Maintaining a photography studio space in Chicago is extremely expensive. Utilities, equipment, insurance, and, of course, the rental costs for the space itself all add up quickly. For many artists in Chicago, maintaining a studio space just isn’t a feasible endeavor. Thankfully, there are places, like Bucktown Gallery where you can rent studio space by the day or even hour.
Using a studio space for rent in Chicago means you only pay for the studio space while you use it and, in many cases, some or even all equipment is included. Rental photography studios are the best option for photographers in Chicago, but with so many options, how do you tell which photography studio space for rent is best for you?
Evaluate Your Needs
If you’ve been a professional photographer for a while, good chances you have all the equipment you need so a bare bones photography studio may be enough for you. If you are just started out and don’t have a lot of equipment you’ll need a studio that provides things like professional strobes and modifiers, C-Stands, and backdrops.
Before you start your search, sit down and write up a list of what you will need since this will help you rule out photography studio spaces for rent in Chicago which don’t provide what you need. Also, don’t forget to take into consideration the size of the space you’ll need. If you’re coming with models, makeup professionals, hair stylists, assistants, catering, or others you’ll want to make sure there is ample room in the photography studio space for rent.
If you’re new enough to photography that you haven’t dealt with professional equipment before, consider taking a class to learn how to use all the equipment. That way you won’t be wasting your valuable studio time trying to figure out how to turn something on.
Searching for Photography Studio Spaces
Simply searching for “studios for rent” won’t cut it if you live in a large city like Chicago where the word studio also doubles as a type of apartment. When you are searching on Google try search terms like “photography studios for rent” or target specific neighborhoods by using search terms like “photography studios for rent in Bucktown.” Search terms like those will help you focus in on photography studios.
Another good site to search for photography studios for rent in Chicago is Yelp, which is helpful since it tends to have lots of user submitted photos showing off the studio space to help give you a feel for what it’s like.
The Devil is in the Details
Never assume a specific item that you need will be available to you if it’s listed on the website, make sure to ask to verify they still have it. Things can happen, and websites aren’t always updated each time something changes. Keep any email communications, especially ones that describe the location, discuss costs, or detail what is and isn’t included.
Anything you’re not sure about, ask! The studio space owners are providing a service, and if they aren’t willing to answer your questions that’s a good sign you should go elsewhere.
Remember the Boy Scouts and Always be Prepared
Pack extra batteries and extras of any equipment that are must haves for your shoot. Know a nearby place where you can rent backup equipment if something major breaks. A little insurance can go a long way if something goes wrong during your shoot.