Eliesa Johnson

As a photographer, creating images is what she does best. Eliesa Johnson's work ranges from editorial photography, ad campaigns, all the way to weddings. Her studio is in the NE Arts District in Minneapolis, where her staff of 14 works hard every day to realize their dream.

Words from Eliesa Johnson

For me, two things are important for my work space. The first is light. Being a photographer, light is something that matters to me. I need my space to be bright with high ceilings and big windows, so it feels like a breath of fresh air when you walk in. Being an artist, it is important to have an inspiring space to come to work in, because it fuels your creativity. Secondly, it is important for me that the space is open and functions for our staff to come in and out of and also for our clients to feel great in.

When you step into the studio, I really do feel like you see a lot of myself in the space. It's bright, warm and inviting. However, if you look around, you will notice all of my to-do lists (often times a giant poster on the wall), smaller to-do lists on my desk, pretty things about, and inspirational quotes. On the other hand, there are servers, hard drives and equipment around, which speaks to the technical side of the business. It's a bit of a controlled chaos in my space - with part structure and part creativity - which is basically how my brain works.

I have a few things around my desk that simply make me happy. This year, it has specifically been a bunch of gold touches - gold paper clips from Russell + Hazel, a gold stapler and a gold scissor from Nate Berkus for Target and some fancy gold / brass project clips by designer Tom Dixon. Sometimes it is the little things that inspire me to make pretty things, but are also useful tools that add to the production of our projects. One of my all-time-favorite items on my desk, though, are the Stabilo pens  - I love the color pallets and how they write.

My goal is for people to walk into my studio and feel inspired. They will also see us being in the middle of a few different projects, so it's always a bustling place. Owning my own business means that I wear a lot of different hats, so there is always a few things happening at once. We might be packaging out orders, editing, putting together an inspiration board for a new project or meeting with clients. I love a full studio and even though our space is not that big (only about 500 square feet), it is a mighty powerhouse.

I think it is really important to work smarter as a creative and this also goes for your work space. In the past, I have had the giant studios, sublet to other artists, had the giant shooting spaces, etc. However, the cost of maintaining the larger studio was high and it added an extra layer of stress that I felt was unnecessary. We have been in the current studio for about 3 years now and I couldn't be happier. I downsized quite a bit, in terms of square feet, but I prefer a smaller studio. Instead of working for my space, my space now works for me and it is a space that I love to come to work at. I have learned that I prefer a small space, but one that is bright and inviting - and layout wise, one that works for our team to work out of as well. For our jobs when we need a big shooting space, we just rent a studio for the day, which is a perfect solution and the best of both worlds! For me, as an artist, I wouldn't be able to work from home everyday. I needed to find the balance between work and life and the studio completely provides this for me! 


more by Eliesa Johnson:Editorial + Commercial Work / Luxury Weddings / Wedding Photography Studio / Business Consulting for Artists / Instagram

links of love:Russell + Hazel / Tom Dixon / Nate Berkus for Target / Stabilo


photos by eliesa johnson | minneapolis, mn