HELP! Crazed Photographer!

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by tgeorge20, Oct 20, 2005.

  1. tgeorge20

    tgeorge20 TPF Noob!

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    Someone has to help me. My wife - of one month - who is a professional photographer wants to rent a building for a photo studio - basically I am panicked because she has her heart set and a full head of steam to get this place and has no concept of budget.

    Here is how I see it. Just the rent alone - I don't know about the utilities or taxes yet- represents 5/8ths of her current gross business -

    So I figure that she would need to triple her business to even come close to making one extra dollar out of this process - granted it wouldn't happen in a year, but even in five -

    So given that we live in a resort/destination area in the Northeast - and the rent is $1800/mo - who is willing to weigh in on what sort of numbers someone would have to do to cover this -

    I think roughly you have to gross $100k, with 40K to expenses related only to the jobs themselves; 25k to rent with another 5k to utils and insurance; another 5k for marketing and related costs; 15k to pay Uncle Sam- leaving about 10k$

    Who knows? Perhaps having this new location will make business skyrocket - I would love to have some success stories/horror stories just to help her get some perspective...
     
  2. SLOShooter

    SLOShooter TPF Noob!

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    Is this a hobby decision or would making the wrong move jeapordize your living situation?
     
  3. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    You need to project manage this properly. Back of a cigarette packet calculations will not help as you have no framework of reference to correctly conclude that you have assessed all the costs and risks.

    Start with a feasibility study where you look at businesses already running in that area and try to estimate their takings and turnover. If it appears they don't make any money, look into why or abandoning the project. Then when you have established that there will most likely be a business there, move on to estimate the cost accurately. All that is required as a start-up capital cost should be catalogued to tally up to a total representing the intial hit on the business. After the start-up cost then calculate the seen recurring costs and formulate a monthly or weekly outgoing which represents the bills, rent, equipment maintenance, consumables etc.

    When you have built a financial picture of the project, weighing the likely estimated return against the intial capital expenditure and the ongoing recurring costs, then you can start looking at timescales and revenue stream. Once you have a revenue stream calculated (by month/week) you can then look at a one/three/five year plan and really see if the intial capital costs can be paid back in your project lifecycle.

    Hope this makes sense, and best of luck with your wife.

    Rob
     
  4. tgeorge20

    tgeorge20 TPF Noob!

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    Getting away from Hobby is the goal - creating a business that has "name recognition" or some sort of market placement is somewhat the goal of expanding - which is what this move will be about.

    Really it has to do with doing more photographically also, because the increase in space and potential portraiture subjects is a desireable result - but I am skeptical that "build it and they will come" is the answer to all...

    One thing that I know about Real Estate is that location is King - so that doesn't bother me because this location is killer...

    Ultimately my concern is moving in a direction that will spiral this situation downward where so far upward process had been made.

    And yes, every decision has an impact on the team, but what the heck, it is only some clams...
     
  5. SLOShooter

    SLOShooter TPF Noob!

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    I guess my question was, if you do this. Are you risking the business or just expendible income. If you're only risking expendible income than you have to factor in how "fun" it would be to have a studio. If it's a risk to both your lively hoods. Then I would do a detailed cost analysis before commiting.

    Don't forget that the studio space itself might make you money if you buy low and sell high.
     
  6. DocFrankenstein

    DocFrankenstein Clinically Insane?

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    There are both, but most of the photographers who make bucks with their camera don't shoot in the basement. You do need a dedicated/rented facility to shoot.
     
  7. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    Like any business there is literally a million things to consider. I would consider spreading the work on the table and saying "where would a studio situation have benefited". If the work is mostly studio shots then rent it. If the work is mostly environmental portraits then consider a mobile studio.

    Consider that photography is a long term commitment. Throwing numbers around may not make sense at first, but in the long run it will pay off.
     

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