Yes, I have a studio in a business district. No, I do NOT have a residential home studio. And, Yes, I travel locally and beyond to shoot headshots.
Headshots are one of my core specialties as a business and commercial photographer. But this post is really about the individual needing a professional headshot taken trying to decide what's the best option for him or her and exploring a few advantages and disadvantages of all three options.
In order for me not to repeat headshots way too many times below, please keep in mind that this post is about options for getting a professional headshot taken for just ONE individual. When exploring your options for a headshot, one of your top questions may need to be, do you have an in home studio, mobile studio and/or business district studio?
Home Photography Studio?
All home studios are not created equal. There are some very large, very professional in home studios that are better than those in a business district. However, in today's digital age of easy entry into photography, it's not uncommon for a photographer working out of his or her home to convert an area of the home on an as needed basis in order to do headshots. For example, it may be the photographers dining room, spare room, garage or basement. In the case of the garage or basement, these options may be more dedicated fully as the photographers in home studio. Again, there are a few photographers that have amazing in home studios. Just ask for the details when trying to decide what's right for you.
Two (OK One) Advantages For You:
1) Potentially lower cost than a photographer who has a studio in a business district. If cost is critical (minor in most cases), this may be a good option for you.
2) Honestly, I don't have a #2 because most of the advantages for an in home studio in my opinion favor the photographer not the client.
Two Disadvantages For You:
1) You are going to someone's home whom you've never met, so a referral from someone you trust may be important vs. finding a photographer at random.
2) If the photographer is a male and you are a female or vice-versa. then being in a residential home may not be the best option.
True Story: Someone that chose me to do his headshot told me that one of the photographers that he was considering mentioned that if he could help set up for the shoot in her home that she could make it work. He really liked her work, but this and her odd pricing model were two core reasons that he decided to use me instead.
Mobile Photography Studio?
The photographer bringing the studio to you is likely going to be a popular option for headshots. Some photographers don't have an in home studio or a business district studio. Being mobile is the only way the roll (no pun intended). However, there are cases when it's multiple staff members in an office that the photographer bringing the studio to the client makes for the most logical choice and works out well. I go to companies on a regular basis for this type of headshot photoshoot.
The advantages and disadvantages below are concerning one individual needing a headshot taken not several people.
Three Advantages For You:
1) Convenience is one of the best advantages of the studio coming to you.
2) You can get shots taken (if needed) of you in your working environment vs. a studio background.
3) Price can be an advantage or a disadvantage pending how the photographer structures his or her pricing. For example, an advantage would be working with a friend of mine who is a photographer and is 100% mobile (at the time of this post). He is very competitively priced when going on location.
Three Disadvantages For You:
1) It may make a difference if the photographer has to come to your home vs. your office.
2) All of the equipment getting in the way pending the size of the area that the photographer has to set up in could be an obstacle.
3) Price can be an advantage or a disadvantage pending how the photographer structures his or her pricing. For example, a disadvantage would be a photographer that has an in home studio and especially one with a business district studio that has to pack up and load up gear only to unload and setup at your location and then pack back up at your location then drive back to his or her studio and unload and unpack then reset up simple for a one person headshot on a background. That's a lot of breaking down and setting up which is why I personally charge more to go on location for just one person than I do in studio. The client has the option to decide if the extra cost is worth me bringing the studio to them or them coming to me.
Traditional Business District Photography Studio?
Not all established photographers have a studio in a business district, but I'm one of those that have chosen this route for numerous reasons. I find that individuals needing a headshot like being able to visit a studio that's surrounded by other businesses. But, rather than continue on, I'll dive right into the advantages and disadvantages.
Three Advantages For You:
1) The studio is set up and ready to go at all times. In my case, I have two studio rooms with 3 to 4 backgrounds ready to go to keep things moving.
2) There are other businesses located around the business district studio in most cases, so there is a certain level of personal comfort in that.
3) Just like in the mobile section, price can be both an advantage and a disadvantage. In my case, I think price is an advantage to those coming to the studio because I am very competitive (less in many cases) than other studios plus I charge a lot more to go on location for one person vs. one person coming to me.
Two Disadvantages For You:
1) The location of the studio can be a disadvantage if it's across town, but so could an in home studio. Quality, experience and service may be worth the extra distance though.
2) Just like in the mobile section, price can be both an advantage and a disadvantage. In many cases, a studio in a business district may charge a lot more than small in home studios because of more overhead.
You have to ask questions about location, cost, experience, etc. to decide what's best for you. Just ask yourself when comparing an in home studio vs. a mobile studio vs. a business district studio, what are the key advantages and disadvantages for my personal needs? Which option based on multiple factors is truly best for me?
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