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 Post subject: Necessity of a studio?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 3:53 pm 
As a wedding/portrait photographer, how necessary or desirable is it to have your own studio?

The option to buy into an existing photographic studio has just appeared(!) and I'm very tempted though slightly apprehensive as to the benefits of owning my own studio.

A couple of potential benefits I can see are:
1) Looks more professional to be based out of a proper studio than your flat.
2) A place for clients to proof the photos before ordering
3) A mini exhibition of your leet photographer skillz
4) Portraits portraits portraits

The main drawbacks I see are:
1) Higher up front cost. Need to put down quite a bit for the studio.
2) Monthly expenditure is going to be about £2k higher (rent, bills,etc).
3) Needs a receptionist so that I'm free to work on portraits, weddings, meet clients, do marketing, etc. That bumps up the cost by about £16k per year.
4) I'll need a fairly substantial loan to buy this, which could be an issue in the current economic climate.

What are your thoughts?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 5:28 pm 
I think it is necessary to have dedicated studio if you are planning to be a professional (which means you work full time on it).

however, if you are not ready to work full time on this field, i think it will be a burden rather than profit maker.

I suggest is to start small and frugal then move in and all out if you feel the time is right.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 6:07 pm 
That's very true, and a studio is something that I'm planning on setting up in the near future. I just wondered about how important it was, and if it would be worth investing significantly more upfront to buy up a well established studio.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 6:42 pm 
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Career change?

Some additional thoughts:
- how much would it cost to do your own otherwise? Factor in time too.
- will it cover your foreseeable needs?
- working out the costs and income, do you think you will be able to afford it?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 6:55 pm 
popo wrote:
Career change?


Indeed. I'm currently 26 so I figure that I'm young enough to take the risk and not significantly jeopardize my future. I'm currently working in a huge software house and I'm finding that the culture isn't really to my liking, plus I'm not being paid nearly enough for someone who holds a PhD so I figure I might as well take my chances and do something that I love.

Quote:
- how much would it cost to do your own otherwise? Factor in time too.
- will it cover your foreseeable needs?
- working out the costs and income, do you think you will be able to afford it?


That studio is going to be a little too expensive for me. The size of the studio, covering 3 floors (!) is going to necessitate an assistant which will push up the operating costs quite significantly (by about £1200 pcm) and that's something that I can't really afford if I'm just starting out.

Given the size of the studio, it'll definitely cover my needs for a long time to come. Hence my interest. Afterall, if I'm going to have to move into a studio of that size in a few years time I might as well start now, right? ;) From the looks of things, I don't think I can afford it financially so I'll likely pass on it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 6:59 pm 
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I just got a 1st degree, got a job and been there doing pretty much the same thing for over a decade. It does get a bit repetitive... but pays the bills and manages to fund my camera habit. :D But still I wouldn't mind a change, if only I knew what.

On the big studio, the thought further occurs, could you sublet parts you don't need yet? Or otherwise get an income from them?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 7:12 pm 
Can't sublet those areas unless I undertake some drastic renovation. Don't think the landlord would be too keen on it either. Of course, I could use the upstairs rooms to shoot pr0n and make loads of money that way. Only if I was really desperate and gave up on all my morals of course 8).

What I really need when starting out is just a small 2 room office, 1 room as the reception/work area and 1 as the shooting area.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 7:50 pm 
do u have business plan/marketing plan soon if you have ur own studio?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 8:25 pm 
Indeed I do. If I don't go bust within a year, I'll blog about it so that it'll help everyone out. No point blogging and disseminating useless information otherwise.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 12:40 am 
I say +1 for pr0nz 4 muniez.

...but I will also say that with a studio and onto the path of a professional, you are also on the path of professional level cameras and glass, and ultimately, professional level photos. The bottom line is that if you are getting mediocre pictures with mediocre equipment, or even professional equipment, it doesn't justify the money spent into the studio. But if you are certain that your pictures are worthy of the title "1337 hax", then proceed in doing so.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 8:46 pm 
I think that if you really think you can afford it and you know what you are doing then you should go for it but how big will the studio be and do you already have all the flashes and stuff. And most importantly, can you take pro quality shots that will sell? If yes to all the questions the definately go for it. :!:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 1:39 am 
I worked as an intern for someone with a studio... it was handy but he didn't seem to use it much, he shot most of his work outside. he didn't have a receptionist all calls came into his cell. and he didn't gain many clients from people just passing by or walking in. he found that most of his new clients found him by word of mouth or a locals only discount card which local business join in and offer a special and locals buy the card and use any specials they like but even from that he had a lot of no shows. so the best advertising/marketing is word of mouth.

i took this photo in his studio...

Image

now that business is down he decided to reduce over head and loose the studio (2000 sq ft+ for 1800ish USD a month) and is now renting a larger house on a fairy busy street by combining studio and home he saves a lot . although he said he likes to have a separate place of work that seems to give him a sense of professionally. hope this helps in your quest. any questions just ask.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2009 11:00 am 
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Receptionist! haha! no way man.

You gotta do it all. Receptionist, Photographer, Accountant, Cleaner, the lot :lol:

Like Tomis said - get another phone, sim, and have it as a buisness number, even a 08xxx number or w/e just forward the calls to the mobile. It can be anywhere as well, doesnt need to have a shop front or whatever, can be in an industrial estate or something. £2k a month is over the top. Theres a place across the road from mine thats £110 a week for rent + whatever for bills - thats like 8 meters by 6 meters or something.

Maybe get some young guns (16-18) that are at college or something that are doing photography to help out as part time assistants maybe, only have to pay them like £5.50 a hour and you only need to hire them when you have work - some will do it for free just for experience!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2009 11:07 am 
yeah i think being frugal is the most important when you start a business.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 5:02 pm 
DD_nVidia wrote:
Receptionist! haha! no way man.

You gotta do it all. Receptionist, Photographer, Accountant, Cleaner, the lot :lol:



You're not going to run a 3 floor studio on your own. If you're just starting out, you can afford to do everything yourself. At this stage, I'm going to pass on the buying into an established studio as my finances just can't take the hit.

Currently, I'm looking at some small offices which are surprisingly affordable(!) at around £300 a month.


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