Vinyl Record Storage
If you’re no stranger to our blogs, you know we’re about to get technical and talk about things that aren’t really about this blog, all because I thought of it while I was writing this blog, AND I own this business and I can do whatever the crap I want. So, Yeah. Divider Records. Here we go.
Formally known as Prathermade, Divider Records comes straight out of Amish Country in Sugarcreek, Ohio. You know, where the amazing Park Street Pizza is? The best pizza in the world? Oh you don’t believe me? Freaking check that blog out, it will change your life. Speaking of round things like pizza, Divider Records creates amazing wood record holders. Let’s get a little history lesson about Divider.
The co-owners are Jason and Brit Prather, and they started Prathermade in 2017. They create every single vinyl record storage from scratch. In their words “the duo have pioneered a completely unique design solution to storing and displaying vinyl records.” (Couldn’t have said it better myself) ((Actually, I will say it better, “They have single handedly created the greatest most amazing sexy holders of records that the human race has ever seen in the history of mankind.”)) There, fixed it. Brit and Jason, my copywriting starts at $1,000,000 an hour (costs Agape a fortune). Divider has a variety of different options for record holders, they have racks that can hold 12 records and it grows to units that have a capacity of holding 150-450 records.
You know what’s even cooler about this company? They give back in a really special way. They joined the National Forest Foundation Small Business Partnership in 2018 (say that 5 times as fast) where they plant a tree for every dollar given. In 2019, Divider helped plant over 500 trees because of the sponsorship. So, not only do you get amazing record holders, but you get to give back as well.
Because Divider is located in Amish country, where tons of local materials are available, they are able to get locally sourced lumber from independent wood shops. I sense a theme that comes out of Sugarcreek—a lot of shops we talk to get everything local. The community helps each other by buying from each other. That makes our hearts so happy to think that a community is supporting each other, their livelihoods, and lifting each other up.
Like I said above, every one of their vinyl record storage products are made from scratch and made to order. Which is even cooler when you think about it. When you place that order, they are getting to work on creating and molding their piece of art for you, specifically. These are designs that was created by Brit and Jason, and this is one of a kind and whether you like it or not. It’s freaking art. People tend to forget that the chair you’re sitting in, the desk your computer is on, or the dinner table you eat at were all created by an artist. But, it’s comforting to know that the money you spend on supporting Divider all goes to Divider and not to big box corporations. So, one, you’re supporting local artists, two, you’re getting quality hand-made products (not to mention killer and personal customer service), three, you’re planting trees and supporting the environment.
Have I talked enough about supporting local?
Alright, now that you have a brief history lesson on this amazing company, let’s talk about the meat and potatas of this blog. I’m going to show you four shoots we’ve done for Divider and talk about all the technical crap and inspiration that came before and during the shoots. I’ll be talking about working with Brandon, our videographer, and how that process works. So, let’s get to it.
vinyl record storage | Shoot #1
Here it is, the moment you’ve been waiting for—the first shoot. Divider rented out the studio in a local shop called Farmhouse Frocks in Millersburg, Ohio. This studio is located on the top floor and is filled with everything and anything you could imagine for styling purposes. There are old wooden tables, furniture that is so aesthetic, that you literally can’t even. <– do people even say that anymore? They have huge old windows that give the best natural light, and they had staff on the ready if you ever needed anything. I give this place a 10 out of 10.
We arrived, unloaded, and brainstormed how and where we were going to shoot the product. The purpose of this shoot was to photograph as many of their vinyl record storage products as possible minus their ledges (putting screws into a studio’s walls is very frowned upon). So we decided that the natural light was our best friend and we shot near the big windows. Natural light can be tricky because if you want to be consistent in your photographs, the lighting has to stay the same. If you’re shooting in overcast, everything needs to be overcast, if the sun comes out, you’re screwed. So we had our Profoto B1’s to the rescue to help keep the lighting consistent. We pointed one light at the windows and that helped boost the natural light that fills the room. It’s a cool trick because the light bounces off the window wall and fills the room with light, simulating sunlight coming into the room.
Due to us adding more light on the window side (left), we needed to fill some light on the right side, as it was a tad dark. So, we got our soft box out and softly added fill light to boost the shadows from the window light. This whole process to get the perfect light took about 25-30 minutes. This is something that a lot of photographers don’t talk about. Creating the perfect light is different in every situation. Every environment is different, and there isn’t a universal perfect lighting setup. There are best practices and a certain way of doing things, but the ceiling could be black and not absorb any light, or the ceiling could be white and bounce way too much light. The ceiling could be 20 feet tall, or 9 feet tall, trust us, it makes a huge difference. So many variables.
We chose to shoot most of the vinyl record storage products against a white wall with the window light on the left and the fill light on the right. We also shot some stylized photos against the windows and shifted the light accordingly.
Divider asked us to do two different shots: one that was stylized in a scene and one that was naked and afraid. That way, they could showcase the vinyl record storage product with and without records, as well as show off the little details about each product. The interior designer in Mikayla was jumping with joy. I believe that I have an amazing sense for what looks good in interior design, but, for some reason, Mikayla doesn’t agree, and you guessed it, the whole house is basically designed by Mikayla. Who woulda thunk. But I digress. No I don’t, at least I have an epic man-cave in the house that I painted all black and has the lamp I stole from the living room because I thought it looked way better in my room. So suck it Mikayla. Now I digress.
Brit and Mikayla both brought in some decorations and they created some scenes that I kind of wish were in our own house. After each scene, they brainstormed and created new scenes that would best compliment each product, whether that be through color, or size of the object.
While all of this was happening for photography, Brandon was there as well shooting video. Brandon was tasked to do a 1:00-1:30 minute video that helped tell Divider’s story. So, his goal on this photoshoot was to capture some b-roll. Basically, to capture footage that could be used as great filler in the end product. We kind of worked backwards video-wise, because he was shooting a finished product and having us interact with it, which was used at the end of the video. The great thing about working with Brandon is that we’re comfortable enough that we can get in each other’s way and know when to step out. We both suggest different compositions, talk about the vision of a shot, and even take over each other’s equipment. Trust us, we’ve shot with many videographers and most of the time, it’s a battle to who can get the shot and you best be out of my way haha. Brandon is an essential part of our team and working with him is always an awesome time.
Don’t leave so fast, after the pictures below, I’ll be talking about shoot #2 and 3.
vinyl record storage | Shoot #2
Okay, now we’re down in Amish country in little Sugarcreek, Ohio. Divider has their wood shop right next to a little farm called Sweetwater Farm (amazing tomatoes and other produce). We wanted to go where the action was, and photograph their process in making their product. This gives their customer base a little glimpse into how their product was actually made by hand. The old familiar smell of a wood shop filled my nose as memories flooded in from 9th grade wood shop class. I still have my cutting board I made in 9th grade, and guess how I sealed that cutting board? Oh you think I sealed it with Poly? Psh. Try freaking laxative, the stuff that makes ya go #2, the good stuff. Sorry not sorry. Anyway…
Lighting was a little bit of a challenge here due to lack of natural light coming into the windows (it ended up being a really gray day, and the studio was positioned the opposing direction of the sun), so we experimented a lot. The best way, we figured, was to make our Profotos lights imitate the sun. We positioned the light to be outside, pointing into the windows at a high angle. We took off all of the soft boxes/diffusion and had just the light by itself situated on it. That way, when the flash went off, it was a harsh light rather than a soft, diffused light. This was the perfect light to come through the windows because we had a smoke machine to mimic sawdust in the air. So, with the harsh light going through the window and the smoke machine on, we created these amazing streaks of light in the air. Such mood. Such atmosphere.
We captured everything in the process of them making their vinyl record storage products. We shot with Jason cutting, planing, glueing, drilling, all the stuff. We also shot Brit sanding, staining, and doing the boring paper work that comes with running a business. We were able to capture one of their employees putting together an order and placing them in the boxes. We played with their dog, and looked at their chickens. It was a good day, and he was a v good boy.
Another good thing about working with Brandon is that we get to hijack some of his equipment. Because it was a little dark in the wood shop, he used some continuous light to help light the scene for videos and we were benefiting from that. Brandon captured the bulk of what he needed to tell the story of Divider with this shoot. Then we ate some pizza.
vinyl record storage | Shoot #3
Brit asked us if we knew of any place that would be great to shoot the ledges, and we were thinking, hmm…what’s easiest and not far, huh, our dining room. So we threw the table against the wall and bam, mini studio. It’s great because we have white walls, white ceilings and lots of room to play around within our dining room. Our old home-owners were going to throw away this amazing credenza and we’re like, you serious? A perfectly good lookin credenza? So naturally, we slammed that against the wall and it found its new home. The ledges looked really nice with the credenza and various house plants.
Lighting-wise was also a little bit of a challenge. Let me paint you a picture. Flanking the white wall to the left is two big windows that let in so much light in the early 20’s and 30’s. But then, the builder’s rival moves in next door, and builds his house 10 feet away from ours. Killing all light from entering into the dining room. What kind of monster builds a house so close to another when you have an entire HUGE freaking lot to work with?! #salty. So, due to this unfortunate placement of our neighbor’s house(he’s cool tho, no hard feelings), we had to use artificial light to boost the light in the room. We wanted the lighting to feel like it was either sunrise, or sunset, with long shadows and plenty of contrast. So, we placed the light outside with only one layer of diffusion, at an angle that was parallel to the window. We placed it parallel because the sun wouldn’t be above the window at sunrise, so being able to see the light source was key to creating this lighting setup. We also wanted to show the window panes on the wall that illuminated the ledges for sick texture and interest. Literally any vinyl record storage would look freaking sweet in this light.
This whole lighting setup took about 45 minutes to set up. It was a lot of moving the light source slightly to the left, raising it a bit, oops go back to where you had it, that’s perfect, why the crap did you move it, go back, no the other left, you’re useless, I hate you, OMG DON’T FREAKING MOVE. Then bam. Perfect lighting.
During this shoot, Brand was also shooting a how to video for installing Divider Record’s record ledges. It’s a 30 second—1 minute video that shows you how to install the ledges, from drilling into the wall, to hanging the final piece. This took a little bit longer than expected because not only were we shooting and setting up our lighting for the photography shoot, but Brandon was also setting up continuous lighting for the video shoot.
Records are #sohotrightnow and so is vinyl record storage and if you need to properly store and display your records, seriously check out Divider Records and support this amazing business.
Want to talk to us about your own small business photography or videography needs? Or shoot your own vinyl record storage? Shoot us a message and talk to our cats, the office administrators, about scheduling some hangs ASAP.