Welcome to Mompreneur Monday, where we introduce you to mom-based businesses in Lake County. This month it’s our pleasure to introduce you to Jenni Chase, owner of Studio Share Illinois in Libertyville.
Jenni Chase has been a professional photographer since 2006, when she decided to turn her long-time hobby into a career. At a conference, she learned about “studio shares”, a system in which photographers share space, equipment, and resources. The specifics of each studio may work differently, but Jenni knew right away that she loved the idea of starting one. She and her contractor husband opened a studio in her hometown of Grayslake. The studio offered members (other professional photographers) a workspace, props, professional equipment, backdrops, and many other benefits. Membership to the studio allowed photographers that worked out of their homes and primarily shot outside or on location (usually a family’s house) a unique opportunity to work in a studio space and grow their business without the huge overhead and commitment of actually owning their own studio. Not surprisingly, business quickly took off, and they quickly outgrew the Grayslake space. Jenni has relocated Studio Share Illinois to a new location in Libertyville just off of I94 to better serve both the studio share members, and their clients.
The bright, functional space in Libertyville is beautiful and inspiring. Every corner of the studio appears as though it could function as the backdrop for a photo, and I imagine any photographer would be happy to meet clients in the space. Studio Share Illinois offers two spacious photography studios, including one that features breathtaking natural light and a huge overhead door that opens to the outside. The large studios provides a hard-to-find setting for big groups and family photo shoots besides the outdoors. A fully-stocked kitchen, meeting spaces, storage, props, and equipment for viewing photos, as well as vanity setups for clients are just a few of the extra amenities available to members on top of the great studio spaces.
take a video tour of the studio
The benefits of membership are too many to list, as many are not really quantifiable. However, Jenni understands that a membership may not be the right fit for all photographers. Studio space is available for rent by the hour to insured professional photographers. Non-member photographers may participate in special events at the studio, as well.
In addition to the great benefits of membership, Studio Share Illinois also creates a unique professional community. In a field where many photographers work alone or with an assistant, members are able to collaborate, connect, and learn from other professionals. Jenni hosts special events like prop sales and workshops open to photographers, and plans to increase events like these in 2015. Additionally, she is launching a mentorship program that will benefit both the member-mentors and the budding photographers. Speaking to Jenni about her business is truly inspiring. It is evident that she sees no limit to the potential of Studio Share Illinois, and she has plans to open more locations like it in the future. Jenni also offers the Libertyville space for rent for special events. She has tables and seating available there, and the kitchen makes it a great location for meetings and parties.
Whether you’re a photographer looking to expand your business, someone considering family portraits, headshots, or some other type of professional photo shoot, Studio Share Illinois has a lot to offer.