Enter through the front door, past a modern gray facade, turn a quick left, walk up the winding staircase to a white-washed landing, and step in. Once you’re up there, you really feel like you’re up there, lifted above the street and above the commonplace, climbed to the second floor and ascended to a stage set with possibility. Everything about Élan Photographie’s new studio space on South Tejon draws you upward to an elevated place.
South facing slanted windows are a portal for the sun to invade as well as a proposal to imagine things from another angle. A portable backdrop will feature regularly changing color walls, on point with present trends (right now it’s pink and charcoal) but persuading you to new perspectives. Narrowing the gap in Colorado Springs between the caliber of craft and the way that craft is displayed, the space was designed to match the worth of the creativity in this city; it’s a perfect space for a product shoot, flexible and effortless, crisp and warm and beautiful.
On the slate gray floor fluttered down feathers, evidence of a family-session pillow-fight from the day before when the studio was set as a bedroom. A grand opening party was on the calendar for late last month, and on the books is a pottery product shoot and a session to photograph locally made jewelry. The studio is open and available, configurable to a variety of creative possibilities, aspiring to be a melting pot of local talent.
Karen Mitchell founded Élan Photographie ten years ago here in the Springs, and developed her photographic vision on the New York City wedding scene between 2013 and 2015. It was an important and shaping time, but she missed the welcoming warmth of Colorado Springs, how available the community is, how creatively collaborative are fellow artists here. She returned in mid 2015, continued to offer her gifts into this city, and listened deeply to the needs and hopes of the creatives around her. The result is a studio that is at once both blank space and thoughtfully supplied, current and grounded, fresh and comfortable.