I know it’s not easy to be a professional photographer, in as much as it’s fun and rewarding. I’m thus always exploring ways to help myself, my business, and my brand as professionally as possible. I always spare time and venture out to explore other studios to achieve this. Although as a photographer, I can do without a studio, it comes in handy when seeking services such as high-quality images, in-person meetings, and printed products, which can elevate my status and put me ahead of the pack.
To be sure that I find the right professional photography studio, I always consider the following factors.
I have never liked a lengthy and arduous commute in my daily routines. Suppose I’m conducting my chores with my supporting family or my significant other. In that case, the task is even more difficult. Therefore, when looking for a professional photo studio, I do some homework and research online to identify close and convenient studios for my operations.
This is crucial as I might have an ideal studio, but if it’s a three-hour drive away or takes me through a heavy traffic snarl-up, then it may not be worth the effort. As a professional photographer, I know that time is of the essence if I want to maximize my returns. I thus avoid long commutes.
Additionally, when selecting a studio, lighting setup and the amount of focus that can be brought on the object based on the background also need to be considered. For example, when doing portrait photography for someone, we need to concentrate on the object rather than the background. And, when shooting indoors, one has much more control over the lighting and background. That’s why we need to carefully plan the portrait lighting arrangements to complement the mood of the shoot, the model’s clothing, and the backdrops.
Branding is a critical aspect that I always consider as a way of taking myself and my business to the next level. Branding encompasses the studio’s location and how well I present my photographs and product line. If the place I choose the studio to be is in a congested area or along a route with heavy traffic, then I have to give it a pleasant and comfortable setting that will attract clients.
The thought of setting up a beautiful studio in a bad part of the city as a way of saving money will likely hurt my brand. This is because the target audience may not be comfortable visiting the studio. Conversely, if I put my business in a nice upscale part of town, then I’m likely to elevate its sense of sophistication, elegance, and style.
I would also want the space to be versatile, and by that I mean that it should provide me with some range. I want the place to have just enough of a base, in terms of design, where I can dress it up or down depending on the aesthetic I am going for. I often explore studio spaces to rent for a few weeks or months, so that I can keep switching up my projects and moving around. Staying in one place for too long can also negatively affect my brand and how I am perceived, so I want to derive inspiration for my photography from different places.
Other than studio location and design, branding also encompasses good marketing and promotional strategies. As a photographer, I can try using both, traditional and digital marketing strategies to target the local population near my studio. For instance, social media marketing and SEO techniques for business websites can help to generate online leads, whereas street marketing methods such as banners, flyers, and advertising die cut stickers could make city dwellers aware of your business. By using a mixed branding strategy, you can easily promote your small photo studio and grow your business.
One thing that I strive to avoid as much as possible when commuting to work is traffic. I’m also keen not to underestimate the power of exposure for my premises, and I, therefore, consider a place that has a beehive of activities consistently, even if it comes at an extra cost. As a window shopper, I know that it’s a practice as old as a business itself. I’m easily attracted to a beautiful window display of items such as antiques and crafts, sweets, clothes, and shoes. Similarly, I know that a stunning display of my professional photo studio will make people gravitate to it.
I have learned not to rely on my skills and reputation to believe in the theory that if ‘I build it, they will come.’ This is because if my studio is a bit out of the way, then people may not come regardless of how good I am. This concept may only apply later on after I have established myself as a big name. But as a starter, I pay attention to exposure as a rule in marketing and branding a business.
Also, having done market research, I spend my money wisely by avoiding worthless and short-sighted expenses. I will pay extra for adequate studio space as I expect good long-term gains.
When scouting for a photography studio, I go for a location that offers a flexible space. Firstly, the place should have enough room to comfortably accommodate my immediate business needs. With a spacious studio, I can shoot without straining, set up my computers and printers, and leave some room as a waiting space or relaxing lounge after I’m done with shoots or a place for family members to wait for me if they’re not involved in the studio operations. I often do flat lay photography and that requires a lot of space for the equipment that I use. This is another reason why flexibility is important!
Before committing, I always pay a visit to a few locations that I want to consider. If I’m told that a particular place has traffic or is always congested, then I spend a day there to confirm. As I do this, I also assess the people passing by to gauge if they’re the clientele that I’m targeting.