DIY Portrait Photography PDF Print E-mail
Written by Graydon   
Tuesday, 27 June 2006
Photography related retail stores... just what the world needs in the age of digital photography, right?
Despite all of the movement in people buying digital cameras, online hosting, photo blogging and the such... There's still a large business around portrait photography.  Sears, Wal-Mart, Target, JC Penny, etc... all have in-store studios.  Plus, there's a huge assortment of stand-alone studio's like...
 - Clix
They are taking the downsides (long waits, limited backgrounds / props, inexperienced staffs, etc) of the places like Sears and marketing to the right people and providing a great service (as well as making money).  So, now it's time to take the portrait studio business one step further along.  Do it yourself photography studio stores...

The Basics:  Provide a space, the backgrounds, props, lighting and some basic guidance... the customer takes the pictures.

So, why does this photography studio work?  For the simple reason that some people are tired of spending ~$200 on $40 worth of prints and 30 minutes of photographer-in-training time.  They have a camera and know how to use it... but don't see the benefit in the home based studio with lighting... nor do they want to conjure up some home-made crap.  They are willing to rent out a studio area with the proper equipment that lets them take great pictures of the family, friends, pets, etc...  In turn for giving you some money, they use the place and take home EVERY SINGLE PHOTO THEY TOOK... and then can use the processing place of their choice.
You could expand the idea from personal portrait photography and rent out the studio to aspiring professional photographer's that are looking for a place other than their garage to photograph their clients.
You could setup a smaller area and enable the aspiring eBay merchant to come in and photograph their items for sale.
Go risque and have a closed off area for those wanting some more candid portraits taken.
Take advantage of some people's hatred of malls and bring in your own Santa and Easter Bunny.  Get an area big enough or have an outdoor section for a pumpkin patch.  Customize some sets and drive a new wave of Ghoulish Halloween portraits.
Make an area pet friendly so that we can bring the four legged family members.
Hopefully you get the idea.
How do we determine the possible sales figures for your rentable portrait studio?  Let's try some different scenarios.
First, the common assumptions...
1.  You can setup 3 studio's in your retail space.
2.  You rent them out for $50 for an hour.

Scenario 1 - Open only on Saturday from 9 - 5 (8 hrs) and you average 1 rental per hour...
Sales = $50/hr x 8 hrs = $400 / Saturday x 52 Saturdays / year = $20,800 per year

Scenario 2 - open only on Saturday from 9-5 and you average 1.5 rentals per hour...
Sales = $75/hr x 8 hrs = $600 / Saturday x 52 Saturdays / year = $31,200 per year

Scenario 3 - Go ahead and open up on sunday's for 4 hours in the afternoon...
... Scenario 1 goes to $31,200
... Scenario 2 goes to $46,800

I firmly believe that these are CONSERVATIVE STARTING figures.  I think that between the holiday rushes, the weekday rentals, the specialty events (Santa, Bunny, Pumpkins) you can more than double or triple the figures.

Want to drive more sales?
 - Offer classes
 - Tie in with a local community college and offer discounts to students working on their photography class projects
 - Partner with a local camera store and offer discounts on local processing for your customers
 - Get really good and franchise (just remember where you saw the idea)

I won't say that the possibilities are endless... but it's a good base to start from.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 27 June 2006 )
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