Unless you were looking for it, you might not find it. Geary House sits within a small creative community on a street that all professional creatives are familiar with, Geary Ave. The black painted exterior may fool many to believe it’s small in size; however, the building holds 5 separate studios including a massive props room. The studio's modern décor, clean white walls, ceilings, and grey polished cement floors are a direct reflection of its founder and props stylist Lara McGraw.
For over two decades, Lara has been styling mouthwatering food photography shoots for brands like The Food Network, Canadian Living, and Swiss Chalet. Her passion as a prop-based stylist has allowed her to cultivate thousands of unique pieces. Some examples of this are handmade ceramic plates, bowls with ornate and exquisite leaf patterns, gold/silver spoons, and hundreds of glass bottles/vessels. After years of working as a stylist, Lara decided to open this space. Geary House is a studio people can rent for various photo shoots and productions while also offering creatives the option to rent props from Lara’s massive prop rental company TheProps.ca.
“Since we have our own inventory of props, our studio is popular with food photographers and food productions. We just recently moved into fashion photoshoots and events,” says Franny. (Booking Manager for Geary House/TheProps.)
Geary House is always busy with shoots and productions. It recently hosted The Gyallery presented by Vice and Gyalcast. “The Gyallery”, says Franny, “was special, it was an event that supported women photographers in Toronto, more importantly, female empowerment, diversity, and entrepreneurs.” The studio also hosted many cool photo shoots, one with Chef Matty Matterson, executive chef of Parts & Labour and star of his own food-focused Viceland series, Dead Set on Life.
On a daily base, Franny works with many photographers, event planners, and videographers. We asked her to dish out a few tips for creatives when they rent a space.
Say Hello - Contact the space at least a week before your scheduled photo shoot.
Do your research - Learn about the services and equipment the space can provide ahead of time. For example, Geary House has thousands of props available that can be useful for any photo shoot.
Get to know the space – Some spaces have amenities or structural features that can be useful for any production. Geary House, for example, has a garage loading bay which can be used for loading props, equipment or for an indoor/outdoor event.
Get to know the area - Learn about the surrounding area of the space, you may be able to incorporate it into the photo shoot. Geary House’s parking lot has been used for multiple photo shoots as well as parking for food trucks.
Similar to other space owners, Geary House is beginning to see more bookings from USA clientele as well as more clients wanting to do more local photo shoots, which both can be a result of the low Canadian dollar. “Even though there is competition, there is enough work for everyone,” says Franny, “We understand that customer service is very important so we try to be as flexible as possible. I also noticed an increase in bookings since we listed Geary House on Spacefy, which is great. The platform is simple to use and best of all we get promoted on Spacefy’s social media accounts and newsletters.”
Geary House has a great staff and a cool space. The Spacefy team and all the creatives that came out to The Gyallery had a great time thanks to all the artists as well as the host of the night, Geary House.
Check out the links below for more information on Geary House.
Geary House Studio A: https://www.spacefy.com/geary-house-studio-a
Geary House Studio D: https://www.spacefy.com/geary-house