How to open your own photo studio
Photography has become a familiar part of life. Despite the abundance of smartphones and cameras, professional photography does not lose its relevance. To open a photo studio, you need to have organizational skills. A business requires little investment and pays off well.
List of services for clients and photographers
There are two options for the work of a photo studio: renting the premises to photographers or providing a full range of services. The first option is the least expensive. It is enough to find a suitable room, develop and implement a design project. A full range of services also includes photography, make-up, stylist, and image processing.
Basic photography studio services include:
- individual and family photography;
- creation of booklets, catalogs with goods, postcards, advertising posters;
- development of a professional portfolio.
Additionally, the photo studio offers the following services:
- conducting master classes;
- image processing, album printing;
- make-up and stylist services;
- outdoor shooting for holidays, weddings, presentations;
- decoration of premises, shooting of events.
The photo studio provides a recreation area for staff. Additionally, a playroom may be required, where babysitters will look after the children. If you plan to work with face painting or body art, then you need a shower cabin to wash off the makeup.
Step-by-step instructions for opening a photo studio
How to open your photo studio from scratch, detailed instructions will help. To achieve success and open a business, each stage is performed with high quality.
We create our own brand: name, image, promotion
For a photo studio, a name is chosen that is easy to remember and reflects its concept. It should intrigue or carry positive emotions. Most modern photo studios have English-language names: Wonderland, FamilyArt, LuxFoto. Phrases in Russian are well perceived: LoftStudio, Van Gogh.
Various methods are used to promote business: advertising on the Internet, on television, radio, distribution of business cards and leaflets. An album with examples of works is necessarily formed. Photographers should visit mass events and masterclasses more often.
We draw up a business plan
The business plan of the photo studio allows you to estimate the number of upcoming costs. The document contains the following sections:
- The name of the photo studio.
- Type of ownership.
- Description of the business, its target audience.
- Room decoration, purchase of equipment.
- Search for personnel.
- Marketing policy, customer acquisition.
The business plan is for 2 years. Be sure to indicate the number of expenses at the start and as the business develops. The document provides a rationale for the activity, assesses the risks and prospects.
We register a business
Any business requires registration, and a photography studio is no exception. They choose one of two forms of ownership: LLC or individual entrepreneur. An individual entrepreneur with a simplified registration procedure is suitable for a photo studio. An individual entrepreneur is not obliged to strictly report on finances, however, in case of debt, he risks personal property.
Ltd. is used to create a network of photo studios. There can be several founders. When registering, the authorized capital is contributed. LLC has the right to attract investors and enter into large contracts.
Business registration documents are sent to the tax office. After consideration of the application, a decision is made. The application indicates the OKEVD code: 74.20 – commercial activity in the field of photography. After registration, they order a seal and purchase a cash register.
By default, when registering a business, the general taxation system is automatically used. This is the most difficult regime, which is characterized by an increased burden on the entrepreneur. From a financial point of view, a patent or a simplified system is more beneficial. The amount of taxes is fixed or calculated on the amount of income.
We select a place and premises
A room for a photo studio is chosen in the central area. An additional plus is the presence of a nearby shopping complex, university, business center, or other places where people gather. It is not recommended to open a photo studio in industrial areas or on the outskirts. The sleeping area is also not the best option. Photography services should attract people throughout the city, so central areas are preferred.
A room for a photo studio must meet a number of conditions:
- ceiling height from 3 m;
- room length – 8 m;
- several large windows;
- minimum area – 60 sq. m, average area – 100 sq. m;
- connection to water and heat supply, electricity, sewerage, ventilation system;
- compliance with sanitary and fire safety standards.
The photo studio should have a convenient entrance and parking space. It is desirable to be close to public transport or metro stops. The original places for the photo studio are former production buildings with halls and wide staircases.
The necessary premises are rented or purchased. The first option is less expensive. On average, the rent is 50 thousand rubles.
We design halls and locations
The selected room is divided into zones. It is recommended to design at least three locations in different styles. They also provide a reception area for visitors, a staff room, and a bathroom. For finishing the floor, laminate or linoleum is used.
The most popular are the following topics of locations:
- Romantic. Allow you to carry out love-story photo sessions or with your family. The location is decorated in pastel colors, floral motifs are added. Unusual furnishing options are a swing, a hanging bed, a country-style room.
- Loft or modern. They are in demand among young people. The room is finished in dark colors. On the walls, they create an imitation of brickwork or plaster.
- Seasonal. The third location is changed depending on the season. In winter, New Year’s photo sessions are in demand, in summer they add bright colors to the interior. The most demanded decorations are for Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day, September 1.
In addition to the design, different details are selected for the locations. These are pillows, flower arches, bicycles, musical instruments, books, balloons, baskets, carved words “love”, “love”, “family”. You don’t have to buy expensive props. You can buy everything you need at sales and flea markets. Such things look unusual in the frame.
We buy equipment for a photo studio
It is impossible to open a photo studio without purchasing equipment. This expense item requires a lot of investment.
Minimum equipment for a photo studio:
- Digital camera and removable lenses. Quality equipment is offered by Nikon and Canon.
- Light sources or monoblocs. The photo studio requires 4 flashes of different powers. Popular manufacturers are Falcon, Godox, Manfrotto.
- Softboxes are available in different sizes.
- Photo umbrellas, stripboxes, octoboxes, reflectors.
- Color filters and radio synchronizers for flashes.
- A set of paper backgrounds and holders for them.
- Smoke generator.
- Additional accessories: batteries, memory cards, cables, fasteners.
- Printer for printing pictures.
- Laptop or computer.
They also buy furnishings: tables, chairs, shelves, sofas, air conditioning. Tables, chairs, mirrors, and screens are purchased for the dressing room. To process photographs, licensed versions of Photoshop, Studio Pro, etc. are purchased.
The relevance of this type of business
Before you start drawing up a business plan for a photo salon, you should analyze all the offers on the market. Most of the photo studios operate in megacities – Moscow, St. Petersburg, etc. In small cities, the number of such organizations is much smaller.
Professional photographers are in demand not only in the advertising business. Family and individual photo sessions are very popular. Often they are organized before holidays or in honor of important events – weddings, the birth of a child, anniversary.
A constant flow of orders is provided by subject shooting. Photos are published in magazines, catalogs, restaurant menus.
Analysis of the photography services market and competitors
The market of photo services in Russia is actively developing: new studios with different locations are opening. At the same time, the volume of sales of digital photographic equipment is constantly growing. Processing and printing technologies are available to all people. As a result, the need for professional photography is reduced.
The main mistakes of start-up entrepreneurs are saving on photographic equipment and personnel. As a result, the quality of services decreases, and the client base is not formed.
The target audience of the business is people aged 18-35, the income level is average and above. Most of the clients are families, including those with children. To attract customers, they analyze offers on the market. All information is available on the Internet. They study the cost of services, registration of locations from competitors, the cost of rent in different areas.
Clients are offered both standard and unusual options. To search for ideas, they look through the portfolios of large Russian and European photo centers.
The staff for the photo studio includes:
A designer is hired to develop the interior of the locations. The photographer is responsible for the shooting, his assistant – sets the light, gives advice. The reputation and profit earned by the studio depend on his work as a photographer. In a large salon, an administrator is hired, who accepts applications and regulates the work of the studio. An entrepreneur independently maintains accounting or hires a specialist for outsourcing.
Photo studio advertising
To attract customers, they conduct a marketing policy. The most convenient way to advertise photo studio services is via the Internet. Be sure to create your own website or page on social networks – VKontakte or Instagram. Photos of locations, examples of photo processing are posted. Selects the brightest and most beautiful pictures.
Contacts, prices, special offers are published on social networks. Famous photographers, bloggers or famous people are invited to promote the photo studio. The guest gets beautiful pictures, and the photo studio gets an advertisement.
Clients are attracted through promotions and special offers. On the Internet, draws of certificates for free photo shoots are held. Another option is discounts for regular customers, price reductions in the season between holidays.