When you start out in photography, one of the biggest decisions to make is whether you want to get your own studio space or if you will make do in hotels, client homes, or even your own. It's a big decision to make but there are definitely pros and cons to each. Here are a few tips to make the decision a little easier.
Having a Studio
Having a studio is great. You have a set address (hopefully close by to you) that clients can meet you time and time again. You can change up the decor however you'd like and you don't have to waste time lugging equipment and products from one location to the next. If the studio is big enough, you can always work on your editing or other business needs, throw events, and even have client meetings there. But the expense can turn some photographers away from that decision and sometimes you just can't find that dream studio space that you have in mind.
If a small space is all you can currently afford, then make sure that you utilize the space in the most efficient way. The worst thing is losing your creativity due to seeing the same sets over and over again! Make sure you can easily make changes to the sets, and get the most of the space.
Hotels are great because you can always switch up the location, and never get bored of where you are shooting! If your client has a specific place in mind, it takes the guess work out for you and you can schedule the session there. Some photographers include the hotel fees into their shoots, while others have the clients choose the space and handle the hotel fees. I personally like to offer my clients a worry free experience, and am happy to handle all that on my end.
It allows you to also set yourself up to do sessions that may be outside of your home town and even outside of the state. Traveling boudoir anyone? The options are endless! The downside is that for the most part you only have a general idea of what the hotel will look like, you don't know the exact decor. Some rooms may be hard to customize and move things around to your liking. The cost of booking hotel rooms can add up quickly too based on seasons, or other local events happening in your town, so it's best to plan ahead. You can even schedule a few shoots using that same room. Although all photographers love light, be aware that some hotel rooms will have small or limited windows in their rooms. This can be quite a challenge, but at times makes you think out of the box and get really creative with your shots!
A fun way to make any boudoir session 100 times more personal! Your clients personality will literally shine through in every photo. Traveling to and from each home might be tiring after a while, especially with moving all your equipment around. It may be hard to plan ahead in certain aspects of shoot since you may not have seen the space before. However I have shot in some STUNNING clients places that were such a dream....and some others that were less than ideal. But with something as ever changing as this, the not knowing is the positive and negative of this option!
In Home Studio
This is a great option in order to cut out a lot of business costs. Plus no traffic, ever! Having your studio in your home really does give you a lot of freedom. A lot of photographers start out with this option, especially when they are not full-time photographers yet.
Downsides to this option include everyone you work with knowing your home address. Your home will have to be spotless all the time in areas that clients may come across. If you have pets, it may be hard to keep spaces as clean as you would like and you would need to notify clients in case they have allergies or fears of certain animals ahead of time. Keeping your space versatile and interesting for yourself is another big thing to consider here!
You really can't go wrong with any of these options - I would know, I have done all of them! The decision is ultimately yours and whatever suits your lifestyle the best. You can get stunning client photos from any location!