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The Studio Build... Getting the premises

For a number of years now, I've wanted to set up a photographic studio... This year I finally decided to do it, collaborating with an old friend and fellow photographer, Julie.

Back in January I started looking at potential premises, and eventually found some suitable ones at a good price at the end of January. Today (15 Feb), I signed the offer and have now committed to rent. After the jump, I'll talk about the spec and location.



The space is in what's called the "Vale Enterprise Centre"; basically the old BP offices at the south-east end of Barry:


The idea here is really to test the commercial viability of the project. So, taking ideas from agile methods (which I use in my IT practice), this is intended to be a "fail fast" project. What that means is that:

  • I've set a budget for how much I am willing to spend, and how much time; budget is £3000, time is 6 months
  • We are looking to find out if we can commercially make it work
  • There's a "Minimum Viable Product" - that is, I've set us a standard we need to meet, but it is not an all-singing, all-dancing studio

I have lights, backdrops, gels, smoke machine, dressing-up things and posing things from my current practice, so it's only the space that is really needed. However, I decided that my MVP must include some things that are important to me: 

  • Long enough to use sensible length lenses for shots; I set a minimum of 15ft 
  • Being accessible, with reasonable parking and wheelchair access
  • Good privacy when shooting
  • Having power, being dry and secure
  • Having somewhere for customers to change

Nice-to-haves are:

  • Heating
  • Natural light
  • Tea/Coffee making facilities
  • Space to put several sets (standard backdrops, seated area, boudoir area - these being the most common requests)
  • Space to work and make prints/frames
  • Ease-of-use things such as light rails, backdrop rollers.


 There are more photos on Flickr here

I will update this as things progress. If anyone is interested in working with us, give me a call or an email via the "Contact Us" link on the right..