Studio Rental Math

There are many fewer studios in metro Detroit than there were a few years ago, because there is less work. We still have a studio, but I’ve wrestled with the idea of not having a studio. In other areas, notably the East and West coasts, some photographers have studios, but it’s not uncommon for a photographer to rent a studio just for shoot days, and include it in their bill. I don’t know the reason, but in the midwest, or at least in Metro Detroit, the business model has always been, except for car photography, studio rental is included in the fee. This makes it a little more difficult, but not impossible.

The overhead for our studio is about $32,000 a year. We rent our studio for $650.00 / day. Unless you shoot in studio a lot, you may be better off renting, even if you can’t bill the entire rental fee. You only have that overhead when your shooting. In addition if you develop a relationship with a studio and you rent there often you could likely bargain them down a little.

Automotive studio photographyWorking in the studio is about 90% of what I do. That’s why I’ve chosen to have my own. We rent it out to help with the overhead. The day may come when it no longer makes sense, but it hasn’t come yet. How does it work for you?

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