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How to include studio fees in your photography packages

Whether you specialize in brand or product photography, or you take photos of newborns and puppies for a living, one thing’s for sure: you’re going to need to work from a photography studio 🤷

There was once a time where I avoided booking photography studios as a budding brand photographer - mostly due to the sheer thought (and fear) of the costs involved! But the truth is that renting a studio for your photoshoot doesn’t have to be scary, or a huge investment.

In fact, including a studio rental in your photoshoot sessions should feel like a no-brainer. Your clients likely won’t think twice about paying for a session with you that takes place in a pre-booked studio. Being a photographer and creative business owner, you have the ability to build those studio fees and bookings into your pricing, as a complimentary part of your service.

With that said, I’m here as a full-fledged brand photographer and studio owner to share some thoughts on why you should offer studio sessions as a photographer, as well as some pricing tips to help you make your studio sessions as profitable as possible!

5 Reasons Why You Should Offer Studio Sessions

1. Studios offer consistency in your portfolio, and for your clients’ expectations.

A studio offers a controlled environment - meaning that everyone knows what to expect when booking a shoot that takes place in a studio! Studios offer adequate space, lighting, places to change, a bathroom, parking and air conditioning or heat. Weather doesn’t have to be such a big concern, which is a huge money and time saver when running a photography business.

If you don’t choose to shoot from a studio and instead are on location, a lot of unexpected issues can arise: lack of parking, people in the way, people bothering you (yes, it happens all of the time), and finicky lighting or weather.

Trust me, I’m not just speaking from the perspective of a studio owner here! After years of running a brand photography business, I can safely say that I’ve transitioned from preferring to shoot on location, to shooting from a studio. (Which is probably why I ended up opening my own studio, right?)

2. Studios offer privacy.

Not everyone is comfy getting their photos taken, and even fewer people are comfy changing outfits in a tent or car. Studios offer a nice, comfortable restroom or changing room. Plus, if your client chooses to hire hair and makeup, they can also choose to get ready at the studio before their shoot!

3. Weather becomes a non-issue.

Seriously, how many hours or days or months or YEARS of your photography business have you spent checking the weather app, and creating B and C plans for your various shoots? Shooting in a studio not only offers the protection you need from crazy weather changes and elements (here in California it’s extreme heat, wild winds, or cold rain), but it also offers you the ability to control your lighting, too!

4. It’s perceived as being more professional.

Think from the perspective of your first-time clients. They’ve likely never booked a shoot before, and in their mind, they’re expecting to arrive at a location where you have everything under control, and all of the tools you need! Shooting in a studio allows you to look (and feel) more professional than you would while attempting to shoot at a random park. Plus, it won’t require special licenses or certificates, either.

5. It can be super profitable.

Now, let’s say that you have a two-hour photoshoot package, which you normally charge $700 for. If you are opting to shoot from a studio, raise your price to $900 to cover studio fees, and market that studio as a complimentary portion of your entire photoshoot package!

Even if your client says they don’t want to book a studio, you don’t need to redact the cost of that studio fee. It’s already built into your pricing, and if they did want to opt for that studio booking after all, their package would allow them to do so!

And just a pro tip: make sure to up your studio rates to cover the actual cost (and fees and taxes) of the studio rental, and then some.

Here at The Sunlight Space, pricing is super simple. I charge $85/hour on weekdays, and $110/hour on weekends. There’s no need to explain this to your client - you can handle booking the studio on your own on the backend, while adding your own studio booking fee into your overall photoshoot package as a complimentary offer to your client!

Ready to book your next studio session?

I figured you would be 😎 The Sunlight Space is ready for all of your brand, product, newborn, maternity, engagement and puppy photography needs! Click the button below to book your next visit 👇


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