New photo studio A Nerd's World uses vintage cameras to be completely different
Photographers Chris and Grace Hughes have an extensive collection of antique cameras, 26 of which were acquired last summer during a road trip to Florida.
From a World War I Verascope previously owned by the French army to a 1971 Big Shot Polaroid, the cameras are on display at their newly opened photography and design studio called A Nerd’s World.
“With photography, what makes us different is we offer to shoot with all these vintage cameras,” Chris says from the storefront on Bathurst Street and Wells Street sporting a signature bowtie. “We never buy a camera just because it looks nice. We buy it with the intention that we’re going to use it.”
A Nerd’s World offers photography packages including portrait sessions in their studio or at abandoned locations, press photos, fine art nudes and wedding photography. It’s also home to marketing and graphic design services, like creating logos and business cards and building websites.
“Everything is cookie cutter nowadays and we don’t want to do that,” Grace says. “Who we are and what we shoot and how we do it, it’s completely different. We don’t just want to snap the photo, we want them to remember us, the experience and love the photograph as well.”
Although they’d already launched the company online and had planned on opening a physical location since meeting at a photo shoot over six years ago, the husband and wife team knew it was time to take the next step once they drove by their future store and were drawn in by the stained glass windows and a For Lease sign, they say.
“We had a month until we got the keys and for that month we were up all night trying to decide, should we build a commercial look like a regular studio or do we try something out of the box and do something different?” Chris says. “I’m glad we decided to go with something different rather than just a boring studio.”
Chris got more into photography while he was travelling around the world after launching a successful online business around 10 years ago and, like his wife, is inspired by classic photographers, he says.
Since he’s already financially secure from that venture, which is also where he started working with A Nerd’s World general manager and graphic designer Orlando Ismael, the driving force behind the new shop is a passion for photography, he says.
“It’s really about having a better life of doing what we want to do, so money is not our drive, it’s truly about our passion,” Chris says. “We want to be better everyday than we were the day before — that’s why were excited to have this location.”
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