Studio Share - thoughts?

tirediron

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So... I looked at a studio share today. It's small, only about 15x20 with 12' ceilings. One white wall, one middle grey wall, and one made out of blue panels which is going to be repainted at some point. The space would be shared with up to five other photographers (the studio owner uses it rarely and pays the rent by sub-letting it. To book time, you give him a call, and if no one else wants it then, you're in; first come, first served) and accessible 24/7. It can be booked in 2-4 hour blocks (all day if you don't do it too often). It has an ajoining washroom, small make-up/change area, and a few props, couch, stools etc as well as reflector panels and rolls of white, blue and black seamless (replacement costs shared by all who use them as required). It's not in the greatest location (industrial downtown area, and a 45 minute drive from my home), but it is reasonably central to most of the region's population.

The plus? It's only $125/month! In a town where, if you can find it, studio space goes for at least ~$50/hour, 2hr (and more often 3-4) minimum, that makes it pretty attractive.

I don't have a lot of requirement for a studio, and renting a dedicated space would run $5-10/square foot depending on location. This seems like a good deal...

Thoughts? Am I missing anything glaringly obvious?
 

davisphotos

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What are you shooting? I've considered studio shares, but my main impetus for having a studio would be to have a space permanently set up for shooting small product and portraits, without having to break down my gear, so a shared space would be a bit of a hassle, unless I was the owner and rented out the gear as well.
I guess the main question is if you can justify the monthly cost, and if it would open up new opportunities for you. If so, go for it.
 

Derrel

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There absolutely MUST BE "some" type of agreement between the five or six people who are sharing; like for example, on the weekends let's say, NO ALL DAY use. Just cannot have the studio all day long on Sat and Sun. 15 x 20 is quite small, but the price being charged is very affordable. The 24/7 access is nice, since it makes it accessible after or before workday hours. $125 does not buy much these days...it sure sounds like a good rate to me.
 
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tirediron

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The cost isn't high to really worry about justifying... heck, if I smoked, that would be a less than two weeks worth of cigarettes, and I'll be a lot of people spend more'n that on their Starbucks whipped mocha low-fat whattheckisitachino in a month.

There is an agreement (I'm waiting for him to e-mail me a copy for review, as well as insurance particulars), from his description at least two of the others rarely use it, and you can ask for an all day session on a weekend, and if no one else asks for time, you can have it, but if they do, then you're limited to a four hour max.
 

rub

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That's a great rate. Do you have to agree to a certain time period? ie. 6 months, 12 months, at that rate?

It would be really great if there was an online scheduler for the space so you could know at any time if it was free or not.
 

c.cloudwalker

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Not a bad idea overall if you don't need a studio full time but I'm seeing some problems.

1/ what do you do in 2 hours? Set up, snap a few, take down the gear... Seems to me a 4 hour chunk of time is a minimum, not a possibility. Especially if it takes you 45 mns to get there.

2/ what happens if you book a whole day and someone else calls to reserve time that day? Do you get bumped off to make room?

3/ 15x20 as Derrel says is quite small. Of course, I'm spoiled so I probably have forgotten how much one can do in such a small space.

4/ the online scheduler is a great idea. What happens if you get a shoot opportunity, the space is not being used (as far as you know) but can't reach the owner?


Have you thought about taking a space yourself and sub-renting some time?
 
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tirediron

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That's a great rate. Do you have to agree to a certain time period? ie. 6 months, 12 months, at that rate?
No, however the owner has been very definite that he is not interested in 'fly-by-nighters'.

It would be really great if there was an online scheduler for the space so you could know at any time if it was free or not.
Yes, and if I do take it, I'm going to put something together and offer it to him.
 

Big Mike

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What about equipment use & storage?
 
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tirediron

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1/ what do you do in 2 hours? Set up, snap a few, take down the gear... Seems to me a 4 hour chunk of time is a minimum, not a possibility. Especially if it takes you 45 mns to get there.
Two hours would be lots for say a simple headshot. I would book it so that my travel time didn't cut into my use time.

2/ what happens if you book a whole day and someone else calls to reserve time that day? Do you get bumped off to make room?
It sounds like this is sort of 'worked out' depending how much time the whole-day booker has used in a given month. There's also the option of the two photographers talking and sorting it out amongst themselves.

3/ 15x20 as Derrel says is quite small. Of course, I'm spoiled so I probably have forgotten how much one can do in such a small space.
That is one of my major concerns.

4/ the online scheduler is a great idea. What happens if you get a shoot opportunity, the space is not being used (as far as you know) but can't reach the owner?
Each share-holder has their own key, so you don't need to contact the owner for access, just bookings.


Have you thought about taking a space yourself and sub-renting some time?
With decent retail space running at least $10/sq ft, here, the number of tennants I'd need given the amount of time I would actually use the studio for doesn't really make that feasible for me.

However, I just had an e-mail from him, after I'd asked him to e-mail me a copy of the agreement that I would sign, and his response is that "there isn't one, my agreement is with him". That concerns me a little.
 

Big Mike

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What about equipment use & storage?
Backgrounds, stands, props supplied and costs split amongst the users, lights & other gear you bring in, and take out when you're done.
Sounds good, but might be a potential for friction between the users. For example, if one photog is using the studio 3 times a week and is rough with the stands/pros etc....and you only use the studio twice a month...should you be responsible for an equal share in the costs of replacement etc?
 

2WheelPhoto

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$125 a MONTH? Thats about as cheap as 4-5 hours around Tampa here to rent a professional working studio at the going rates, somewhat cheaper if you know people..
 
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tirediron

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Sure can't complain about the price, but after much reflection, I think I'm going to pass; I'm not really comfortable going into an arrangement like this with someone who I don't know on just a handshake arrangement.
 

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