Here are some things to consider when you are opening a new photo studio:
Let’s face it. While it’s fun to do freelance photography work and while it’s perfectly fine to just schedule photo shoots outdoors, it’s a whole new ball game if a photographer has his or her own photography studio. For many photographers, having their own photography studio will “seal the deal” – meaning it will really be a real life testament of sorts that they’re now “official photographers.” They finally have a brick and mortar studio to speak of and they can proudly say that they can be found at this certain address.
It’s really different to have your own photography studio. For one, it means more opportunities. You can most probably get more clients especially those who would require indoor photography. So that means more business. Having your own photography studio would also mean more responsibilities, though. While others may find this a bit challenging since a photography studio may require standard operating hours (no more dilly dallying allowed and you can’t just open or close your studio whenever you like it – remember, maintaining a studio also means more bills!), it can truly be exciting especially if it’s still in the early stages.
So exactly what do you need for your new photography studio? What should your studio have before you officially open for business? Here are some things to consider.
First off, you must have a good team to help you out. It’s rare to be able to successfully and efficiently run a photography studio alone. You must have assistants or partners who are as passionate about photography and about running a photography studio as you. Your team members must also be creative, responsible, has good business sense and has a pleasing personality. Remember, you and your team will be dealing with various types of people so of course it’s important to be friendly and approachable.
Secondly, decide on what type of photography studio yours will be. Will it be ceiling based or floor based? A ceiling based photography studio would require you to mount background rollers on the ceiling as well as a rail system that would allow flexible positioning of studio lights. The lights should be placed anywhere within a rectangular area. Can your studio afford space big enough for this? A floor based photography studio, on the other hand, would mean that you have to have light stands for the lights as well as background supports for the background. The supports must be very lightweight because they need to be portable.
Thirdly, do a check list on the types as well as formats of cameras that you plan to use for your new photography studio. Will you use big cameras? Or just the regular SLRs? Bigger cameras will require smaller apertures in order to gain the adequate depth of field. This means more light is required. Do you think you will encounter or need something like this?
Fourthly, decide on what types of lights you may need for your photo studio. Do you think you will need the power of sunlight? Or would you just need to stack up on various types of soft, hard or hot lights? Sunlight can be very helpful for professional photographers so check if your studio can still afford to have windows where sun rays can just stream in. This would, of course, be dependent on the size and location of your photography studio. Some photographers would still opt for outdoor shooting especially during cases whereby sunlight would be needed but there will also be a time when photographers (and their models, actually) would need to do things indoors but with the help of sunbeams. As for artificial lights, check if you have strobe systems, hot lights and the like. Most serious studio photographers have about 2000 watt-seconds which is already good for 4×5 photography requirements.
Fifthly, prepare various choices for background. The basic one is seamless paper and this usually comes in rolls – 53 inches, 107 inches and 140 inches (width). Seamless paper is what studio photographers use when it comes to portrait requirements. Most studio photographer buy white seamless paper but some also buy black and grey.
These are just 5 things to consider when you do decide to open your new photography studio. There are other technical stuff to think of but one thing that you must always bear in mind is that you must provide a safe, clean, well equipped (at least with the basics) photography studio. Not only will you have a great time working in it but your clients will, too.