Breaking into the photography business presents a set of complicated questions. Which camera setup is the right one for you? How much should you spend on lighting, lenses, and accessories when you’re starting out? What about marketing? Then there are other debates to settle, like Lightroom vs Photoshop, and NAS server vs cloud-based hosting.
Today, we’ll look at the pros and cons of a home-based photography studio. There are some advantages to working out of the home, but do they exceed the disadvantages and hangups? Read on to find out.
An in-home studio offers several distinct advantages.
- Expenses and Overhead
The first major advantage is that the cost of a home studio is significantly less than renting one. You have to pay for supplies, and essential equipment, but no monthly rent requirements beyond what you already pay for your living space. You also don’t need to commute or find parking, which is a nice added bonus.
Home studios are very attractive to startup photographers for this reason.
- Creative Control
When you work for a company, you have to do things their way. You may not like a certain aspect of the studio or may find yourself working around certain design decisions they’ve made in preparing your workspace. At home, you can build everything from the ground up around your needs. That creative control allows you more operational freedom and may make it easier for you to establish your own workflow.
Beware that you don’t dive headfirst into a design plan that won’t scale with your needs. As your designing your office, research the technology that will keep your studio afloat for years to come and make smart decisions about where to spend your money.
- Schedule Your Work
Your own studio implies ownership of your business. Most clients won’t mind meeting on your schedule, and you can work around the ones who do. The home is an intimate setting as well, so some photoshoots may benefit from that feeling of comfort.
A home studio isn’t without certain drawbacks, so carefully consider what’s best for your circumstances.
- Shared Space Issues
When you move in with another roommate or share space with a spouse, their life tends to bleed into yours. Some small issues, like shared bathrooms or shared living spaces, could become complicated hurdles for a home-based photographer. Ideally, you will have your own room with at least 20 square feet of space to work in at a minimum. Room enough for a desk, a small shooting space and a meeting area to consult with a few clients. Don’t forget the door either.
Hopefully, your space is larger than that, but those requirements are a minimum for a reasonable expectation of privacy.
- Storage and Clutter
Photography studios seem to accumulate stuff very quickly. You can expect spare light bulbs, fabrics, invoices, pens, notebooks, memory cards, camera equipment, and other gadgetry to quickly fill your space. That’s before taking into account any computer equipment you may have installed.
That 20 square feet of space will look a lot like a broom closet before too long and without some kind of storage system.
- Unexpected Challenges
No one really thinks that low ceilings or thin walls will make that much of a difference until these things matter. Small frustrations you didn’t anticipate will set in, and you usually can’t do much about them. Especially if this is a new business for you. If you didn’t anticipate your living space would become a studio, the transition can be rocky.