When we talked about how photographers can generate income by photographing singles for dating sites, we pointed out that services like LookBetterOnline.com don’t demand that photographers have their own studio.
That’s a big advantage. Many photographers, especially those in the early stages of their careers, work out of their homes or their garages, setting up the lights when they need them and breaking them down when the kids come home from school.
And many of those photographers dream of the day when they’ll have their own space, when the living room will just be a place to relax, and the kitchen table will only support food and not camera equipment, lights and duct tape.
Of course, it’s not just the inconvenience of winding cables around the sofa every time they want to take a shot that drives photographers out of their homes. Bringing clients onto personal property can create legal problems. (If someone trips over a chair leg, you could be liable.) Your marketing material will contain your home address, creating privacy issues. And the overall impression is one of amateurism — or at least, part-timeism. It’s not a comfortable way to work.
But having your own studio isn’t always the best choice either. Unless you already have a solid client base and a flow of work regular enough to meet the overheads — or at least a realistic marketing plan and a good location — then you might find it’s a very expensive way to win your photographic freedom. Certainly, few part-time photographers can afford it.
There are alternatives though.
The most obvious is always to shoot on location. For many types of photography, including people photography, that can be an easy solution. Pick out a range of different kinds of locations that you can use for different effects and you might find the results are better than you could have won with artificial light and a ready-bought backdrop.
You can also share a studio with other photographers, splitting the rent and even the cost of some equipment.
Or you can rent a studio on a part-time basis, as and when you need it. That can work out more expensive per day than renting your own place, and you’ll have to lug your gear in and out, but if you only use it sporadically, it can be a good choice too. Photolinks has a long list of adverts for studios that you can rent, some by the day (and some for amounts that will make your eyes water). And StudioHire.com has an interesting list too, provided you’re in the UK or NY.
It’s always worth shopping around though when renting. Prices can vary a lot depending on the amount of luxury you want and the kind of impression you want to make.
Basement Studio, Version 0.9b by Glenn Loos-Austin
[tags] photography studio [/tags]