How to start a Photography Business

December 07, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

How to start a photography studio


Much of the work to start a photographic studio is going to be based on your personal choices. Deciding whether you would like to have pedestrian traffic or vehicle traffic passed your photography studio to help build exposure is most often governed by real estate prices (rents). That said, it isn’t essential for photography studios to be in high traffic areas. This can be off -set by your marketing activity and ability. This can be achieved by reading more. Read that last sentence again…

Lets talk about photography studio equipment

Think carefully if you want a home based photography business or rent premises elsewhere. There is sometimes a credibility factor with home based photographers finding it difficult to get work. However, there are others who knew that might be an issue and became a success despite it. Usually because they planned their studio with that very hurdle that in mind.

A promising photography studio is always going to need a few essentials to get the ball rolling. One of those is studio lighting. You knew I was goind to say that first didn’t you? A few strobe lights will normally get you out of trouble in the initial stages. Some people jump right in and purchase diffusers, reflectors and a dozen lights at the outset. If your budget doesn’t allow for that expenditure, then don’t do it.

Top shelf strobes can cost a pretty penny but you can get away with 300 wps (watts per second) and you can pick them up from many of the auction sites on the net. If you haven’t already purchased a reflector, stands, strobes and umbrellas, you could be up for about £1,500 at the time of writing this.

Backdrops are essential. Again the auctions sites like eBay provide some good opportunities to buy Muslin backdrops. Be careful in the bidding process and you should be OK. Ensure you understand these few things before buying your backdrop -

  • What size backdrop is needed? (that’s important)
  • You’ll need a variety of colours – what are they? (ie. neutral grey, a brown, green and blue are recommended)
  • What about a backdrop hanger? (not always essential because you can improvise here)
  • Consider the space available too for setting up when you make the above decisions.

You can expect to spend between £50 to £200 for a quality muslin backdrop from auction sites. Try and get a large one. Don’t give up looking because they turn up when you least expect it.


Establishing Your Photography Studio

For the minute let’s say you have everything above but you need to put it all in place and get ready for fun and business. If you are going to set up in your house, then preferably a larger room is going to be the best choice for a decent photography studio.

Three things -

  •  ceiling space
  •  enough room for a stage
  •  enough room to set up your lights comfortably without burning the skin off your models

You should keep in mind that you will have larger groups from time to time. Consider that point when making the final decision on the size of your studio. Babies, pets, and small families rarely present a problem.

If you’ve chosen well, you’ll be able to leave your stage set-up all the time. That’s a bigger bonus than you might think. There’s nothing worse than disassembling and reassembling your studio stage for daily shoots. If you leave it up, most likely you’ll have enough room to leave your lighting, soft box and umbrella up as well. Great! Here are one or two pointers worth seeing -

Some smaller handy things to have in your studio..

Don’t laugh when you read these…they work!

  1. Samples of canvass. If you have the wall space make sure there are few canvasses there to indicate what results can be achieved. It encourages people to ask questions and buy transfers to canvas. Do this with several samples so there will be a consideration to buy more than one.
  2. Scatter selected enlargements on the walls. People will have the same attitude as they do with canvass we discussed above. If they can see evidence of how good enlargements can look, guess what? Your work becomes easier and you don’t have to do very much up selling of your work.
  3. Photography software for print manipulation. You may be thinking that was unnecesseary to mention, but you’d be surprised how many photographers are still not using some kind of manipulation software to even just amend sizes quickly and easily.
  4. Piped music. In other words background music. What? …you say! I read somewhere once that this eases tension. I was doubtful so I tried it. I now use it all the time. It does seem to make people relax as long as you’re not playing AC DC or some other head-banging music, it will provide a slight though marked improvement. (I like AC DC by the way). Set up iTunes in the background if you have to.
  5. Refreshments. People see this as a service and a considerate preparation by you. Make sure you have a few sodas/soft drinks and cool-ones in the fridge for those exhausting shoots and when you think a small celebration is in order.

We do offer Photography Business franchise for Wedding & Portrait Photography and a new franchise in our Photo Booth Services.


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