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High Street Studio Space. Minimum requirements?

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Reason: question answered
Lucian
Lucian  4561 forum posts
27 Sep 2011 - 10:44 AM

I created a thread on here a while ago when i was looking at a property with the intention of turning it in to a studio. It turned out that the property was on the small side so i decided to wait a while until a property in a good area came up again. I have now got my eye on a property that is 5.45m wide by slightly over 7m long with removable partitioning that could take it to another 3 meters longer in length, the ceilings i think are about 2.7m high and i am of the understanding that many photographers prefer a higher ceiling.
Does anyone think that this property is big enough to take family photos.
There are lots of empty retail units availabe but trying to find one the ideal size is difficult.

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27 Sep 2011 - 10:44 AM

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mikehit
mikehit  56692 forum posts United Kingdom11 Constructive Critique Points
27 Sep 2011 - 11:25 AM

Are you actually going to listen to people's advice this time? Tongue

scottishphototours

This is a pefect size, but as the high street is now dead (note dead, not dying), you'd be a brave man to even consider taking it on as a going concern in the current climate.

We are offering everything in the studio - families, kids, boudoir, graduations, christenings and gift vouchers for any of the above and the market has been dead for the last 4 months. We even ran an ad campaign in the local paper and got very little response. Don't think its just us, have spoken to others in the same boat...

Anyone else running a studio want to comment????

answersonapostcard
answersonapostcard Site Moderator 1012609 forum postsanswersonapostcard vcard United Kingdom15 Constructive Critique Points
27 Sep 2011 - 1:22 PM

Not running a studio but you dont have to look far to see the struggle for most businesses. I was told recently by an accountant that the only businesses doing relatively well are hairdressers (although not as much as a year ago) teeth whitening and spray tanning!

Perhaps diversifying is the answer Grin

digicammad
digicammad  1121988 forum posts United Kingdom37 Constructive Critique Points
27 Sep 2011 - 1:33 PM

Sandwich shops seem to do well

LensYews
LensYews  51309 forum posts United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
27 Sep 2011 - 1:34 PM


Quote: Not running a studio but you don't have to look far to see the struggle for most businesses. I was told recently by an accountant that the only businesses doing relatively well are hairdressers (although not as much as a year ago) teeth whitening and spray tanning!

Perhaps diversifying is the answer Grin

It's not just you SPT, Kitchenhams in Bournemouth has found the same. But there are others who are investing big time: Hanger Seven

But, I can see there could be a demand for having the hair, teeth and tan sorted and getting a portrait thrown in for free.

thewilliam
27 Sep 2011 - 1:39 PM

Now is not a good time to open a photographic studio, with the recession just about to start and the drift towards out-of-town shopping gathering momentum.

A lot of good, experienced photographers are struggling and many of the less able are seeing their businesses fail.

With a High Street presence, the studio will have to be staffed during the commonly accepted shopping hours. This cost will make the rent and UBR seem trivial.

There is one much easier method. Go to your bank and draw out the money that's needed to get your studio started, borrowing if you need to. Then take the cash to a convenient riverbank and throw it into the water. This way, you won't need to worry and you won't have any sleepless nights. The result will be exactly the same as opening the studio but you'll get there a lot sooner!

Lucian
Lucian  4561 forum posts
27 Sep 2011 - 1:45 PM

My town has a population of 22000 people and a studio opened up last year and is still open. They do portraits only as some people who have booked me as their wedding photographer have enquired with this studio first to be told that they dont do weddings so they must be doing ok when they can turn work away. I do understand that consumer spending is down and many people will refrain from certain things due to the economic climate.
The retail unit i have my eye on now is in a town with a population of 11000 people with a catchment population of around 15,000.
The unit has been vacant for some time. A 18 month short lease is now available at a discounted rate and without the fees of a lawyer to draw up a contract. I am sort of thinging that even if i was able to get enough portraits to just cover the cost of the studio cost it would make my wedding photography business better as ideally i would like to shoot about 50 weddings per year and i think that is acheivable.
I am just concerned regarding space restrictions in the studio as i need to separate my subject from the background so

1. I dont know if the roof would come in to the frame if my subject was about 2 metres from the background.
2. I am unsure if the room is wide enough as i would need to have my background lights out to the side and would not want them in the frame and as there would not be any ceiling light i would need to overexpose the middle of the background which would mean the light at the sides of the background would be very harsh because the power would be up to expose the centre and i would worry that the light would bounce back on to the subject.
3. I dont know how wide the background would be to be able to take a full length photo of say 5 people 2 metres away from the background, If anyone could let me know that would be good.

Andy_Cundell
27 Sep 2011 - 2:47 PM

You can always do what some studio's do to boost buisness:

Run a competion to win a family portrait photo, name out the hat.

Everyone who enters wins because everyone's name is pulled out the hat.

Everyone can have 1 free photo/ print for winning after a sitting.

Most people will actually pay for the rest of the images!

What, you havn't fallen for that one before? I bloody did, well my wife did. We ended up paying a few hundred quid for extra copies and photo's, but in afterthought, we did want them anyway!

Andy

Last Modified By Andy_Cundell at 27 Sep 2011 - 2:47 PM
mikehit
mikehit  56692 forum posts United Kingdom11 Constructive Critique Points
27 Sep 2011 - 3:37 PM


Quote: I am sort of thinging that even if i was able to get enough portraits to just cover the cost of the studio cost it would make my wedding photography business better as ideally i would like to shoot about 50 weddings per year and i think that is acheivable.

What are your motives for portaiture? Will it be a standalone business or (as it sounds to me) you want to have portaiture to boost your wedding sales by offering a 'one stop shop? If the latter is correct then entering an 18-month contract hoping to boost wedding business seems one heck of a commitment considering it may well be empty a significant amount of time. How much is it to hire studio space? Even if you only break even then it would succeed in your aim of boosting your wedding business.


Quote: My town has a population of 22000 people and a studio opened up last year and is still open. They do portraits only as some people who have booked me as their wedding photographer have enquired with this studio first to be told that they dont do weddings so they must be doing ok when they can turn work away.

Be careful how you extrapolate. It depends on their business model - do they have enough people for one person to be out doing a wedding while someone else is doing the studio work? Is it staffed only by family or close colleagues? In those situations people will work for less money than they would expect when salaried; but if they had to employ someone else to do the wedding stuff, that person would expect a full wage and so make it non-viable. Does most portrait work take place at weekends which would interfere with wedding work? So do not assume automatically that hiring a studio will reap rewards you are looking for.




Quote: A 18 month short lease is now available at a discounted rate and without the fees of a lawyer to draw up a contract.

I presume you mean they have a template contract already prepared and ready? I am not saying you have to hire a lawyer but I think you should be careful how you proceed. Do you know the issues surrounding business premises because it can be far more complicated than renting a house.



Good luck with whatever you choose to do.

Lucian
Lucian  4561 forum posts
27 Sep 2011 - 3:44 PM

I told the letting agent i was not prepared to pay legal fees so they said they would provide an in house contract to suit both parties.

I shoot around 30 weddings per year but am fed up travelling the lengh and breadth of the country to see potential clients. I would be better sitting in a studio with a window that advertises me so people know exactly what i do so they come to me.

I would open the studio from around 10.30am until 4pm monday to thursday. close fridays for weddings open for a couple of hours on a saturday before weddings and open on sunday mornings to do portrait shoots that are booked.

digicammad
digicammad  1121988 forum posts United Kingdom37 Constructive Critique Points
27 Sep 2011 - 4:02 PM


Quote: open for a couple of hours on a saturday before weddings

Given that most people work Monday to Friday you will be missing a lot of 'pop-in' clients by not opening all day Saturday. You should also consider opening outside core hours Monday to Friday, so that people can come and see you once they have finished work.

If you want to open this studio at possibly the worst time for the past 80 years you need to be prepared to put in lots of hours to make it work. You also need to spend lots of time thinking of ways to promote it without spending megabucks on useless advertising.

Ian

scottishphototours

In our experience, people don't come out looking for a portrait from mon to thurs, they do it fri and sat and want sittings on either sat or sun.

People wanting weddings won't travel to you, they expect you to go to them. Having a studio wont make them book you for weddings and william makes a good point saying that you will need someone to keep the studio open when you're at a wedding.

Remember too that you need insurance, heating, rates etc to be added to the cost of your rent.

Yes, the sizes you quote are ok for doing the group sizes you mention.

stix
stix e2 Member 9924 forum postsstix vcard United Kingdom87 Constructive Critique Points
27 Sep 2011 - 4:34 PM


Quote: High Street Studio Space. Minimum requirements?

Surely this question is so basic, I cant believe you are going into this business with such limited knowledge. If you are setting yourself up in business as a studio photographer surely you should have spent some time in a studio, and know exactly what you want. It all sounds a little unprofessional. Good luck if you are jumping in the deep end.

mikehit
mikehit  56692 forum posts United Kingdom11 Constructive Critique Points
27 Sep 2011 - 5:23 PM

Lucian, as you said at the start, you have asked this question before so out of interest I went back to that earlier thread and your question is answered there.

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