The Frances: A Gorgeous Photography Studio and Creative Space in Chicago

A creative studio set in Chicago, IL. In a photography studio, lighting is the most important element to creating your best images. The Frances is flooded with natural night, which sets off the hardwood floors and clean design accented by a subdued palette.

A photographer’s dream studio has come to life in Chicago, thanks to co-founders John and Maura Stoffer. The wedding and interior photography business owners opened The Frances last year, located in the West Loop, right off the Green Line. The studio is a floor above Donna Mondi Interiors, a noted interior design firm. 

photo backdrop set inside studio space at the Frances
Photo bay area. Photo credit: Stoffer Photography

Photography Studio Vision

John and Maura’s vision for The Frances (named after their daughter) was to create a beautiful and visually interesting space. This space caters to commercial and artistic endeavors such as photography sessions, content creation and hosted events.

photo of owners maura and john stoffer with interior design jean stoffer
Maura Stoffer, Jean Stoffer and John Stoffer. Interior design has always been a strong influence in their lives and influenced their decision to create The Frances. John’s mother, Jean Stoffer, is a well-known interior designer in Michigan at Jean Stoffer Design. 

Photography Studio Tour

In a photography studio, lighting is the most important element to creating your best images. The Frances is flooded with natural night, which sets off the hardwood floors and clean design accented by a subdued palette. The studio boasts a full kitchen with a gorgeous buffet that hides the mess from a small dinner party, or serves as a coffee bar for a morning photo session.

Each area of The Frances has its own unique personality and functionality for photo opportunities and for special events. Furniture in the lounge areas is easily moved around and readjusted for the creative exercise taking over the space.

lounge space in studio with sofa and two dining room tables
Photo Credit: Stoffer Photography

There’s an impressive 11-foot island that’s the foundational element of the studio. It serves as a natural gathering place, where people stop to talk and share ideas, or as a backdrop for a photoshoot.

large quartz island in center of studio space feature triangular shaped pendants
Main island in center of room acts as a working table and meeting space.

In the back work kitchenette there’s a gorgeous buffet area, which keeps the mess away from a small dinner party or acts as the perfect coffee bar for a morning photo session.

Studio galley shaped kitchen in back of space with quartz countertops and quartz backsplash
Kitchenette featuring stovetop, dishwasher and full oven space. Photo credit: Stoffer Photography.

A gorgeous bathroom has black and white drama in quartz material with gold design accents. The bathroom is located is the center back area of the studio in a private area that is convenient and also out of sight from guests.

bathroom featuring a pedestal sink, large plan to the side and quartz backsplash
Studio bathroom

We finally arrive at John and Maura’s private office in the back of the studio. It’s a workspace that’s perfect for two people, with a stunning prop wall that can be rented for a styling fee. 

office space in studio featuring computer, chairs and a lot of natural light
Work office and space for two. Photo Credit: Stoffer Photography
large white custom built cabinetry creating a prop wall with cake holder, coffee mugs, dishes and other props
Styling wall to hold accent pieces and photoshoot props.
modern photo studio collage of photo for career inspiration for pinterest

Studio Events

 One of The Frances’ first event collaborations was with Cambria, a Minnesota-based company that produces beautiful, high-quality quartz surfaces. John and Maura hosted a social media workshop for 25 interior designers, builders and remodelers from the Chicago area.

Every detail was carefully thought out, including technology and equipment to coffee and catered breakfast. There were four presentations about tips and best practices for marketing professionals. Learning new things in The Frances’ elegant surroundings was inspiring and motivating.

event with people in 4 rows taking notes watching a speaker

Fees and Rentals

The Frances is a first for Chicago. The space blends creative fields with a modern workspace and a special event location that is available for rent by anyone. John and Maura continue to spread their core values of beauty, hospitality and generosity. We are confident that their business will flourish and reach people beyond just its brick and mortar building. We predict that the The Frances will be showing up in your feeds, as it’s is only the first chapter from this talented family.

The Frances rents for 4 hours for $600 and 8 hours for $1,000. Visit the website for more information.

To learn more about John and Maura, and The Frances, follow them on Instagram:

screenshot of instagram account @thefranceschicago

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