What I’ve Learned Owning a Photography Studio for 3 Weeks

HYVE studios, the photography studio I co-own, has taught me a few things in the last 3 weeks it’s been open.

It’s 2017 now, and I’ve lived in Southern California for 4 years. It’s been such a struggle to find clients that I’ve had to take up creative 9-5 jobs. No offense if you happen to have a 9-5, of course.

Now I’m picking up more and more clients. Partially, that’s because I’m 26-years-old and seen as a responsible adult, rather than an irresponsible 22-year-old.

I think that saying I own a photography studio has a lot more to do with it though.

Owning a photography studio shows that I’m a serious professional, not someone who picked up a camera a few years back and thinks he can make a few extra bucks. It’s also taught me that all the marketing I put in to try and show my studio to other photographers so they’ll rent it out is reaching further than I expected. I haven’t tried marketing HYVE for photography services at all, and it’s only mentioned in one spot on the website, and yet I’ve received more inquiries through HYVE’s marketing for my own services than anything else recently!

HYVE is also offering a membership program to only 10 photographers, but for a recent photo shoot, the client mentioned something about wanting to sign up! I politely explained that it’s for photographers to rent the studio and a lower hourly rate and wouldn’t be able to get her a cheaper rate for her future shoots, especially since she was doing business with me (Studio Jay) and not HYVE, and I have different pricing as it is.

Owning the studio also shows me how much photographers need a place to work. It’s something I’ve always wanted as a portrait photographer ever since I left school and no longer had access to the studio there, but I was shocked as how great the need is and how few people are helping to fill that need.

On the other hand, I’ve also learned that I’m not the only photographer who likes to plan ahead by any means. I actually received a very worried email from someone trying to book 2 months out, because she thought the studio was already booked up. I had a 14-day cap set on booking into the future (a default setting I was unaware of in my system), so I corrected the system to allow for 60 day bookings and that was that. I was just shocked that someone tried to book that far out!

So those are my reflections of the first 3 weeks owning this studio. It’s been fun so far and I’m only certain that it’s going to be an experience of a lifetime!

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