Introducing the Hunter’s first-ever selfie studio
While a relatively new phenomenon, in the do-it-yourself digital age, selfie studios are the latest and greatest. And, excitingly, one is set to open on our very own doorstep in the heart of Hunter Street.
In light of her photography and design background, German-born Newcastle local, Aileen will opened the doors on Friday, October 28.
Starting out as a graphic designer, Aileen moved into photography while living in Adelaide. Over the past six years, Aileen has built up her photography business. Having relocated to Newcastle with her family two years ago, the idea to open a self-directed studio started to blossom.
“I started my own photography business and that’s where the dream of creating a space like this actually came from.
“A lot of people couldn’t afford a photo session… so I thought, ‘how good would it be if there was a space where people can take beautiful photos that are designed with the right lighting and background so that they don’t have to spend a fortune,” Aileen said.
The Hunter St location has been in the works since May of this year and features 20+ booth installations, ranging from simulated airplane seats (complete with windows and a golden bar cart) to the space’s unmissable front-and-centre ‘bank heist’ room.
In true ‘selfie’ nature, a visit comes equipped with ring lights, a remote phone camera clicker, hair and makeup chairs, and a dressing room for any extravagant costume changes one may need.
Those wanting to join in on the action from October 28 are welcome to book via The Venue on Hunter website. 1-hour bookings cost $35 and attending patrons will have unlimited access to the studio’s many photo-ready sets.
As for booth concepts themselves, Aileen says it all came down to trial and error.
“A lot of them are just creative progress. You think of something, you go do it, and it doesn’t work - so you re-do it, and it kind of just leads you to [the finished product].
“The idea is to change it up every couple of months so it always stays fresh, and people can come back all the time, month after month, year after year.”
As the first business of its kind in the Hunter region, Aileen also hopes the space will bring some extra creativity and fun to the area.
“The space is really for everyone – from families and friends to business owners who want to shoot their promotional videos or photoshoots.”
Accompanied by a fully equipped event-hire room, the entire studio can also be booked out for parties and functions, with the hire space playing host to a stage, seating, a photo area, and a food placement area.
Moving into the holiday season, alongside their traditional 1-hour independent bookings, interested parties are also able to book with Aileen herself for a mini professional shoot (dates and booking information accessible on the website).
Ultimately, The Venue on Hunter is designed to inject a sense of fun and self-acceptance into Newcastle.
“The brand of the business is meant to be all about self-love and accepting yourself as you are by making a creative space available to the public for people to express themselves and escape the ordinary. Especially in an era of social media, people can easily lose their own identity and think that they have to be a certain way to be liked – but they don’t. Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself!”