could not afford to buy everything in one go so I had to make do of purchasing what I can everytime someone pays rent.
Flash forward to present — The Hollow Box is slowly accumulating an array of studio equipment, furniture and decor. A couple of photographers have already done shoots and seminars in the studio. A group of photography students from DLS-CSB have also held their exhibit and availed of our in-house catering service. People have expressed their support and delight in working in The Hollow Box, and I couldn’t be more grateful.
Working on my studio has brought me a sense of fulfillment. Although I couldn’t accept freelance jobs as a photographer nor work fulltime as I wish, not until I give birth, The Hollow Box has given me the opportunity to still be busy, practice my craft, help out aspiring photographers and also earn somehow. Hopefully, even as I’m already busy with my own family and corporate employment, I’d still be able to manage my little studio.
Things are a bit difficult for me at the moment, but I would not trade this experience and endeavor for anything else.