cat thrasher photography

Archive for the ‘Cville Warehouse Studio’ Category

Inside the warehouse: antique, vintage, and a little French

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It’s hard to believe, sometimes, that just 12 months ago, my studio was used as a storage space for large machinery.

I’ve always loved interior decorating but hated getting dressed. Interior design has always seemed much more pleasant to me than picking out what clothes I’m going to wear in a given day. Yet, similar to shopping for good clothing, my style requires that I regularly look out for the right furniture by going to yard sales, scouring Craigslist, and digging into dark basements. The result is what you see in my studio: antique frames, vintage dressers, and Louis XVI sofas. There is nothing new in my studio – everything is a little aged.

The four frames on the outside in the photo below were made by local artists, and the one in the center is truly antique, pulled out of the basement of this very warehouse. If you see it in person, it is actually three frames put together to form a thick border, each laden with ornate detail. It’s still got some dust on it from the basement, but I think it adds character. As for the sofa, I believe that it is a Louis XVI-esque design, but I’m not sure. It’s covered in a tattered man-made material that I cannot wait to replace with something softer and silkier! Until then, I put it to use by covering it in pleasant fabrics for intimate portrait clients.

I have had this table (photo, lower left) for a long time. This was the only piece of furniture in my original “studio” in the Sophie House on Wertland St., back during my last semester at UVa.. When I first got it, I had some leftover Rustoleum paint from another project, so I slapped it on, and it turned out to be perfect! The high-gloss makes it look lacquered, and in combination with the modest lighting setup I had at the time, it yielded very dramatic portraits for some of my first clients.

This lamp and mahogany dresser/mirror set were both acquired in the front yards of Charlottesvillians trying to rid their houses of extra stuff. I was so lucky! Check out the wavy front on that dresser! If they even make furniture like this anymore, I’d be interested to know.

And who could forget this settee? I believe this one is a Louis XV canapé sofa, but again, I’m no furniture expert. This piece is currently at my mother’s house, waiting patiently to be reupholstered with new, red, silky Italian fabric laden in gold dragonflies. (Thanks mom!)


Written by catthrasher

December 17, 2009 at 5:06 am

The snow, the warehouse, and Fifeville

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Two days ago, we woke up to heavy rain and then snow, coming down in buckets, barrels, to the point where, when we went on a walk with the dog, we cursed not bringing an umbrella. I had learned, back in Seattle last fall, to always take pictures in bad weather. Always, always. Bad weather causes dreaminess and dreaminess breeds blankets, tea, and toe rubbing. But before that, you must get dirty in it, go outside and get wet and muddy. You come back with pictures that people don’t normally take, because people don’t normally bring their cameras out in tumultuous downpours. Then you can go back home, get dry, and look at pictures that not many people have.

The studio, amidst the downpour:

The whole warehouse on West Main, with Random Row Books next door (a killer used bookstore – a must-visit):

Main Street Market, Jim, and Cochise:

The entryway to Fifeville, our neighborhood:

Jim, Cochise, our two coffees, and the inspirational mosaic on the way into Fifeville, by Isaiah Zagar:

One thing wonderful about Fifeville are the power-lines. They remind you that the neighborhood is old and comes with stories.

Many of the houses in Fifeville were built by African Americans with no blueprints, just strong hands and good Virginia heart pine.

One of the most aesthetically fascinating parts of eastern Fifeville: the intersection of 5th and Dice:

Written by catthrasher

December 7, 2009 at 3:00 pm

The New Studio

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The past couple weeks have been adventurous! After viewing an old warehouse space as a potential studio on Main Street in Charlottesville two weeks ago, I fell in love! I asked the owner to let me in immediately – with a big portrait session coming up, I was dying to shoot somewhere other than my in-home studio. At that point, the building, built in the 1930’s, had not been used for anything other than industrial needs: it had been a car dealership, a construction equipment rental place, and a mechanic’s shop. Each owner had taken decent care of the place, and so the only thing we had to deal with the day of the shoot was the excessive dust – but my client did not miss a beat! She was thrilled to be in the new space, and we had a great time!

Since then, I’ve completed a series of projects to clean it up a bit, including power-washing the brick walls, ripping down various wooden walls and shelves installed by previous tenants, and putting a fresh coat of white paint on everything. It is now much cleaner and brighter, and I cannot wait to share it with everyone!

In celebration of my new studio, I will be having an open house within the next couple weeks for clients, friends, and families (exact date and time TBA). I will also be having a BIG Célébrez-Moi event on September 12th exclusively for affordable intimate portrait sessions! Check out the flyer here, and email me to reserve a space!

Written by catthrasher

July 30, 2009 at 7:48 pm