Can a Photographer Use a Self-storage Unit as a Studio?

Self Storage

Ryan Moore
January 3rd, 2022

Starting a photography business can be costly, and many photographers have to make the difficult decision of whether or not to rent a commercial studio space or not. But, having a studio is a great way to build reputability with your clients and make your sessions run smoothly and efficiently. When considering what studio one may want, photographers often choose to rent a self-storage unit and turn it into a studio but aren’t quite sure if it’s a good idea or even allowed. In this blog, we’ll go over the pros and cons of using a self-storage unit as a photography studio.

The Contract Matters
Some storage facilities allow you to use a unit as a studio, while others have rules and regulations against entertaining clients in the space. When looking around for the right storage facility, make sure that you read the purposed contract and ask plenty of questions. It’s far better to know what is allowed before you sign a contract, rather than getting in trouble with the company after, or being locked into a long-term commitment at a place that you can’t work out of. As well as facilities contracts, there are also laws surrounding commercial enterprises working out of storage units, and you may be required to rent a commercial storage unit rather than a self-storage unit. All these questions and concerns can be answered by the facility manager and it’s imperative your clear on the rules before committing to a rental.

It May Be Difficult To Control The Temperature
Although the storage unit will be temperature-controlled, not all units have singular unit controls. This means that although it may be cool at the beginning of the session the studio lights can and will raise the temperature quickly, and you won’t have any windows to open for fresh air.

Lack Of Natural Light
Depending on the nature of your photography business you may want to have a studio that has natural light. Self-storage units don’t have windows and depending on the location can be in dark-lit hallways. If you’re a photographer who uses studio lights, a self-storage unit would work beautifully, as long as you create an inviting space for your clients.

It Saves You Money
Professional photography studios can be extremely costly which is difficult for a business that has ebbs and flows. You can share a space with another photographer to save money, however, then you have the headache of scheduling around one another and dealing with two sets of equipment. An easy way to save money is by renting a self-storage unit where you can have everything set up as needed in a secure location.

Because all good storage facilities have round-the-clock security, you’ll know that your equipment is safe even when it’s not in use. When looking for the right space check that the storage facility has motion censored lights, cameras, and security guards on the premises.

Benefits Of A Commerical Storage Unit
There are several perks that come along with renting a commercial storage unit, such as free parking for you and your clients and refreshment stations. These can be details that help clients feel comfortable and will have them book a session with you, rather than photographers who shoot outside or on location.

Clients Come To You
A self-storage unit studio makes photographers’ lives a lot easier, as clients come to them. This allows photographers to book more shoots per day and make more money. The client often prefers this because they don’t have to clean their homes and make the space shootable, and photographers like it because they don’t have to pack and move their equipment from location to location. Having a studio that’s inexpensive and convenient for both parties helps to save time, and in this business, time is money.

It Will Take Effort To Create A Professional Space
If you do decide to turn a self-storage unit into a photography studio, you’ll need to design the space to look clean and professional. Clients will pay a lot more to shoot in a space that doesn’t look drab and unkempt, so laying out a carpet, getting the right light fixtures and lamps, as well as having decorations helps to increase your clientele base and book more shoots.

A self-storage unit can make for an amazing and inexpensive photography studio, as long as you find the right company and contract, and put some tender love and care into the space.

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