Before setting up a photography studio, you are required to have answered certain crucial questions, most photographers are rushing to start up a studio or to convert their home-based studio into a proper business.
By research, it’s been proven that most photographers who rush into it(photography studio business) have failed. The truth is that most photographers don’t know how to go about this, most people are afraid to take steps.
Before starting, here are some certain crucial questions you should answer.
1. What Did You Have in Mind Opening a Studio?
You probably would have limited your thinking to making money, getting new clients, but setting up studios come with certain cost and expenses. These might not be enough to cover your cost, including running cost, for example, the cost of renting the place and other costs. You have to take this into consideration.
It might be a dream or vision of yours but that’s not also enough or maybe you have wanted before now to have a real legitimate business of your own which could show to fellow business colleagues or even clients, but it’s not enough.
Before setting up a studio, do you have an existing business of your own?
This question is important as you need to have turned that your skill of photography into a business already, maybe an event photography, or you already have a home studio.
You need to have a business that is paying you already. Because a studio is not just about having new clients or an avenue to increase your prices.
How many extra sessions do you need to do to cover for my costs?
Like I said earlier, setting up a new studio comes with certain cost, cost of equipment, rents and you need to decide if you need extra sessions to cover for these, or else you run the risk of being in the red after some time.
Do you have a real marketing plan to attract new clients and make a good enough sale?
Your marketing plan should be able to keep your existing clients as well as getting new ones. Also, you would need to set your prices such that it would cover for you in case you are not able to get new clients, to avoid you running up costs.
In starting a photography studio, there are certain steps you would need to take. And tips you should learn and apply, which your predecessors have applied, ensuring you avoid some mistakes they have made, though I am of the opinion that these mistakes are necessary, as they teach you certain lessons.
Here are some steps you need to take to start up your photography studio: this applies to both a home studio and a business photography studio.
1.locate Space or Rent a Place:
This is the first thing you need to do. Look out for a space for your photography studio or renting an apartment and clear it out. It could be an unused room in your house, a guest room, or even your garage. You could also get a warehouse or a place advertised for rent.
You would need to consider your location and the cost of renting a place. Let it be as cheap as possible and it should be exposed to clients. You don’t need to spend too much money on getting a place for your studio business.
For home studios, consider how big does your room is, is it big enough? Well, remember you would be capturing full-body shots and might use a wide angle lens, or reflectors and a good light source.
Get Your Light Sources:
For your studio, you will need additional and artificial light sources. Professional light sources are quite expensive. You could create your own artificial lights. Some of the light you should have are constant lights. These lights should be on all the time. You use them to do other work other than shooting.
Speed lights are also important. They are flashes you use for taking shots, they help to prevent shadows in your shots. You would need some light modifiers like reflectors, umbrellas and softboxes
Come up With a Pricing Plan:
You will need a good pricing plan. This is a tough decision every photographer must make, one that should be done without prejudice.
How much will you charge for your services? How much is your time worth, it could be a $100 per hour, and you will include the extra hours you might spend in post shooting activities like time for editing, packaging. You include them in your charges. Totaling your price should be amounting to $200 for a session.
Create A Website For Your Studio:
You could use your business name or something suitable as the name of your website or blog. There you can advertise your business, upload your pictures and videos make your site to be a storefront.
You can also open a social media platform for your studio, using Facebook, Instagram and other avenues for advertisement. Create fliers, business and complimentary cards for your clients and business partners.
Your website should, of course, showcase your work. That’s what your clients will want to see. Keep your site organized by breaking your galleries up by category. Include a picture of yourself and a page that describes your background and experience.
Contact information is important. It’s a good thing to list at least some of your prices. This helps you to manage your customer’s expectations and keeps people from trying to negotiate a lower price.
There is important equipment you would need to have as a photographer and in your studio. Most of them require that you have a spare of them.
Buy camera gear:
For studio work, you need at least two cameras at least two quality lenses, two flashes, and a Photoshop and Lightroom software for editing images. As a studio man, you need two cameras, with one serving as spare or backup. You have to upgrade your camera gear as time goes so as to be updated and still satisfy your client’s desires.
The flash heads also known as strobes are needed for studio light enhancing. These flash heads have a built-in light modeling that is constantly on, they help to erase shadow around the studio. Also, ensure that there is no room for outside light sources in your studio.
The flash can be mounted to your camera or it can also be placed around the studio room and you activate them using your remote. A professional studio should have three strobe lights, one is mounted on your camera, another on the lens. The third is done in such a way that it flashes when the shutter button is pressed.
We have the umbrella light. A studio is expected to have at least three. They provide constant light sources, giving you the right light temperature in your shots. They are mounted on tripods thereby allowing them to tilt very well and be adjusted.
Create A Good Platform or Stage:
By this I mean something to be used to stand, sit, lean, or which your clients can use to pose while snapping. It’s important to have as many as necessary, the flat wooden platforms which have no edges is good.
You could also create good backgrounds of a particular color or a combination of matching colors for your background. You could use a black, red or white background.
Get a Tripod:
Usually, for good positioning and angles, have a tall and a short tripod. These tripods will have to be able to make a 360-degree tilt and turn.
Memory and SD Cards:
DSLR cameras require lots of memory cards. You could use them to upload pictures to your laptop or PC or you can get multiple cards to store your shots. You could also use films, for saving your shots. But you would have to label them properly and store them well.
You could also operate your camera and other equipment with your remote. When your camera is mounted on the tripods, you could use the remote shutter button to activate or operate the shutter button on the camera without having to operate it manually.
There are other many equipments you could use like fans, electrical and extension cords, the White Balance Cards, and color palette for providing particular shades, the light meters for measuring the amount of light you need or light temperature, the extra batteries for your camera, gels. Feel free to add your comments in the box below.
A Photography enthusiastic. I work with a group of other professional photographers to provide you tips on photography