When Lindsey Culver first moved into her new photography studio last summer, no one had been inside the space in around 14 years. She had to do a complete renovation.
In her old studio in downtown Homewood, there was only one room. With the extra space in her new location, she created an events venue called WestHouse Events. She now offers events for up to 40 guests alongside her photography sessions. This September marks one year operating out of her new space.
Culver has been a photographer for over 12 years. She specializes in newborn, baby’s first year and family photography. She is originally from Missouri, but she moved to Florida for high school and stayed there for college.
She moved to Homewood on a whim and ended up meeting her husband there, Chris Culver. They lived in Hoover for a while, but then they moved back to Homewood and have stayed ever since. They have two children, a 10-year-old daughter named Smith and a 7-year-old son named Roland.
Before becoming a photographer, Culver worked at a bank. But after having children, she wanted to do something different.
“I’ve always just kind of had an entrepreneurial spirit,” Culver said. “When I worked at the bank, I started working on my photography business, and then by the time we had our first child, I was able to do this full time.”
Culver’s business is by appointment only. In her first year at the new location, photography sessions averaged a steady pace of three per week. However, the events haven’t started until recently because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
WestHouse Events is a venue for baby showers, wedding showers and birthday parties, among other things. Culver also offers white bounce house rentals for weddings.
Her business is in the warehouse district of Homewood, but her renovations completely changed the inside atmosphere.
“When we first moved in, outside was just weeds everywhere. We put in a garden and have kind of taken an ugly space and made it a lot prettier,” Culver said.
Everyone with whom she has worked has said they really enjoyed the space, Culver said. As soon as guests walk in, they’ll see the natural light from the windows filling the open-concept room. On the left is an infant photography room with baby photos on the walls, a changing table and a sitting area with tables and couches.
On the right is space for hosting events, and behind it is a toddler room where children can sit and play during photography sessions. There is a full kitchen in the back for events with catering, and Culver is working to get plates and glassware so those can be rented as well.
“I love vintage stuff, so I’ve been collecting old china and vintage glasses and everything,” she said. “That may not be someone’s style, but I have all that to rent.”
For events, Culver charges $100 to $200 per hour depending on services involved, such as tables and chairs, bounce houses, serving ware, party hostesses and other things. A photo session fee is $400 or higher, depending on what services are involved.