How to open a photo studio – step-by-step instructions with calculations

The idea of ​​having a business, developing it and earning money at the same time, is close to many!
Do you want to participate in the business, control and manage the process? Or, on the contrary, do you want to invest money and receive passive income? In both cases, when choosing from a list of business ideas, it is worth taking a closer look at a business such as a photography studio .

Despite the fact that everyone has a camera at hand, the demand for high-quality photos, with the right light, composition, and processing is very high. Professional photography in our time is in demand, this service is in demand.

Family celebrations, seasonal and themed holidays, website design, Instagram management, filling online stores, advertising and much more, this is all the sphere of consumption of services and products provided by photo studios.

About Important

Before you open a photo studio, you should correctly and clearly understand the tasks, set priorities. This is a way to avoid stupid mistakes and unnecessary expenses in the future. Having a business plan will help analyze the project, identify weaknesses and shortcomings. Next, let’s talk about the important and main points. Which you need to think about and take into account when preparing for the opening of a photo studio. Consider all the pros and cons, risks, profitability and try to understand whether the game is worth the candle .

Analysis of demand and competitors

Here you can start small. With the help of some application, for example 2GIS, in your city, choose photo salons, photo studios, photo workshops and, firstly, see the location of competitors on the map, and secondly, study the list of services they offer.

How will this help?

  1. Determine geographically with a place for renting or buying premises for a photo studio;
  2. Understand the list of services already provided. Remember! You should have everything that others offer plus what they don’t have. This way you can attract and retain a customer.

Customer-oriented photography studio

It is necessary to take into account your audience , the people for whom the business is being created. Experts analyzed the market for photo services and came to the conclusion that the services of a photo studio are most often used by girls under 35 years old, these are statistics.

Thus, the main audience is girls, students, young mothers, young families with children. This moment can be useful when choosing the location of the premises, developing a design, concept, marketing planning.

Concept development

Modern studios are not at all like the photo salons that existed before. Developing an enterprise concept is an interesting, exciting and creative stage. Here it is already necessary to proceed from how much money it is possible to invest . Let’s look at two main concepts:

Option 1. Minimum cost

Most often, people associated with the photo business — photographers, designers — think about how to open a photo studio. They love what they do but want to try something new.

photo studio

If a professional photographer decides to open a studio in order to work on his own. Doesn’t have a big budget. In this case, the option of a mini-photo studio is suitable. This will be a small room. The main working area is from 4.5×5 meters. Additional zones:

  • warehouse for working equipment and inventory;
  • area for receiving clients and coffee breaks.

Here it will be possible to place the main equipment and inventory. Decorate the working area using several changing backgrounds, including textured ones (imitation of plaster, rust, brickwork).

It is better to paint the room in matt black and work with lighting equipment. Daylight and ceiling height will not be critical here. Such a working area is well suited for portrait, waist-length shooting, it will solve most of the tasks required by the client.

In addition to the main task – professional photography, in such a room you can implement the following business tasks:

  • rental space for a photo session
  • rental for trainings and courses (yoga class, drawing, meeting with a psychologist)
  • photo for documents and photo printing (always a popular direction, the equipment does not take up much space)

Option 2. Interior studio

It is the interior photo studio that experts call the most promising, competitive and dynamically developing direction in the field of photo business. It suits you if you have a fairly large budget , or are going to attract an investor.

You will need a spacious room, with several photo zones decorated in different styles. Here you can implement the following business tasks:

  • rental of premises for a thematic photo shoot in the studio;
  • rental of equipment, interior items or inventory for outdoor photo shoots;
  • rental of premises for events;
  • conducting master classes in photography and photo processing;
  • large format printing of portraits and photographs.

Usually, immediately after the opening, while the studio is not yet very popular, the entrepreneur relies on renting out the premises. And then, gradually introduces other services from the list of the business plan and not only.

Creation of a design project for each photo zone

Having studied the photo studios of your competitors and the services they offer, you can conclude what exactly is missing on the market – this will be the “highlight”, this will attract customers to the new studio. You can draw ideas by studying the Internet, the locations of studios in neighboring regions.

classic photo studio

Typically, the following options for professional photography sites are in demand:

  • universal location – here the interior changes several times during the year. Depending on the season and thematic holidays;
  • romantic — family photography, portrait photography;
  • stylish locations – usually loft or modern;

At least 2 of these locations must be. These are variants of the basic, traditional design, for which there will always be demand.

Fresh ideas for photo zones

It is necessary to identify which locations are not offered by competitors. To implement something new, interesting, creative for the client. The client will come to the still unknown photo studio just for the exclusive , and then he will come back even for traditional shootings. These may be locations such as:

  • Cyclorama is a rigid structure, has a smooth transition and allows you to create an endless background of one color;
  • Aqua zone – may include a small pool, a beautiful round bath, a shower area with plants;
  • Zone imitating street space – street doors, walls.

Having decided on the list of styles for photo zones, you should make an appointment with the designer. It is not worth taking everything into your own hands at this stage. Here you need to trust a specialist who knows how, and with the help of what materials, techniques and techniques to realize ideas, how it will subsequently look in the photo.

Prepare for the meeting – outline ideas, make a selection of photos that you like and catch the most.

Finding a suitable room

The city center is definitely the best option. It is not always possible to find a room in the center suitable for an interior photo studio. The room should be bright, spacious, with high ceilings, large windows, in a satisfactory condition that does not require major alterations and major repairs.

photo studio room

Typically, photo shoots are planned by the client in advance, so if it was not possible to find a room in the center, it is necessary to attract the client to other areas of the city. If the trip is planned, easy to get to and there is convenient parking, then this will not alienate the client.Look for non-standard solutions!

Attract with fresh interior solutions, exclusive locations. Suitable premises can often be found in areas of the industrial zone.

Basic requirements for the premises

  • for an interior studio – high ceilings of 5-6 meters;
    big windows;
  • the condition of the premises does not require large investments in repairs;
  • the area of ​​​​the premises allows you to equip 4-6 locations for professional photography, a dressing room, a dressing room, a place for meeting clients and waiting,
  • shower room
  • convenient access roads;
  • accessibility by public transport;
  • availability of parking.


In order to register a company, you must choose one of two suitable options. It is most convenient to do this as an IP . This will require:

  • pay the cost of state duty;
  • pay for printing;
  • Select activity codes from the reference book OK 029-2014 (NACE rev. 2) – codes are recommended to be chosen with a margin, in case of expanding the scope of the IP. For photo business, codes 74.20 are required commercial activities in the field of photography; code 68.20.2 – management of own or leased property;
  • if the investor’s funds were raised, then he may want to become a co-founder. In this case, it will be necessary to form an LLC;
  • a fire safety certificate is required. If you are renting a space, check with the landlord for this document and make a copy for yourself. If the premises were acquired in ownership, then contact the Ministry of Emergency Situations to organize an inspection and draw up a fire safety report.

Purchase of equipment

If you are not a professional photographer and do not understand photo studio equipment, be sure to consult with several photographers on this topic and get their opinion. Be sure to read the recommendations on specialized forums and websites. And then buy something.

Here is an approximate list of professional equipment necessary for professional photography:

  • lighting equipment (soft box, octo box, strip box with honeycombs, hard sources
  • lights, parabolic umbrellas for reflection, reflectors, spot, holders, curtains, spots);
  • smoke car;
  • outbreaks;
  • fans;
  • accessories (geometric shapes, chairs, ladders, chests and much more);
  • technical equipment – computer, laptop, graphic editors.

Personnel search

Recruitment is a painstaking process. How to entrust your business to strangers? First you need to decide what kind of workers you need. An administrator is needed to work with a client, maintain a client base, and communicate . To maintain cleanliness and order, you will need a cleaner.

For photography, a professional photographer . Make-up artists, designers and stylists are usually invited as needed. There is no need to recruit them.

photo studio staff

It is important to remember that the photography business is about working with people. Before hiring – conduct interviews, read recommendations, set a trial period, control. Bad service means bad reputation.


Try to create a positive review of the studio. It is necessary that they talk about it, advise friends, tell acquaintances about you. Word of mouth works best. However, the ability to sell yourself and your services is very important. You should definitely study marketing literature and make efforts for active sales:

  • be active, participate in city events;
  • create a portfolio;
  • post information about yourself in social networks, on booklets;
  • attract customers with profitable promotions, play a certificate for
  • professional photography, give discounts and bonuses;
  • think about the client, about how to surprise him.

How much does it cost to open a photography studio

The cost of opening a photo studio from scratch depends on many factors, it will not be possible to calculate exactly. Cost is affected by:

  • premises (area, purchase or lease, amount of repair work);
  • cost of designer services;
  • the cost of finishing services;
  • cost of equipment;
  • interior cost;

Approximately, it looks like this:

For a studio in which the photographer works for himself , and where there are no staff, but only the necessary backgrounds, equipment and interior items, this is approximately 800 thousand rubles .

Interior studio will cost much more. A team of specialists (repair, design), purchase of equipment, furniture, appliances, interior elements. According to analysts, this is an amount of 2-3 million rubles.

Let’s calculate the approximate monthly expenses:

  • rent of premises – 50 thousand rubles;
  • staff salary (photographer, administrator, cleaner) – 90 thousand rubles. rub.;
  • promotion and advertising – 20 thousand rubles;
  • purchase of consumables – 10 thousand rubles;
  • other expenses (taxes, utilities, etc.) – 30 thousand rubles.

Total about 200 thousand rubles per month.

To have the exact amounts, you should calculate an individual business plan.


Let’s try to roughly calculate the profit of a photo studio per month. Let’s say:

  • average check – 7000 rubles;
  • workload – 4 hours a day (photographer workload 50%);
  • daily revenue of 28,000 rubles;
  • monthly income, taking into account 1 day off – 672,000 rubles;
  • profit 472,000 rubles (672,000 -200,000);

With such a mode of operation and such a workload, an interior studio, in which 3 million rubles have been invested, can be recouped in 7 months.

Possible problems and risks

Risks in the photography business include:

  • competition – the direction is very popular;
  • customer requirements are a consequence of high competition;
  • seasonality – in summer and autumn there is a decline in demand;
  • the risk of damage to equipment when renting out – sign an agreement;
  • obsolescence of equipment and interior – it happens quickly, already in 3 months the interior of the photolocation becomes familiar in the photographs and the client will want a new one.

How to minimize risks

  • increase the number of services provided;
  • bonus programs, discounts;
  • implementation of the IT component — alerts, mobile applications, website updates;
  • self-development of employees – learning new trends and new techniques is important for this industry;
  • development of a client base.

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