creative Archives - Sage Studio Photography London

Commercial Photography Studio in Harringay

Sage Studio North London Studio

Sage Studio opened in 2018, we started in one of our founders apartments in Kensinton then within 6 months we moved into our other founders back shed, turned studio in North London. We soon out grew that studio and started the hunt for a larger space in October 2020. With Covid and the large check list we wanted in a studio space it took nearly a year to find the right space.

In August 2021 we found our new space in Harringay. The space was abandoned for several years, so when we came to view the space we really had to use our imagination to see the potential in the building. But it had the square footage we wanted, the parking and it was close to an underground!

Once we signed on the dotted line we started planning our renovations. We stripping the inside down to the studs, removing all old electrical and plumping as well as the drop ceiling in the kitchen space and studio 2.

The Design

We wanted to make the space warm and cozy with a homie feeling. Trying to get as far away from the shinny white wall and surfaces that give the ‘clinical’ feeling a lot of other commercial studios out there have. As our name is Sage Studios we decided on the color scheme of sage green, warm white, gold and natural warm wood tones.

For the reception space we changed the old car port into a welcoming front area with large double doors, paneling and a lovely little bistro set for those nice days in the sun. Going through the front doors you come into the front office where we have beautiful wingback chairs, large area rug, textured wallpaper, vintage frames and cameras and warm lighting. Behind that is the main office for our lovely creative director and equipment room.

Going through the reception you move into our communal kitchen area that we outfitted with two new windows and higher ceiling. For the kitchen we brought in a beautiful natural wood counter top with a white farm style sink, sage green cabinets and gold hardware, the back splash we imported ties from Spain with vintage patterns in a bronze finish. The walls are completed with a mixture of new and vintage frames showcasing images from our portfolio and we have a ledge with our camera collection. We also can’t forget the abundance of plants and our fish tank that houses guppies and mini catfish.

The bathroom we completely remodeled with a custom white and gold tile backsplash on our accent sage green wall, same natural wood counter top as the kitchen, a white water basin and a gold waterfall tap. As well as a new window and lovely white and grey geometric floor tiles. The space came together with a retro round mirror, more plants, pictures and gold accessories.

Studio one

Studio one had a lot of changes as well. The walls were covered in 10cm thick plastic panels hiding the natural brick walls, with a drop ceiling and large double doors going into the car port. Once we removed the panels, ceiling and busted through the double doors we enlarged the space enough to be able to have 3m width backdrop with space on either side. For the walls we cleaned up the brick and white washed them, the ceiling we raised to its max height and brought in new electrical all over the space. In the space we took from the double doors leading to the car port we turned into our make-up and hair stylist area as well as our changing area. We finished the space with a custom made barn door to close off the studio from the communal space and grey concert flooring.

Studio two

Studio two was one of the largest transformations in the space. It had a 6ft ceiling resting on top of the windows, highly reflective old vinyl flooring, the only kitchenette that didn’t work and water boiler in the storage room. We knew right away the ceiling had to come down, what we didn’t know was the beautiful iron beams we recovered when tarring down the ceiling and exposing the brick gable ends. This left us with a vaulted ceiling that we covered in vertical paneling. We installed new wood flooring and a new kitchenette along with a Juliet balcony which means the double doors could now be opened to the yard below to bring in natural light and a nice breeze on a warm summer day.

We outfitted the studio space with a new changeroom area, make-up and hairstylist area along with a 3m wide backdrop wall supports and all the plug points you could want!

It was a labor of love, which took us three months to finish and a little bit of blood, sweat and tears. But we couldn’t be more happy with the space and hope everyone who comes to visit, work or hire it out loves it just as much as we do!

Check out our website and social media to see what we’ve been doing in these lovely spaces. We’ve captured some truly amazing images within our studio so far, including model shoots, product, ghost mannequin , flat lays and everything creative!

Creative Photography shoot in our photo studio in London


Creative Photography

The art of previsualising and converting a concept into a beautiful image


The concept and the behind-the-scenes of our creative photography shoot

The product we feature in this blog post is a perfect example of mixed techniques and difficulties. The Beats headset photographed are made of three different materials, and each one requires specific adjustments. We have the opaque plastic, the delicate yet detailed leather and the highly reflective metallic parts. Follow us in this in-depth analysis on one of our creative photography shoots.

The initial step is choosing the right background. Since we didn’t want to have colour casting, we picked a middle grey that helps to cut out the product without altering the contrast. Preparing the “floating” effect was rather easy, a boom arm and a a couple of clothes hangers solved our problems; we knew we have to retouch a little, but it’s an easy task. Alternatively, we could have used invisible thread, but we tend to avoid it when we are going to photostack; a small vibration can compromise the photoshoot, unnecessarily increasing our time behind the camera!

The lighting scheme

After placing the product, we start playing around with the lights. We have a frontal snoot-ed light that enphasise, with a sharp and direct light, the texture of the leather parts. The “cone” helps to concentrate the light solely in that area. Diffusing the right light with a frosted filter offers a nice, soft contrast on the product, without compromising the texturised effect on the leather. We softened the rim light, coming from the left, with the same Lee frost filter; we added also a polarising sheet, that aids to eliminate the reflection on the metal surfaces. With the help of an assistant, we started moving around black and white perspex sheets, trying to highlight or increase the shadows on some specific areas.

The final step – once we were happy with the lighting scheme, was photo-stacking, obtaining a perfectly focused product. The entire photoshoot took us roughly one hour.

The creative editing and the final touch

We ended up with 15 images we photostacked and imported again in Capture One for refining the RAW stacked photo.

You can see the before and after in the photo comparison on the right (below on mobile).

In the first step, we created a clipping path to isolate the subject from the background. After this, we cleaned all the small imperfections (cracks on the leather, dust, hair and minor scratches that you can find easily even on a new product!) using the clone/healing tools and some advanced techniques such as frequency separation. In the third step, we refined the metallic parts, creating interesting highlights and gradients (see how lively and shiny the “b” logo appears in the final image). Some areas, in particular the folding mechanism on the right side, were quite complicated, so we recreated them in Photoshop. In the fourth step, we matched the colours with the product; despite the fact we calibrated the camera at the beginning of the photoshoot, some colours were altered. We neutralised the green casting on the white inside and then matched the blush/sand pink.

The creative input

At this point the product was almost ready; we applied some contrast curves (carefully balanced to affect only specific areas) in “luminosity” blending mode to preserve the saturation. In the final step, we used a photo of metallic-ink underwater that we included within the product. Changing the contrast and applying a shadow on the product, we made the scene perfectly credible and realistic.

The entire retouching process lasted two to three hours and we are happy with the final result. The importance of photographing with a specific concept in mind minimises the chance of error and helps to achieve an outstanding result. The creative photography process that leads to this final image is the sum of the experience of the two creative directors of Sage Studio, Alessio and Trista, both involved along the process of any high-end project.

sage-studio-headset-ecommerce-creative-before sage-studio-headset-ecommerce-creative-after