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Inspiration

3 Tips on Shared Studio Spaces | Interview with Jeff and Lori Part III

By Pye Jirsa on April 2nd 2015

3 Tips on Shared Studio Spaces

Are you a creative photographer who is sick of using your friend’s garage as a studio? Adversely, life might have granted you with so much ample studio space that you don’t utilize it all. In either case, Jeff and Lori are back with 3 tips on how a shared studio space can benefit both an owner and a renter.

3 Tips on Shared Studio Spaces Video

 

TIP #1: Find photographers with different specialties.

Whether you’re sharing a space or finding a space, you want to share it with photographers that specialize in different disciplines. In Jeff and Lori’s case, they share their space (The Shoot Space in North Carolina) with newborn and commercial photographers. This creates a non-competitive environment that actually boosts sales with every photographer referring to the others for different needs.

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This approach makes a lot of sense. If boudoir, wedding, and newborn photographers all share a space, then your clients will naturally be pulled into the next photographer at their next stage in life. First comes boudoir, then comes marriage, then comes newborn in the baby carriage! (I will not apologize for using that) You get the point. If you diversify the specialties in the shared space, you will also have shared clients for life.

TIP #2: Create a template for showcasing work

Many times when you share a studio space, you will also be sharing office space. More than likely, one of these shared office spaces will be the sales meeting room. This is where you showcase your work to your clients. This is where you make your income. It’s a very important room to everybody and because of that, synergy is important.

 

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Jeff and Lori suggest designating each wall with predetermined size and place for canvases. Also, the canvases themselves need to be a certain size for that spot. This way, instead of 100 nail holes in the room and complete anarchy, everyone uses the same spots with the same visually pleasing sizes. Creating a template for everyone to showcase their work streamlines the transition process in a shared space.

TIP #3 Set up your lobby for subliminal selling

Of course we’re not telling you to paint black and white spiral stripes in your lobby wall (At least not directly, finger snap*). Subliminal selling is however a very gentle way to sell an idea to your clients. Jeff and Lori designed their lobby to mirror an elegant living room.

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They anchor pictures to furniture and create a home-like environment showing how portraits would look like in a home setting. The large framed canvases that clients see above Jeff and Lori’s mantle draws huge sales just by being there. When clients see it, they imagine their own picture in it’s place. One of the biggest ways to sell upgrades and large prints is just to simply showcase it.

Bonus Tip: Set up your shared studio space for membership

If you do have your own studio and thinking of creating a shared space, Jeff and Lori suggest creating a membership tier system. Through this system, members could upgrade for premium perks such as more studio time or even their own office space. The Shoot Space has many options when it comes to membership and rates.

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Members also get access to $30,000 worth of Profoto equipment (everything is provided except the camera) which is a total steal when membership starts at $20 a month! Plus, as mentioned before, the studio comes fully furnished with backdrops, decor, and a dressing room. This is a very inexpensive way for photographers to utilize a professional studio and if you happen to own that studio, a great way to make money. For Jeff and Lori, this approach has completely paid for their own rent of the space, utilities and insurance costs.

Bonus Tip: Be mindful of your shared studio layout

When designing a shared studio space, keep in mind of the floor-plan. Don’t try to force your shared space to work if you just don’t have the room. Make sure that people are not having to walk through each others rooms to get to an office, the studio, or the bathroom! If the main studio room is the only route to get to the salesroom or offices, then it’s going to be very annoying having to wait for that maternity or boudoir shoot to finish. Think ahead for future problems and plan your space accordingly.

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Conclusion and Learn More

My friends, we have come at last to the end of this three-part interview series featuring Jeff and Lori of Indigo Silver Studio. If you skipped Part I (3 Tips For Weddings Photography Pricing Strategies) and Part II (3 Tips For Album Sales), please go back and watch them now! If you absolutely fell in love with them, you need to do a few things for them to love you back. First, check out their fantastic work at Indigo Silver Studio and also check out their shared studio space at the The Shoot Space.

If you want to learn more and see them in person, check out their workshops at this year’s Shutterfest.

Also if you want to learn more about weddings and want to take a trip out to the Bahamas, then be sure to check out the Ultimate Wedding Workshop in the Bahamas!

About

Founding Partner of Lin and Jirsa Photography and SLR Lounge.

Follow my updates on Facebook and my latest work on Instagram both under username @pyejirsa.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Maria Manjelo

    Good article. Ive been sharing a studio with another photographer for the past 8 years. We have setup ground rules we both stick too. We share a calendar to book our appointments, so we dont overbook. Works great, we have never had any problems.

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  2. Paddy McDougall

    Well thought article. Also it can be a lonely existence as a photographer, having like minded people helps with this and boosts creativity.

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  3. desmond chislom

    GREAT INFORMATION

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  4. Keri Malinowski

    I wish there was somewhere like what you have here. Any tips on google searches for such a place? For now I rent out conference rooms for preview meetings but would love something more personal feeling and where you can display large prints! Thank you again!

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    • Lori Unruh

      Hi Keri,

      If you can figure out what search terms to use, let me know! I’m completely stumped on how to SEO the website. Obviously, “photography studios” is going to bring the wrong kind of result…

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  5. Brandon Dewey

    great interview

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