A Victorian sofa for “You”…And everyone else!

A Victorian sofa for “You”...And everyone else!
A Victorian sofa for “You”…And everyone else!

Excited! Excited! Excited! Aaaaaaand….one more time: EXCITED! This week, Abanathy Photography, LLC finally acquired a prop we have been searching and hoping for, and that every photographer should have in their studio: A vintage sofa!

Anyone who knows me knows I am very picky when it comes to what I want. If I am dead set on specifics for anything, it will take one very, very convincing argument to convince me otherwise. Not saying I am closed minded or unable to compromise, but when it comes to certain things, I know what I want and will settle for no less. How do you think I ended up with the perfect wife?!

But this antique, Victorian-style sofa is amazing! So much so, in fact, that I am all about using it in just about everything from family and senior portraits to our sensual “You” sessions!
And it is about time too. Until now we have found many obstacles between us and an antique sofa. Of course there is the first, and most obvious, problem: Finding one! I’ve seen many, many sofas on Craigslist, in stores, and it other people’s collections. However, one that fits the bill was not exactly standing out. Some close, but not quite.

Second was the other obvious problem: Cost. I know, with the internet what it is today, I could have had one drop shipped here from just about anywhere on the globe at any time. But that little price tag was a sticking point on that route. Aside from some of the prices people are asking online, one also has to account for shipping and handling. That could easily be a deal breaker in and of itself for a variety of reasons.

Third, we have the “just-missed-it” scenario. With all local auctions and yard sales aside (many of which posed the previously-described cost issue), many would often have that one perfect sofa, which was bought right before you arrived. For me, one in particular comes to mind.

I won’t say where, but it was in the window of a local furniture consignment store. We had just been in there perusing their wares about a week earlier. Anyway, as I passed by that day, there in the window sat a beautiful, solid red fainting couch. And if you think a finding a local antique sofa is hard, try looking for a local fainting couch…of any kind! As soon as I could find their number, I gave them a call. To my dismay, it was not only in our price range, but was also SOLD! In any case, as you can see from the picture, we ended up with the better sofa, but, at the time, we just had to grit our teeth and chalk it up to: “That one just wasn’t meant for us.”

Lastly, we have the “great sofa, bad pattern/bad condition” scenario. For its poignance, this one is second only to the last scenario. In fact, for all the pain it can bring, the sense of irony is like salt in the wound! You have found a great sofa…structurally. However, it has one of two flaws: One it is in bad condition or, two, it has a nearly unusable pattern on its upholstery.

To the latter, in photography, you have to be very picky (see why I enjoy this field) about the patterns, designs, and colors you choose for your props. A green, blue-and-yellow-striped sofa with separated cushions and wood handles might look great in some guy’s man cave (not mine), but will be of very limited use in you studio. Now, unless you have a massive studio (and thereby a massive amount of storage space) from which to work, it is wise to find something that will fit many session types. That’s just thinking ahead and it can get you pretty anxious when you have the perfect sofa in front of you…except for that overly-ornate flower pattern or those shiny polka dots all over it’s pale green upholstery.

Now, you say: “But, Patrick, you could very easily buy that sofa and have it re-upholstered to your liking.” To this I say, “Yes I could. But then you begin having the problem with cost all over again.”

Anyway, all these scenarios have been before us in one form or another in the past year and we finally found one that is right up our alley! And I have to give a big thanks to the man who offered to let me buy it from him before placing it on the open market. I knew he had it, but was surprised (and excited) when he emailed to tell me he was looking to sell it. I won’t mention names, as I don’t want to embarrass anyone or put a name where it might not want to be (even though these blogs are somewhat fluid and I could alter this later, should he read it and be OK with it), but I will, once again, say “Thanks!”

Now, of course, the first aim for this new treasure of ours is to book some “You” sessions to find out which clients will be the first to use it! You know you want to! Don’t be shy now! Valentines Day is too close for comfort! You know your husband would love a beautiful, sensuous, enticing, alluring portrait of this sofa…with you on it!

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