Studio Tour: Adrien Broom’s Place to Work and Play

By Meghan Ahearn

Courtesy of Adrien Broom
Adrien Broom shooting one of the eight sets that she and her crew built in her studio for "The Color Project," an exploration of the world in color. Click on the Photo Gallery link below to see more images.

If you’re wondering where the inspiration for Adrien Broom’s whimsical photography comes from, you can count her studio as one of the sources. It’s located in the old Erector Set toy factory in New Haven, Connecticut, which was converted into artist studios in the 1970s. “Most of the people on my floor are painters or sculptors, and most people’s doors are usually open,” Broom explains. “Being in this space really seems to feed and encourage the 
creative mind.”

Broom has partitioned her 900-square-foot studio into separate areas that include a living room, kitchen, storage, wardrobe and workspace. She notes that organization is key, given the elaborate sets that her images require. “With some of the larger sets I build there is always a lot of … stuff … that goes into them, and finding a place to store everything is extremely important. I try to keep each section as a separate space and purpose,” Broom says.

Occasionally, she actually builds the sets within in her studio, as she has done for “The Color Project,” an ongoing series where each “room” featured in the series is dominated by a single color. The studio’s open layout is a perfect fit for her work because it allows her to transform the space easily. “I have painted the floors over at least ten times, and the walls a few times as well,” she notes. Having six-foot tall windows along the largest wall of the shooting space also contributes to the “look and feel” of her work, she says, adding that the “huge, old-school, industrial windows let in amazing amounts of beautiful natural light.”

She supplements that light with an array of equipment that she stores at the studio, including the hot lights and K5600 Jokers that she’s been working with lately. “I also have a ton of Chimeras that I’m constantly swapping out for one another to find the perfect combo with natural light, if I’m shooting during the day.”

Depending on what Broom is currently working on, her daily routine can vary greatly. However, she says her to-do list items usually fall into three distinct categories: building, shooting or editing. “For me, [the studio] is a second home and a place for all parts of the job—brainstorming, building, shooting, editing and celebrating,” Broom explains. “My sets take a while to build,” usually between one and three weeks, she says, “and renting a space per project just wouldn’t make sense.”

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