23 Feb Photography Studio Hire – 7 Questions To Ask
Whether you’re a relative beginner or a seasoned pro, photo studio hire has some big advantages over location work. A well equipped photography studio allows you to work in comfort with everything you need to hand. It’ll be easier to get on with the job, and not having any distractions means you can be productive and efficient all day long. Whether you’re shooting relaxed family portraits or a commercial project for a big client, there are some questions to ask before you book a studio…
How big is the photography studio?
For product photography, a tabletop setup with a couple of small lights may be enough. But for a furniture shoot you’ll want bigger lights, and lots of space. There may be a set build, so think saw benches, tools, and sheets of plywood. And you’ll need enough distance from subject to camera to avoid the need for wide angle lenses. If you want your portraits to be energetic and dynamic think about whether you’ll have space for people jumping around making shapes! Be clear about what you’re shooting, how you’re shooting it, and how much space you need for your setup.
What is the parking and access like?
So you arrive late because of traffic. Your new client is already at the studio, getting twitchy. And now you have to drive around the block looking for a place to park. Don’t be this photographer! Make sure you know where you and your clients can park. On site parking is a bonus, but if not available, make sure you know your options. If you have couriers delivering truck loads of kit, check the roads leading to and from the studio for height or width restrictions. Does the studio has drive in access? And what about loading and unloading bays? Ideally you’ll want direct access to the shooting space with a roller shutter door.
What facilities are available?
A good photography studio will provide free wi-fi, client chill out areas, toilets, showers, and catering arrangements, while more comprehensive servicing can include background papers, props, fabrics, and furniture. Some offer equipment hire, including cameras, lenses, tripods, and reflector/diffuser panels to bounce and soften light. Other essential kit includes include flash triggers, lighting units and modifiers. Wind machines can add dynamic energy to an otherwise static portrait, and can be fun too. So if you need these make sure the studio can help.
How long can I shoot for?
Be clear on the length of your shooting day. While a typical photography studio will operate a standard 9–5 day, many accommodate early starts or late finishes. So be upfront about your needs and know what you’re being charged for. Understand the hourly and daily rates, as it can be cheaper to hire a full day than say 8 hours.
Will there be any help on the day of my shoot?
Delivering a smooth and efficient shoot is a priority for any photographer. So ask if anyone is available to help load and unload your kit at the start and end of the day. If you need advice on lighting or other technical issues during your shoot, make this clear!
What is the security like and is the studio fully insured?
If you’re shooting for 2-3 days or more, it’ll be a real help to be able to leave your set up overnight, saving time the next morning and allowing you to maximize the productivity of your shoot. Check on what security arrangements are in place, and most importantly, what insurance cover the studio has in place. A pro photography studio may have cover for client goods and equipment while on site. If you have any specific requirements, say you’re shooting a rare and valuable classic car, let the studio know so they can advise their insurers.
What is included in the hire rate?
Even before you commit to hiring a photography studio, you’ll have submitted a quote to your client to get the gig. Producing an accurate quote means having a solid understanding of your costs, including hire costs. Lighting, equipment, assistants, catering, wifi… these can all be included in the daily hire rate or can all be chargeable extras. So be clear about what’s included in the daily rate, and you’ll avoid getting hit with an unexpected bill at the end of your shoot. Ask for a rate card, which will make it clear as to what’s included and what you’re going to be charged for. This way you can plan and budget your shoot correctly, and ensure you’re billing your client appropriately.
So remember, your shoot needs to deliver technical excellence and creative flair, but if you’re going to stay in business, it also needs to deliver financial profitability!
If you’re looking to book a studio now or in the future, we’d love to hear from you. Even better why not Book A Studio Viewing to see if our space is right for you?