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Pros and Cons of Owning a Photography Studio

Written by Backdrop Express Photography Team on . Posted in Photographer Tips, Studio Photography

group of 4 girls posing on couch in photo studio

So you love the world of professional photography and you have dreams of owning your own photo studio… who can blame you? There are so many things to love about studio photography, and owning your own studio could allow you to take your work to a whole new level.

Having your own business means you get to be your own boss, have creative control and orchestrate every shoot in ways that feel best to you. You get to express your style and put your stamp of approval on every print. Yes, there’s a certain romanticism about owning your own photo studio, but before you dive in head first, it’s wise to consider both the pros and cons of having your own studio photography business!

The Pros

1)¬†You’ll have total creative control over everything from start to finish, from how the studio is decorated to what types of photography you will offer.

2) There will always be a market for certain types of photography like senior portraits, family portraits and weddings.

3) Having a physical photo studio storefront in a busy neighborhood can bring lots of additional customers via foot traffic.

4) You’ll have a place to showcase your work on an ongoing basis.

5) The atmosphere you create in your studio can help to influence clients to do business with you.

6) You’ll get to rub shoulders with other business owners in the neighborhood and possibly do cross-promotions.

7) You’ll have a public space in which to host events that could bring more of the community and more business to you.

8) When you’re not doing client work, you’ll have the space, equipment and resources with which to experiment creatively and expand your photographic skills and repertoire.

photographer shooting model in studio

The Cons

1) We are currently in a challenging economy. Your photography business could be subject to the ebbs and flows of economic conditions.

2) Studio owners have monthly overhead expenses like rent/mortgage, utilities, insurance, employees, etc.

3) You’ll have up front expenses like decorating, remodeling and stocking your studio with the necessary studio equipment such as photo backdrops, lighting equipment, etc.

4) If you lease a space, you might be bound by a time commitment like 3, 5 or even 10 years.

5) Maintenance issues and expenses could arise in your studio space at any time.

6) If you hire staff, they will have to be trained, managed and, of course, paid on time.

7) Having your own studio is a lot of work, especially at first when you are trying to make a name for yourself.

8) Marketing for your business will be an ongoing concern.

girl posing in photo studio

While there are definitely a number of risks in starting your own professional photography business, there are also a great many potential rewards. You shouldn’t let the allure and glamorous side of starting a photo studio be the only reason you get into it, but don’t get too mired in the pragmatic, left-brained approach, either. Opening a photo studio should be fun! It should be a labor of love that you couldn’t imagine not trying.

Studio photography can allow you to show your creative side while sharing your gifts with the community. Your own studio will allow you to create the vibe and atmosphere that best fits your personality while providing a valuable service to people seeking professional photographs. One possible way to offset some of the risk of opening your own photo studio is to start it in your existing space, perhaps by converting the basement, attic or garage of your home.

If photography is something you would do even if you weren’t getting paid for it, this is a goodsign that it is truly a labor of love for you. The number one quality of successful entrepreneurs is passion, so be sure that photography is a true passion for you. Another crucial element for success is a love of working with people. Ultimately, it is a sincere desire to serve your customers that will keep them coming back. Strive to blend the very best of your talent, passion and love of people along with a solid business plan, and you could have a recipe for success.

Do you own your own photography studio? What struggles did you face when you opened?

-Backdrop Express Photography Team

Interested in learning more about setting up a photography studio? Check out How to Set Up Your Own Photography Studio!

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Comments (1)

  • Guillermo


    My long time dream is to have my own studio. Thanks for the info!


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