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What do you look for in a studio?

jamiejamie Member
edited June 2014 in home
Being in Utah, the winters get rather cold and the options for on location photography get rather limited. I'm starting to look for studio space to get an idea of what is out there. I have a few general requirements, but was hoping to get some feedback.

My basic requriements are:
~1000 Sq feet of space - open floor plan.
High celings.
Preferably no windows.

What else should I look for? What did you look for with your studio?


  • Let me suggest one 'must'. You must have two rooms at least. One is your studio, which some call a camera room. The other is your office. Don't try to do both in the same space. I speak from experience. And make sure your space is large enough, get as much as you can afford. If you can, have a dressing room and nice private bathroom. But the must is the two rooms. Don't worry about windows, I just had a carpenter build things to block the light that I can easily take in and out.
  • jamiejamie Member
    I was hoping to find a place that had an office as well as the studio, but that wasn't really an absolute requirement. Why do you think it is so necessary?

    I like the idea of having a dressing room. I hadn't thought about that before, but it totally makes sense.

    Thanks for your reply, I really appreciate it!
  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    edited July 2014
    I work from home.
    Part of the large living room (with TV and couch and my wife's work desk), is my home office.

    I have two computers, two Drobos and a bunch of other hard drives and computer paraphernalia.
    This is where I keep my cameras and lenses and equipment I need on hand.
    This is where I spend most of my time.

    Then I have my studio space. 1000 square feet.
    I am there 1 - 3 times a week.
    I meet clients there and I shoot there.

    It's a large boxy space.
    There's no dressing room, but I do have a room divider where someone can quickly change with some measure of privacy.
    There's no running water, and there's no bathroom.
    There's a communal toilet area / kitchen around the corner on the same floor.

    So that's what I have now.

    Here are photos:

    The ideal would be a larger space (about twice the size?) where there is a separate store room / and separate office area. And a toilet and hand basin. And a dressing area with a large mirror.
    There should also ideally be a corner with more chairs and sofas.

    Depending on what you want to shoot, ground floor access might be very useful.

    This leads me to another question - what is it that you want to photograph or use the studio space for?

    For example - a friend of mine specializes in food photography, and she has a beautiful kitchen built as part of her studio space. It looks fantastic ... and it is something *I* can't do in my space. She is that specifically set up for that niche in commercial photography.

  • Jamie, I think the separate office is necessary for two reasons. One, so that the studio space is just clean studio space and not cluttered with a computer, paperwork, camera equipment, chargers, coffee mug, gadgets, backpack, desk, sweater, stickies...... Mixing the two don't work, I don't think. So I work a lot from home but I do not have a good space at home so neither location really works. I have a monitor in both locations and schlep my laptop back and forth. Also I haven't got AC at home so working there in summer is out of the question. The second reason is so that everything is under one roof and you're not working out of two locations, although sounds like that works for Neil. If you have an adequate home office space you're probably better off there. You'll still need a location to meet clients and show them photos so I'd carve out a space within the studio as Neil does or keep your in-studio office really neat and clean. Or have a third room.
  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    I like working from home. My cats are here.
  • I get to bring my dog to my studio, I made sure of that before signing lease. He does stay home when clients are there.
  • Hi neil , with your studio hire does that include all the equiptment to use,, i have managed to get hold of floor space 9 metres by 30 metres. A massive space , ceiling is from floor 12 ft. Ive have got this for £150 a month but i have a full time job as well so i will allocate time twice a week to get there . So in the mean time iwas considering sub hiring this out but not sure wether to include all equiptment or not .. Jamie. Good thread.
  • Sorry neil. I just read your link. Questioned answered.
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