When you’re looking to book a photography studio for a photoshoot, particularly in New York City, there are quite a few things to keep as a criteria list before you book. All the best photographers know that you can’t have a smooth, seamless photoshoot without first making sure that the New York photography studio they booked has everything they’re going to need during their shoot. There are so many factors to consider and every photography studio is not created equal, especially since there are so many spaces you can find at “affordable” prices that are just empty spaces being passed off as a photography studio. Just because someone has square footage at their disposal and listed it on Peerspace, Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist or somewhere else online as a photography studio space doesn’t mean it is the ideal space for your project. Choosing a bad location without the things you will actually need to have a successful shoot could end up costing you time, money, frustration and even your reputation as a professional.
The Groundwork: Research the Facility Thoroughly
Once you’ve started shopping around and identifying some studios that look good to you, make sure you take the time to read all the information available on it. Scope out the website and read all the content they have on their pages, especially all the information on the booking information and what they offer.
Find out if you can take a tour through the space before booking (being able to do this would obviously be ideal.) Doing walkthroughs will help you understand where and how many outlets you have available, if you will need extension cords, where you’ll have your subjects stand or sit, what light settings to set your camera to, what time of day will be best to shoot and a great many other bits of necessary information prior to your shoot day so that the day of, you’re not spending valuable time just then trying to figure those things out.
Make sure you also take a good look at their reviews online. What are other photography professionals saying? Are there more complaints than positive comments? What are the complaints and is the studio taking time to answer the reviews? You’ll learn a lot reading about others who have spent their money there.
Asking the Right Questions
It’s important to have a checklist and ask the right questions when shopping around for a viable photography studio option, especially in such a big city like New York where everyone is hustling and trying to pass off some random space as a professional photography studio. Here are some of the important questions to keep in mind when looking around at studios.
What Does the Studio Space Have to Offer?
Some studios are literally just square footage that happens to have walls and air conditioning and heat. Others come fully equipped with lighting gear, strobes, reflectors, diffusers and the whole nine. Figure out what you need - are you just showing up with a camera and in need of all the other equipment? Or are you coming fully stocked, with an entire team, and only in need of outlets? Is there a changing room, a cyclorama ,, heigh ceilings fans, etc? Determining what your checklist is for your photoshoot will help you decide which studios can work and which photography studios are no-go’s.
What Does the Space Look and Feel Like?
Part of what the studio has to offer is the layout and the look and feel of the space. Does it have urban looking brick walls, or a more steely industrial feel or is it complete white box and pure.? Does the studio have access to natural light and if so, does it also offer blackout curtains so that you can control the amount of light filtering in and maybe even use the sheer curtains as added light diffusers? Not knowing these types of things ahead of time could really end up having you in a bind and tripping you up if you didn’t think of them before and if the present problems for your shots in the moment, after your clock has already started running.
Does the Studio Offer a Variety of Shooting Spaces?
Depending on what you have going on in your photoshoot, you may need a variety of looks and spaces to play with or to set up different scenes. In this case, you wouldn’t want to get stuck booking time at a one-look studio with no extra rooms or lofts or balcony spaces that you might be looking for. New York photography Daylight Studios, a fully equipped rental studio in Manhattan, NY for photo & video shoots, castings, makeup workshops, fashion shows, and seminars, offers a variety of motion and photography studio spaces including indoor photography studio lofts in New York as well as outdoor photography spaces with the beautiful urban backdrop of NYC. Also, take into account how much space you’ll need in your shoot. Are you doing all closeups or are you planning on shooting wide shots as well, showing off the environment behind and around the subjects? Daylight Studios is an example of a photography studio in the Hudson Yards neighborhood of Manhattan that has plenty of open shooting space.
Is the Studio Centrally Located?
Where a studio is located is very important. Firstly, is it in a safe neighborhood? This is especially important if crew or talent are showing up in their own cars or modes of transportation and parking on premises; you’ll want to know everyone’s cars are secure and that the photo shoot itself is taking place in a safe area. Also, is the studio centrally located? Your shoot could require some outdoor scenes and backdrops and if you’re in a studio that has no accessibility to other, diverse settings around it, you could end up stuck with not enough diversity in your shots. Also, keep in mind that maybe your talent or crew will want/need to get to surrounding places quickly - whether it’s for a coffee run or an emergency battery run; if you’re steps away from stores and resources, the downtime will be minimized during your shoot.
Keep some of these questions as part of your checklist and photography studio booking guide before you make a decision.