PS Spaces

Balancing business and passion

Hi, I’m David Sheldrick, a commercial photographer from London. Together with Nicole Markhoff, Andy Hoang and Maxwell Correia, I’ve founded and am currently managing a photo studio and production company called PS Spaces. This is the story of how the studio came to be, and how our team balances studio responsibilities with our own photography careers.

“My drive was to develop a new source of income which would actually let me enjoy my photography even more.”

David Sheldrick

I got into photography when I was 18. I started as an aspiring fashion photographer, picking up small gigs with magazines and minor jobs with brands here and there, until I had enough to build a portfolio and get into the London College of Fashion, where I earned a degree in Fashion Photography.
The idea to open a photo studio came about on a long drive home from a festival in Germany, when I was sitting in the back of the car and just thinking “I need to start a studio, I’m going to start a studio”. I was still at the beginning of my career as a photographer, and the idea of stability was enticing. My drive was to develop a new source of income, which would actually let me enjoy my photography even more. The dream became more tangible when I made the realization that I had all this valuable equipment in my bedroom not getting used nearly as much as it should. It was then that knew I had to get to work and set this thing in motion.
After unsuccessfully going around asking landlords if they’d rent out some space, I had the idea to start looking for abandoned spaces – and that’s how I built the first studio. After three months I built a second studio. After six months, a third. We’re now three years in and have opened studio number seven. The success was more than I ever could have imagined sitting in that car with the budding idea of opening a studio.

Our studio in Wimbledon used to be an abandoned pub. When we got the lease, the floors were rotten, the pipes were leaking, it was filled with dust and dead animals in the corners. Our team rebuilt it from scratch. We had no building skills to begin with, but we learned the skills we needed and we made it happen. Everyone who works here now knows some kind of handy skill.

I think one of the most challenging parts of starting and growing a business is that you have to be good at loads of different things, and not just photography and lighting. We had to learn how to build a studio, how to build a website and market ourselves digitally, how to create deals and sponsorships, bring in new clients, and develop a roadmap for what the future would look like for us: do we want to open more studios, or maybe go into production more? So the toughest bit is that you can’t stop learning, you are not allowed to.

After three months I built a second studio. After six months, a third. We’re now three years in and have opened studio number seven.

David Sheldrick

The most valuable thing we can do is make sure that the service we offer here is excellent, and that we treat our customers well. People worry so much about drumming up new business, but I think that 60% of your time should go into worrying about doing good business for the clients that already use your studio. If they’re having a good time, not only will they share the work and tag or mention the studio, but they’ll also recommend it to other people and return for more shoots.

“The studio work and photography career actually feed each other. What I learn by working in the studio inspires me to create new things in my personal work. The one thing I really struggled with when I was doing photography on my own was lacking a community in which to test my creativity and experiment with new things. The studio environment builds exactly that kind of community.”

Maxwell Correia

Why does PS Spaces use Phase One?

We use Phase One at the studio because it is simply the best photography camera in the world. Nothing even comes close to it. Counter-intuitively, it is much simpler to use than a lot of other cameras. It just does photography incredibly well. Having Phase One equipment also allows us to take on loads of new business, because many clients really care about the quality of their marketing and they’re happy to pay a premium for it. The quality they get with Phase One is so much higher that they can’t really go and get it anywhere else. After you show them the results, they find it difficult to go back to whatever they were getting before.

“With Phase One, you already know a project is going to look premium as you’re shooting it. When you have a team around and you tether shoot, everyone gathers around the screen and they’re blown away, because it has that wow factor.”

Andy Hoang

Learn more about PS Spaces at

David Sheldrick | Andy Hoang | Maxwell Correia | Nicole Markhoff

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