Dream Photography Studio Comes to Life

Dream Photography Studio Comes to Life

Photography dreams can come true, and for Adam Coppola, that’s just what happened this year when he opened his newly completed photography studio. I had an opportunity to tour Coppola's newly completed dream studio a few weeks ago.

Coppola is the owner of Coppola Photography located in Killington, Connecticut, a classic, small New England town of white churches, picket fences, and 100-year-old farmhouses decorated with American flags. Coppola's studio is located behind one of these farmhouses, in fact it’s right behind his farmhouse in his backyard. The studio is in a beautiful post and beam barn that began life in 1890. Coppola told me, “The barn is actually two barns with the first barn starting out as the town’s butcher.” The second barn was added in 1930 bringing it to its current size of 28 feet by 40 feet and a full two stories tall.

Of course when you buy property in Connecticut for a reasonable price, it entails accepting some short comings. Like a barn where the walls and roof leak when it rains, no electricity, and no heat, which really becomes an issue during those cold Connecticut winters. “The idea was always to convert the barn into my photo studio,” Coppola told me. “But for the first couple of years that just wasn’t possible.” But in 2017, Coppola and his wife Christy decided it was time for the barn to become the studio they always intended it to be. So with lots of hard work, some help from family and friends, along with some contractors, the old barn became Coppola's dream studio. He explained, “We always wanted a place that was more than just a photography studio. We wanted a place where our clients would be comfortable before, during and after the photoshoot. We included an area upstairs where we could meet and also eat.” Not only is there the upstairs workspace, but there is also area on the ground floor where art directors, makeup artist, and clients can comfortably relax during the photoshoot.

The interior of the studio is the common white walls with unpainted wood post and beams. One thing that I immediately noticed was the abundance of natural light. The studio is bathed in natural light from the large windows on every wall of the studio. Coppola mentioned that he still has to hang the numerous blinds so they can cut that natural light when needed. But the access to all that natural light isn’t the only aspect of the studio I admire. The other is the large open work area. An area where lights, backdrops, and even subjects can be easily setup and moved around without difficulty. 

But the inside of the studio is just one part of the dream studio, the grounds surrounding the barn are an added bonus that city studios just don't have. There is a wooded area behind the studio that includes a small pond. The setting is perfect for outdoor lifestyle shots, which is a style Coppola also shoots. The area could easily be used to capture engagement and wedding style photos. 

Of course if you are a working photographer, even a dream studio has to help the business make money. This is where he plans to double down on the use of the studio. Not only does Coppola plan to use the studio for his own work, but he plans to rent the studio out to other photographers and videographers. While this isn't anything new for studio owners, I get the sense that he isn't only doing this to generate addition income but to also help the other area creatives. Coppola told me that he wants the studio to be a place that helps others to expand their trade. This past winter he did just that when the Connecticut chapter of the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMPCT) hosted their annual photo reveal party at his studio. The reveal party highlighted the work of selected members to Connecticut marketing and art directors. This is a third way Coppola can use the the studio to generate additional income, using the beautiful studio to host small functions.

While driving home I couldn't help to think how wonderful it would be to work in a studio like his. Then I realized I could, I could help him by renting it for a test shoot I need to do for an upcoming project. Coppola's studio helps me and I can help him. Just what a photo community does: help each other.

Do you have dreams of a studio in the future or do you already have your dream studio? Tell us about your studio current or future studio in the comments and why not post some photos too?

Images used with permission of Adam Coppola.

Douglas Turney's picture

Doug Turney is a Connecticut based photographer who specializes in non-ball sport types of photography such as motocross, sailing, and cycling. But that doesn’t stop him from shooting other types of photography too. Doug believes photography is photography and doesn’t like to be typecast. Doug loves to travel and often shoots when traveling.

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Very nice! Great job.

Slight correction: the studio is in Killingworth, CT

That is gorgeous. Nice work!

Lovely. What a wonderful environment in which to work.

With the weather we’ve been having I’m wondering how the AC situation is working out.

Hi JJ, We are very fortunate to have a mini split ductless heat pump/AC system in the barn. We've got a 12 person+ team working in the studio for a 12 day span and it would be pretty unbearable without the AC going. The only challenge is that the Mitsubishi compressor makes a slight humming noise and we need to turn it off while cameras and audio are rolling.

Doug, Thanks so much for visiting and writing an article about the studio. We loved having you visit!

OMG!! This place is beautiful!

It really is one of the most beautiful studios I’ve seen.