Is Using a Self Storage Unit for a Photography Studio the Right Move for You?

March 9, 2021 Self Storage / Self Storage for Photography Studio / Storage for Small Businesses / Types of Storage

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or, a dedicated weekend photographer, a studio can take your interest to the next level. A dedicated photography studio can give you a place to expand your business or enjoy your hobby.

Using a self storage unit as a photography studio can come with benefits as well as challenges. After you find a prime location, discuss your plans with the facility manager so that you can determine the pros and cons of setting up a photography studio in a self storage unit. 

Practical Considerations for Establishing a Photography Studio in a Self Storage Unit

Location

If you’re looking toward a business location, think about client impressions. Is the facility well-maintained, welcoming and easy to access? Is management agreeable to creating a commercial enterprise at the facility? If not, you may want to consider a storage property that specializes in commercial storage.  For more information read How to Choose a Storage Facility.

Size

The size of your unit will impact the number of people and types of lights and backdrops that you can use for a shoot. Rent with a company that has a broad ranges of unit sizes so that you have enough space to be able to confer with clients and accommodate your bulky equipment. Flexible, month-to-month leasing means that you can increase your space as your business grows.

Amenities

It goes without saying that you need climate-controlled storage to protect your equipment. Even if you’re reason for leasing storage is so that you have a private place to enjoy your hobby, you also have to be sure that your unit is equipped with electricity. Check the security features and insurance/tenant protection plan before you make a commitment. Photographic equipment is expensive, and you want to be sure that it is safe and protected.

Challenges When Setting Up a Photography Studio in a Self Storage Facility

Rules and Regulations

Be honest about the fact that you need storage because you’re establishing a commercial enterprise. Commercial clients have to follow the rules and regulations set by the self storage provider. Before you agree to any type of legally binding agreement, be sure that you can receive clients and that you clearly understand any rules that impact your business. You may have to rent commercial storage.

Lights and Heat

Even though your unit is climate-controlled, temperatures can rise with lights burning and people in the unit. Will you have the means to control the temperature to keep everyone comfortable, and will you be able to add fans and portable air conditioning units if necessary?

Backgrounds

You will typically have to agree not to alter the original construction, but you will need various backgrounds for portraits and other photos. Be sure that you can adapt your unit to accommodate a range of backdrops.

 

Summary of Pros and Cons

Pros

Self storage is affordable, flexible, and scalable. Commercial space is almost always more expensive per square foot than self-storage. A month-to-month lease gives you the freedom to cancel at any time. You may want to relocate to a more strategic location or a different sized space. Leasing self-storage gives you the flexibility to add on as your business grows, or scale  back if you face an unforeseen situation.

Self storage is secure. Most self storage facilities feature electronic gate access as well as 24-hour digital video monitoring. Many have individually alarmed units and Bluetooth keyless access. You won’t have to worry about the safety of your equipment at a reputable self storage facility.

Self storage can be temperature controlled. A climate-controlled unit will protect your equipment against temperature fluctuations and provide you and your clients with a more comfortable environment.

 

Cons

Self storage space can be limited. If you’re just starting out and you want to rein in your expenses, your space may be small. As you grow, there are opportunities for expansion, especially with flexible lease terms.

Self storage rules can be restrictive. You may have to look at commercial storage units if the facility you’ve chosen doesn’t allow you to have clients or a commercial enterprise on the premises. 

Self storage isn’t aesthetically pleasing. Walls are typically made of metal and floors are basic. You probably won’t be permitted to make permanent changes.  You may need too use your DIY skills to adjust your unit for backdrops. If the unit’s walls are metal, magnets attached to neutral colored boards will work as an aesthetically pleasing fix without violating your contract with the storage facility.

 

Lights, Camera, Action

A storage unit can be beneficial as a personal space to enjoy your hobby or a professional studio to help your business grow. Talk with the managers of several facilities before you make a final decision, and enjoy your new studio!

 

 

 

 

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