Starting The Room Downtown photo studio

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photo studio

Starting The Room Downtown photo studio • The Room Downtown

The photo studio business…  Wha…?  Why?  And how?!

Now that a year has passed, it feels like a great time to finally reflect on how The Room Downtown got started in the first place!  As a person without a formal business education or training in photography, a lot of people have asked me how I started the studio in the first place.  Los Angeles is a competitive market for any business, but especially one in the arts and entertainment.  Photo studios are a dime a dozen, so why did I even think I could start a successful studio offering film and photo services?

The studio before any renovations:

photo studio

Look at how nice it is now!

Well, good question friends/family/strangers (soon-to-be-clients).  Having done a bit of work in studio photography and filming in studios, I saw some problems in the studio.

  1.  Most photo studios required emailing or calling back and forth with the studio in order to book your time.  This wasted time and was a real hassle.  If only someone could automate this process…
  2. There was a lot of unnecessary overhead.  From the overly large spaces (3,000 square feet for a headshot session?), to unnecessary employees on site to babysit clients, to strange equipment that was generally unnecessary as well.  So much unnecessary!  And if I could get rid of some of that, maybe I could lower the cost…

On top of that, I seemed to have the right jack-of-all-trade skills to make the business come together.  Running budgets for large event and A/V productions, being a photographer and cinematographer, building websites, understanding automation systems, and experience with carpentry and DIY renovations and wiring.  All of it came together to create the perfect photography storm.  It just seemed like kismet.

If you saw the before and after photos above, you can see a lot of work went into making the space come together.  Besides the website, the automation system, marketing, etc., just physically, it took a month and a half of hard labor.  Stripping the vinyl off the floor refinishing the concrete, rewiring through the walls, installing new fixtures, a PA system, buying/measuring/outfitting all of the amenities and equipment, new wireless system, the smart lock system, the security system and more!  I’ll be getting into the details of how to do it all in the future!  So if you’re looking to create a studio or outfit a part of your studio into a photo space, keep an eye out for posts with the “Making a Photo Studio” category.

TAGS : Room Downtown Studio, Starting Room Downtown


Also published on Medium.

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