Possibility of opening a rental studio questions?


TPF Noob!
Dec 5, 2007
Reaction score
Pelham, AL
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Hi all,

We are considering opening a studio in the Birmingham, AL area for the primary purpose of renting studio time to photographers. We have a location with in mind with approx 1500' of drive in access and 20' ceilings. The location would be set up with a full array of studio lighting, backdrops and a green screen, small kitchen and dressing rooms. To break even we would need to lease about $5000 of studio time per month. My question is what type of intrest that there would possibly be and what would be appropriate for the rental rates of studio time? We had considered $50 an hour with full and half day rates available. To achieve the break even point we would need to lease 100 hours a mont of time.

Any feed back, ideas, or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Who will be staffing it? How would you give the keys to the photographers? Would you have someone there all the time to make sure your equipment was safe? Would you have each photographer sign a liability form? Will you have insurance on the site?

I would certainly utilize something like that, and $50/hour sounds like a good deal. :)
I have a full time job that is close to the proposed location. My wife would cover the desk during the day with myself there evenings and weekends.
I factored in the desk person and Insurance in the rental cost. If it was a photographer that we had been working with us for awhile I wouldn't have a problem handing over the keys for a shoot. I will have anyone shooting sign a liability release and there will be no shooting of a minor without a parent present and a signed consent.

If it provided the wife with a small salary and paid for itself I would be satisfied.
What will your equipment costs be/what will you offer?

Study the market. There are places here in Richmond that rent studio space for $50 and hour, which consist of little more than a big empty room with some backdrops and some lights. They have a very hard time attracting clients/photographers because nobody's gonna pay $50/hr for that sort of environment. On the other hand, there are also multiple studios with 20-25 foot ceilings whose walls are covered by large white cycloramas, with 5x15 foot soft-boxes hanging from the ceiling, camera stands, etc. Their rates are $1000/day and $450 for a half-day, and they have no shortage of business. They do not do hourly rentals.
everyone thinks that anyone with a camera is a photographer. and now, with your place, no one will go to a professional photographer - it would be a lot cheaper (because all they seem to factor is who's the lowest price) to go there for an hour and take all the digital pics they want. good market for you though. I'm sure there'll be lots of interest. good luck.
Hi Chuck,

I agree that you might want to offer a flat day rate (usually based on either an 8 or a 10 hour day) and then charge hourly overtime fees if necessary. I often rent a space called Silverline Studios in Toronto and they have flat rates and then I must pay overtime if I exceed that day rate. They have all the amenities that a good studio should however, do not provide any shooting equipment and they charge $50/hour overtime for a 3,000 square foot space. Just to give you an idea, their rates are about $250/day/1,000 square feet I think. It is just an clean shooting space (which some people like) but if you are providing gear than you could charge more. They also have a studio manager there at all times to provide any assistance that you may need while other studios will just hand out keys to their renters. These are things some that you may wish to take into consideration when setting your rates. You should phone them or check out their website@ Silverline Studios - Toronto just to compare pics and stats of what you have in comparision to what others are offering. Also do the same with other studios in your area to see how other people are running their spaces
Best of luck to you Chuck!

Most reactions