Photo Studio, Setup Advice

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by FreeFallin, Nov 3, 2017.

  1. FreeFallin

    FreeFallin TPF Noob!

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    I run an performance marketing company based out of Tampa, Florida. We just renovated a 6,500 sq ft warehouse into office space. We have 4 massive bay doors and a ton of open space that is currently being unused.

    I would like to monetize this space by offering a turnkey photo studio to local area photographers and agency in need of temporary space to shoot. I already have a decent amount of equipment and gear that I believe would be valuable and appeal to local photographers. Of course, I have no data to back this theory.

    So I am wondering if this a venture worth diving into or not. If so, can anybody help shed some light on possible rates to lease this space? I would probably set up rate sheets by the hour vs. by the day or week. I just think that's more logical and easier to manage. I would think $35 - $85 per hour with rate decreasing with more hours purchased, as an incentive of sorts. So 2 hours for say $125 or 8 hours for $275. Does that seem fair and reasonable? I want to help our local photographers, not rip them off with ridiculous rates. Of course, also trying to make money in the process. :D

    I can supply a list of gear that we already have on deck if that would help or anything else needed to derive rates, etc.

    Total square footage available would be approx. 2,500 sq ft or so and with the bay door access, I believe we can appeal to wide range of photographers' needs. Ability to bring in vehicles (cars, motorcycles, boats, etc.) is definitely feasible. And while we currently only have a standard cloth drops, I am highly considering building an infinity wall (if that's the right terminology) to create even more appeal to photographers and agency's.

    Thanks in advance!


     
  2. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    What kind of gear do you have, and is the use of that gear included in your hourly rate?

    You will have to construct an area separation assembly rated at two hours (at the discretion of the local fire marshal) and meet all other building codes.

    I think the rates you mentioned sound reasonable (geographically sensitive), and depending on what you offer, can be seen as either a bargain or a total ripoff.

    If your equipment is expensive (lights, stands, and modifiers, for instance) do you have the capital to replace them when they are damaged?

    Do you plan to carry a large liability policy?
     
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  3. JonA_CT

    JonA_CT TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    It'd probably make sense to make the area sub-dividable too. 2500 sq ft is a pretty large space. I know nothing of who would rent studio space like this in your area (or any area probably...), but you might be able to run a few of someone like me who just wants to learn about using studio light in your space at one time.
     
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  4. Jamesaz

    Jamesaz TPF Noob!

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    I had occasion several years ago to rent large studio space for a short duration. It was in film days and the AD needed a solid white background so a cyclorama was necessary. Anyway, like other high end studios, it had a full kitchen, shower, makeup, wardrobe and lounge areas. Also backgrounds, lighting gear and props/set dressing. Currently, where I live, there is a place that rents by the half day. I've not used it but my understanding is that there are 4-5 guys and small offices. Renting the office space comes with x amount of studio time and other time is rented to non members. I have no idea how the booking is handled but that seems to be the business model. Good luck.
     
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  5. jeffW

    jeffW TPF Noob!

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    Seems funny to me and maybe this is just my perception of the responses found on this site but with the numerous posts "how much should a photographer charge" if someone responds you should charge $85 per hour half of the replies would be something along the lines of... "oh that's way too much you'll never get that, those days are long gone..."

    But here's a question for a single line item to a photographer's estimate and nobody's chastising the cost.

    imho: It seems most of the rental studios I know of in the mid-Atlantic region that are staying afloat cater to the new style of "strip club" but instead of alcohol it's expensive DSLRs and other G.A.S with clubs (meet ups) hosting nude shoots under the guise of fashion workshops, artistic endeavors, etc..

    Is the space sound proof, can audio be recorded there? then at least you can get the video productions that need to shoot green screen content. Real audio guys are very picky

    I'm not a studio shooter, as an assistant I worked in a couple very successful commercial studios that are now gone. The hourly rate really has been a major hassle in the past for me because there is so much pre-production work that can go into a studio shoot from receiving the products, to laying everything out in order to create a workflow, styling and primping fabrics/ products, and finally coming up with three or four lighting variations before the client even arrives. A lot of times clients can't understand pre-production work and therefore any pre-production charges. This is why shooters who do this type of work regularly keep or are in group shared studios.

    If you're just after the pseudo fashion "artistic" shoots then the hourly rate might work, but how many shooters are going to pay $$$ for tfp shoots? and will NSFW subject matter work with your space? My own personal experience with studio rentals; honestly I've let jobs slip by because of the hassle it is to work with a rental space or I've turned my living space into a studio for a week. For me I would need not only a reasonable package deal (at the mercy of the client's budget) that takes into account the pre-production work the client never seems to see but also be cheap enough for me to use it for an occasional tfp (low budget) shoot so I have a working relationship to be confident I could bring my hard earned client there.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017
  6. FreeFallin

    FreeFallin TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the reply and suggestions. Some good points here for sure and a few things I haven't considered yet, i.e,. fire marshal & liability. Our building is already to code (fire, ADA, etc.) and has passed all necessary inspections both on city and county levels, so that's a plus. We also passed all fire inspections as well, have multiple extinguishers within the space, etc. Our A/C also has built in, immediate shutoff in the event smoke is detected.

    We do have the capital to replace broken items if/when that occurs. I haven't looked into liability policies yet, but that too is a good point. Will definitely look into that.

    Here's a list of the current gear we have. I would of course look to build upon this if we're able to gain traction. Some of these items aren't gear related but just general specs and things we would make available to anyone coming in...


    2 A/C Reels w/100’ Cable Extensions
    Multiple Lighting setups, rigs and strobes
    Impact PS Posing Stool (20-30"), Quantity 2
    Impact Posing Table and Stool Kit
    Impact 5-in-1 Collapsible Oval Reflector (42 x 72")
    Impact Desktop Shooting Table with 24 x 36" Translucent Plexiglas Sheet
    Impact Background Support System - 12' Wide
    Bessey Steel Spring Clamp (Black, 2-1/4 x 2"), Quantity 6
    Multiple Cloth Backdrops (8’ x 12’) - Green, Taupe, Dark Gray
    Matthews Matthews Set of Four Apple Boxes
    Moveable room dividers to separate or combine shooting areas
    LED Lighting (Fully Dimmable or Can Turn Off Completely)
    Fully Air Conditioned Warehouse Space
    4 Restrooms, 2 ADA Compliant (Useable for Dressing Room)
    Access to 4 Large Bay Doors, 12’ x 18’ Tall
    Hair/Makeup Area
    14′ x 24′ open break room and eating area with 3’ x 8’ bar top table
    18’ - 22.5’ Ceilings


     
  7. FreeFallin

    FreeFallin TPF Noob!

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    Love the idea to sub-divide. One of those things you wish you would have thought about on your own! Doh! Thanks for commenting.
     
  8. FreeFallin

    FreeFallin TPF Noob!

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    Very cool. We do offer a lot of the same stuff here, even have private offices that could be made available as needed in addition to recording/podcasting and editing room which will also have the new iMac Pro once that's released, fully equipped with the proper software needed to make edits on site, in real time, etc.
     
  9. FreeFallin

    FreeFallin TPF Noob!

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    It's not truly sound proof like I think you might be suggesting it should be. We do however, have over 120 acoustical panels installed within the main, open area, which significantly reduced our reverb from upwards of 1.7db to 1.1db. So conversations and general sound travel within the space is pretty solid now. We have one room that we've dubbed the "green room" (for obvious reasons, walls are green) and we plan on making this room 100% sound proof in the near future.

    Like everything else you suggested, lol. We can essentially entertain anything. Not trying to pigeon hold ourselves into any specific corner here. Probably some trial and error for sure will come with this endeavor to see what works for us and what doesn't. Thanks for taking the time to chime in. Cheers!
     

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