The sad truth about being a photographer is that for 90% of our time, we’re stuck at home in front of our computers! Whether we shoot on location or in the studio, more often that not we’re back at our desk editing photos, updating blogs, invoicing clients or just replying to emails. It makes sense to create an environment that’s as comfortable as possible, whilst being conducive to work.
Here’s how 10 successful photographers organize their workspaces to make their time spent in front of a computer more enjoyable and productive. If you enjoy the post, please Share it to support Shotkit, and leave me a comment if you’d like to be featured next time!
1. Dixie Dixon
“Keep in mind this was taken on a good day – it’s usually never this neat! ;) So I share a studio space in town but do most all of my editing from my condo. When I first moved in, it didn’t have any desk space so I decided to put one in and worked with a friend on designing a desk that would: fit around my moose (“Homer”), have a sturdy steel top, and store all the magazines/books that I’ve acquired over the years. The cabinets were custom-made ones that we painted black! It was a fun little project! Here’s what went into it as pictured:
Steel Desk Top: we actually had this custom ordered from a local metal co. because it was so big but you can get something like it here.
Nikon DF Camera – favorite camera for shooting personal work (I keep it around all the time).
G-Technology G-Speed Q’s for storing images.
Apple IMACs for editing.
Glass Beaker set to hold Lexar memory cards, pencils, pens, etc.”
Check out what Dixie carries in her camera bag and see more of her work here.
2. Ross Harvey
“The main editing monitor is a 30″ IPS panel from NEC, fantastic colour. To the left is a 24” BenQ used as a secondary display. Underneath the BenQ is an Apple Macbook Air, 11″, which is one of the best pieces of technology I’ve owned. Amazing machine; powerful, tiny, great battery life and charges in minutes. Behind the keyboard is a Behringer BCR2000, a midi board intended for music but works wonders with Lightroom when using PFixer (OSX. Windows users can use Paddy).
Either side of the NEC 30″ are KEF LS50s, a cracking set of speakers. The two silver ‘blocks’ are for audio. The top is a DAC/amp combo, the lower is a power amp for the speakers. The two smaller pieces that sit atop are both audio/USB related. The main box on the right is the editing machine, a custom built overclocked beast running OSX Mavericks.
A Leica M3 sits on the desk and keeps me company at all times :¬)”
Check out what Ross carries in his camera bag and see more of his work here.
3. Sam Hurd
“Here’s my finished work space in the studio Nessa and I rent in downtown Baltimore. It features a globe of the moon, a wallaby print courtesy of Jeff Newsom and my desk which is from Restoration Hardware. We have another one coming to use in the backdrop area for detail photos and storage. We use this studio to host workshops and do the very occasional portrait session.”
The photo featured at the top of this post is also of Sam’s studio.
Check out what Sam carries in his camera bag and see more of his work here.
4. Dana Neibert
“I get so many emails from eager assistants and interns who would love the opportunity to work for me and would “gladly work at the smallest desk in the corner of my studio”. The funny thing is my “studio” is about the size of a small desk as the only thing that happens here is retouching and office work since I shoot all location work. “Floating” wall mounted displays buy me a little more desk real estate.
I have black-out curtains for the doors for when I do critical color work. Computers, servers, RAID, hard drives and other dreadful white-noise makers are housed in a separate room so I don’t have to listen to them. Yes, that is a 24×36 flag above my desk to keep the errant sunlight from the loft skylight from my displays.”
Check out what Dana carries in his camera bag and see more of his work here.
5. Terry White
“That’s my 4,800 sq ft dream studio in Troy MI. When I’m not shooting or on the road, then I’m working from my L-shaped desk in my office. There I have a Wacom Cintiq 24HD that serves as my main display and graphics tablet as well as my MacBook Pro 15” Retina Display on a stand sitting right beside it. I couldn’t imagine doing my retouching on any other screen.[Rewind: Check out the best digital camera under $200.]
I gave up on desktop computers a while ago and do all my work from MacBook Pro which goes just about everywhere with me. This way I have my main Lightroom catalog with me and access to all my images either local on the drive or via Smart Previews. Off to the side and mounted on the wall is a 32” Sony LED TV and an Apple TV attached. My images float by on the display unless I’m actually watching TV or have a show playing in the background. I’m thrilled with my setup.”
Check out what Terry carries in his camera bag and see more of his work here.
6. Dave Hill
“I have a 600sq-ft office in Los Angeles. Most of the time it’s just me, unless we have a big retouching project and I bring in a few guys. We have a bunch of empty work stations most of the time. I wish I had some better window light.
Check out what Dave carries in his camera bag and see more of his work here.
7. Eric Cheng
“I use a standing desk made from industrial metal piping, and a solid maple desktop that I ordered from Amazon. Primary displays are an 32” ASUS 4K display and an Apple 27” Thunderbolt display running off of a Mac Pro. Primary storage is an Areca 8 x 4TB Thunderbolt enclosure running OpenZFS.”
Check out what Eric carries in his camera bag and see more of his work here.
8. Don Kates
“This is my workspace at the Chicago studio: 2 Mac Pros, 1 Apple 30″ Cinema Display, 1 NEC 30″ Multisync 3090WQXi, 1 Dell UltraSharp U3011 30″ Monitor, 1 Apple 24″ Cinema Display. All editing is done on a Wacom Intuos Medium Tablet. Similar set up at our Sturgis, SD studio where we just added the new Mac Pros.”
Check out what Don carries in his camera bag and see more of his work here.
9. Sittig Fahr-Becker
2 x 2,90m industrial windows
3,40m Ceiling height
Different backgrounds (brick wall, whitewall)
Stands and flashes (available separately)
Make up station
Separate toilets boys/girls
Very good infrastructure
The old industry building has big windows lighting up the 75m2 studio which is fitted with a wooden floor and a beautiful brick wall. The day light is ideal for all types of photography like fashion and portraits. It is all so possible to rent the studio for castings, fittings, screenings, showroom or as a gallery space.”
Check out what Sittig carries in his camera bag and see more of his work here.
10. Clint Davis
“My desk is the Anthro 60″ Anthrocart. Black, with 5″ caster wheels, and computer side rack. My sturdy monitor holders that clamp to the back of the desk are from Ergotron. Super snazzy, sturdy, and quickly adjustable on the fly to my heart’s content. The big 30″ monitor needed the MX model for the extra weight. For the smaller monitor I got the more compact LX model.
My computer has 12GB DDR3 RAM, a i7-920 2.66 GHz Processor, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260 grahics card, SSD internal hard drive, and TONS of bullet proof back-up external hard drive space thanks to Drobo.”
Check out what Clint carries in his camera bag and see more of his work here.
Disclaimer: All recommendations are impartial and based on user experience, with no bias to the products or the brand. The products in this post may contain affiliate links.