Do You Have a Studio?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by jc77, Oct 29, 2009.

  1. jc77

    jc77 TPF Noob!

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    Hi all...

    I would eventually like to get my own studio somewhere here in town but I wanted to ask you some questions first... How many of you have storefront studios? How many work out of your home? If you work out of your home, how do you do it? Garage, seperate bedroom for "studio?" Do your clients seem to mind coming to your home?
    Is having a storefront studio worth the extra cost?
    Please share your opinions on each...

    Thanks! :mrgreen:
     
  2. erphoto

    erphoto TPF Noob!

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    I do not have a studio. I work from my desk (I don't even have an office!) Clients do not come to my home. I generally will meet them out somewhere, usually Panera to discuss (weddings). And my other shoots are either at their house or a location of their choice or outside weather permitting. I've been pretty successful for a newbie and I haven't had any complaints. (knock on wood!) I think if you want it bad enough, you just have to make it work. Best of luck!!!
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    [*disclaimer* I'm not a full time photographer]

    I have a space in my basement that I sometimes use as a studio...but it's not really very nice and I don't like to bring clients there if I can help it.

    I have seen a few photographers take that step and open a studio. The ones who put their heart (and a lot of effort) into it, made a go of it.
    I've also seen a lot of really good pro photographers who only have small home studios (but most of them prefer to shoot outdoors if they can).

    Besides actual shooting space, many successful photographers also have a sales/viewing area...whether in a home or commercial studio. Sometimes that is just their living room but many times it's it's own separate area.

    I even know a couple photographers who have a store front but no actual studio. They just use the small space for meeting clients and displaying some of their work. Of course, the credibility of actually having a storefront can go a long way. Sometimes it's just an office where they can get away from home to do their editing and office work.

    There are many, many factors as to whether or not it's worth it. Some have found that it instantly doubles or triples their business (and or allows them to raise their prices significantly). Of course, if you don't have the customer base already built up...you might have to do some heavy marketing...and do it fast. The overhead can kill a business really fast. I recently heard a photographer say that when they opened their studio, the overhead cost of just the studio, was $250 per day. That will vary widely, depending on many factors...so you would need to figure that out for your own situation.
     
  4. jc77

    jc77 TPF Noob!

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    Oh wow.. $250 a day? That's huge! But like you said, I guess it would vary from area to area... I would love to just stay in my home, and do most of my shoots outdoors (like I do now), but I'm up here in Montana and once winter sets in, its really hard to schedule outdoor shoots. Most of my favorite places are all ugly and under 5 ft of snow come winter time.. lol. It's always this time of year that gets me thinking.. "Hmmmm... wouldn't it be nice to have a studio?" I really like the idea of a small office space to do your "work" in away from home.
    Those of you that live in "wintery" climates.. how do you do it?
     
  5. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Ya, we are covered in snow most of the year up here. Well, actually it's worse...because many years we don't get a lot of snow until December....but the foliage is all brown by mid October....so the clean white snow is actually a relief by the time it sticks around.

    It's a great exercise to price it out. Find the rent or lease price on a space as an example...then start adding all the necessities; Utilities (heat, electric, water), Insurance etc. Property and business taxes. Other fees that might have to be paid to run a business in that particular location.
    Think of all the things that will need to be purchased...furniture, studio equipment (if you don't already have it) etc. Stuff will be needed to get the place ready to go...Renovations, repairs etc.
    In order to bring in a steady stream of customers, you may have to crank up the marketing.
     
  6. inTempus

    inTempus TPF Noob!

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    I built a studio in my home this last summer. It's great having that flexibility, especially with winter creeping up on us here in the midwest. But given the choice, I would rather shoot outside.
     
  7. Phranquey

    Phranquey TPF Noob!

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    Definitely not a pro set-up, but I don't do pro clients, either.

    I have plenty enough area in my game room (in the basement) to set up backdrop stands and stretch out a roll of 107" seamless &/or muslins up to 10'x12' and still have shooting room. The only thing I'd like that I'm lacking is the vertical height for hair lights & to get keylights a little higher. I have enough room in the garage, which has a 12' ceiling, but it's a pain to move the motorcylces in & out (especially in poor weather).

    Another nice thing about the game room is to throw a 4x8 sheet of plywood on the pool table, set the backdrop stands next to it with a small sheet of seamless, and you have a macro studio in 10 minutes.
     
  8. Missdaisy

    Missdaisy TPF Noob!

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    I've been thinking of building an in home studio in my basement. I have to do most of my shooting outside because the only lighting I have is my flash. I've been trying to make a list of necessities for a home studio, I know lighting is at the top of the list.
    Would you mind posting a pic of your studio?
     
  9. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    Depends on your clients. If your shooting retail then having a storefront studio will make the client feel more comfortable. If you are shooting with commercial clients you will find that they are slightly more understanding of the situation as long as the shot is good.

    In either case this question can not be answered by us. You must figure out the needs of your target audience and work with them and more importantly with in your budget.

    Love & Bass
     
  10. raider

    raider TPF Noob!

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    ND - mainly office space; studio space available. Office manager, display/showroom
     
  11. ScottsdaleImages

    ScottsdaleImages TPF Noob!

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    Back in NY, I had a 2 bdr condo that had a loft. I used the loft for both meeting clients and limited shooting. 95% of clients had no issue coming to my home. And that is how I phrased it, "I work out of my home" not an apt. like condo.

    Here in AZ, since I am single again, I have a 1 bdr apt that is all studio in the living/dining area. I leave my backgrounds up, lights up. At this time my studio work is focused on model sessions, so they have no problem coming to my place. For my wedding clientele, however, I meet them at the local Starbucks. Comfy seats, great aroma, no mess. I don't think I will have any issues doing portrait sessions in my apt, once I start marketing those too.
     
  12. itznfb

    itznfb TPF Noob!

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    I actually just look at his thread about his studio today..
    Hope you don't mind me linking to your thread inTempus..
    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/photography-beginners-forum-photo-gallery/158592-new-studio.html
     

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