I HAD THE PERFECT PHOTO STUDIO… THEN I LOST IT.
Actually, I got scammed out of my Portland photo studio.
Never did I think it could happen to me. We had a signed lease agreement and everything; I read every single word of it, there was nothing on it that said the guy was a scheming con artist. I didn’t discover this until I Googled his name Christopher Wyland… after the judge awarded the Plaintiff (building owner) and evicted me from it. This happened in 2015 and I still haven’t gotten over it.
I worked so hard on this photo studio, invested a lot of money and poured so much love into it. It was almost perfect for me. I no longer had to rent from others because I had a space of my own to be creative as I wanted to be. And I was just getting started. (Sadly, it didn’t last long.)
I didn’t take official photos of the space but these are images I took on my smartphone to quickly capture angles to share with friends. To say that I was so proud of all that I’ve accomplished thus far is an understatement. It was a photo studio where I created artwork for my clients, but I didn’t want it to look and feel like a typical studio… I was making it into a home and that’s what I wanted everyone to feel the second they stepped inside my little world. It was barely all coming together, still so much left to do to design it like a live-in condo— then I found an eviction notice taped on the door. It devastated me.
Fast forward five years later into a new decade and a new me, I’ve returned to the photography world and I am looking for a creative space of my own. Again. However, I’d be lying to myself if I didn’t admit that I still compare everything to this first space that I got to call my own, albeit for such a short time.
It was 657 SF with a glass wall dividing the space where I did all my photo shoots and the other side was the client lounge area complete with a skylight and changing area behind those green curtains. It was on the top/third floor so there was not a single building or tree blocking the large window which means there was always a good amount of light coming into the studio even on cloudy days. It would’ve been perfect if it was a corner suite with two large windows. The building had an industrial elevator like something out of New York City; although it always had issues it was still super cute and great photo opp for city-themed photo shoots. (I called it the NYC Loft.)
Bluehour Restaurant was right across the way as well as TILT (a great burger and beer joint!); down the street was Whole Foods Market and easy freeway access. Honestly, it was almost perfect despite unpredictable street parking availability.
My monthly rent was just a little over $1,000 which was doable on my own so I didn’t have to rely on co-opt. I did rent it out to hourly and daily renters, that was a very effective option for when I wasn’t using the space. So, where do I go from here? Will I ever find a space like this or better? Unfortunately, I’ve found nothing like it so far.