Looking for Advice on Setting up a Portrait Studio

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by dare2dream, Jun 22, 2009.

  1. dare2dream

    dare2dream TPF Noob!

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    Hi Everyone,

    I am new to this site and see there's some great information on it :)
    I was wondering if anyone could advise me on how to set up a Portrait Studio similar to the JC Penny portrait studio's?

    I am an absolute beginner but enjoy photography and am thinking of it as a business.


    I appreciate any help!

    Sincerely,
    D
     
  2. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    First you need to check with your local authorities and see if you need special licenses for that type of business where its going to be located (always a fee for that), also zoning regs for the location. You may even have to do a site survey of surrounding business, structures, homes. Also have to describe your location including compliance with Disabilities Act. Need to decide on type of business it will be (Corp, LLC, D/B/A, etc). You will need insurance (equipment / liability minimum). If it will be just you or an immediate family member you can skip workers comp coverage. But if you hire anyone else you have to add that to your insurance coverages. You will need to get your Federal Tax id (and State Tax id). Of course you need equipment. Next you need to get the word out some how. So, some sort of advertising.

    If you need a bank loan to start up, that opens up a whole big mess with hoops your going to have to jump through.

    Almost every state has a small business admistration site online that will give you more detailed information. I would look that up for MA and dig into it. It's going to take a little leg work, and some initial cash outlay even before you open the doors!
     
  3. Applefanboy

    Applefanboy TPF Noob!

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    Welcome to the forum!
    I don't know anything about the business side of things, but Alien Bees would be an excellent choice for lighting. Also, make sure you have a sturdy tripod and a laptop to tether to for quick, large viewing.
     
  4. 45mphK9

    45mphK9 TPF Noob!

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    HI ~

    I may be missing what you're asking, but I'm thinking you're wanting to know where to get the tracks for the backgrounds, how to do the lighting etc. Having worked for Lifetouch, it makes it seem like that set up is great. It's very simple. You either have the lights up or they're down etc.

    However, I think you want to be sure that studio work is what you truly want. They way they set it up, can be very limiting & costly. Also, be sure that you don't want portable backgrounds. Do you want to be able to take your backgrounds to your customers or do they need to come to you. And, you will also need to make sure your studio is big enough.

    The equipment we used wasn't anything too special. In fact, I would imagine you could go into any JC Penney's or Target studio & just ask what they have. We used to have people do that occasionally. I just have a feeling that in a year or so you might regret setting up the same way they have it.

    I started this journey about a year ago & still haven't settled on what to put in my studio. :razz: Hope this helps.
     
  5. RumDaddy

    RumDaddy TPF Noob!

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    Theres nothing more offensive then some newbie falling in off the web looking to take advantage of our knowledge and love of photography for personal gain.

    It just makes me sick. :er:
     
  6. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Geeeeezzzz.... could you be a bit more disingenuous please.

    OP, there's nothing wrong with aspirations and lofty goals. However, reality can really kick you squarely in the nuts. Learn your camera and the foundations of photography FIRST. Then venture forward. I believe that is what RumDaddy was eluding to. Cart before the horse sort of thing.....

    One another note....... while JC Penny type portraits may make some income for you, it will kill your soul.

    Just my 2ยข.
     
  7. 45mphK9

    45mphK9 TPF Noob!

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    I'm thinking that is sarcasim coming from RumDaddy. Right?? If you search his posts, he's had a lot of great questions too. After all this is the Photography BEGINNERS Forum. We're supposed to be asking beginning questions. If I could quit giving my opinion all the time, I might ask a few questions myself. My mom always told me that I need to figure out when to quit sending & start receiving. :lol:
     
  8. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Okay, I really don't know the answer to your assertion. Additionally, I do not care to search for his sarcasm...... you are more than welcomed to search for mine, fore there is much to disseminate. But when I read .....
    It makes me think. The dude could be having a laugh, but there's no smilie.... but I'm also guilty of not leaving a humorous gesture at the end of my tirade also.
    But c'mon 45, you gotta admit that this is a bit harsh....
    Nothing wrong with asking questions, nothing wrong with giving opinions either. But attitude and personal attacks is untoward, IMO.
     
  9. 45mphK9

    45mphK9 TPF Noob!

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    Kundalini - I couldn't agree more. My first impression of what RD said was much less kind then what you said. That's why I looked up RumDaddy's posts. I wanted to see what kind of "master photograffer" he is that he could make such comments & then I was going to let him have it.

    That's when I realized he's been asking a lot of great questions lately - doing exactly what he says makes him "sick". My BIG PET PEEVE is when someone is discouraging others to not ask questions. That was my intent to pointing out to D2D that it was sarcasim, not just rude.

    So . . . RumDaddy - get your emotioncons smiling!
    Kundalini . . . keep sticking up for the noobs & being nice. Thanks! There aren't enough like you on here.
    Dare2Dream . . . keep asking what you need to, to learn what you want.
     
  10. GeneralBenson

    GeneralBenson TPF Noob!

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    Dare2Dream, good just dreaming, but try to also stay grounded in reality. Do you realize that question is about comparable to someone changing a car tire for the first time, and then going on a mechanic's forum and saying, 'I really enjoyed that and think I want to be a professional mechanic. What do I need to open a repair shop?' The answer is the same to both. You need tons of learning and experience. Try not to focus on what you need to get, but what you need to learn. And don't think it'll only take a year. There's too much of that in this country these days. No one wants to put in the time to be really really good at something.

    Just like if someone wanted to be a pro mechanic, and they went out and got $10,00 of Snap-on tools, and got a garage space, and a car lift, they still wouldn't be a professional mechanic. Just a beginner with $40,000 of stuff. The old model used to be if you wanted ot learn to do something, you found someone who was doing it, and asked them to take you in. You would learn from them while gaining experience. Then college came around and people got this notion that you can learn anything in 4 years. Now thanks to the interweb, people think you can learn anything in 6 months if you just google it enough and hang out on the right forums. What has happened is that all the emphasis is now on knowledge and the percieved need for experience has vanished. What you need to know is that there is a big difference between knowledge and experience, and both are equally important if you want to be truly good at something. *end rant*
     
  11. RumDaddy

    RumDaddy TPF Noob!

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    100% Pure sarcasm and I hope my comments didnt chase our new member away. Cuz it sounds like daretodream and myself are on the same page and could possibly help each other out. My smileys on the right are all red X's. Not always, but 50% of the time.

    D2D If your still out there lurking feel free to find my threads. It sounds like you and I have a lot in common and you may find my last 4 or 5 threads very interesting and useful.

    Welcome aboard.
     
  12. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Sarcasm is much much harder to pass on a posting forums where voice and visual cues are missing.
     

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