Photo Studios Hire Guide
London has a vibrant scene of photo studios that reflects the city’s diverse cultural influences and history. Big photography names such as Mario Testino, Tim Walker and Jason Bell are closely associated with the UK’s largest city. It’s no surprise that one of the most popular movies about photography, Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blowup, a story of a fashion photographer, is set in London. If you’re trying to make it as a photographer in the capital and need to hire a photo studio to accomplish your creative goals, you’ve come to the right place!
With such a thriving cultural life and numerous artsy neighbourhoods dotted with galleries, street art, and creative spaces, the city attracts talent from all over the world. Photo studios in London are abundant. Whether you’re a seasoned professional on the lookout for the perfect space to shoot your next project or a beginner who wants to experiment with studio photography, London’s professional spaces will cater to your needs. As one of the world’s most creative cities, the UK’s capital is filled with amazing photography studios ready to spark up your imagination and help you create your best work!
Explore the cultural heart of London located in South Bank, try your luck in bohemian Shoreditch or join the hip crowd in Camden. Whichever area of the capital you’re interested in, Tagvenue will help you book your perfect photo studio in London in just a few clicks. Browse through our listings of photo shoot locations or use our search engine and smart filters to find exactly what you need. And if you need more tips on organising the photo shoot or hiring the right space, check out our practical guide below.
Are you planning a creative project of your own and need to hire one of the professional photo studios in London?
Are you shooting a campaign for a big company? Whether you're organising a corporate photo shoot or pursuing a personal passion project, our shortlist of London's most in-demand photo studios for hire is sure to come in handy. What kind of shoot are you planning and when do you want to make it happen? No matter your requirements, from cheap photo studios to exclusive creative locations, we're sure to have something special to catch your eye and meet your expectations.
If it’s your first time hiring one of the photo studios in London, you’re probably wondering what’s involved and if there’s anything special that you should pay attention to. So, why not check out our quick introduction to studio photography in London?
What equipment should a photo studio have?
When booking your photo studio in London, first and foremost make sure that it has all the equipment you are going to need to make your photo shoot a success. Here’s a basic checklist to keep in mind:
- Background – One of the most important things is the right backdrop that will make your subject pop. These come in all shapes and sizes, and the materials they’re made of include paper, muslin and vinyl, among others. Using black velvet fabric as a background is a good tip, as it absorbs light and creates a nice, dark tone. Remember about stable background support poles, too. Some photographic studios in London even have their own cycloramas. This type of backdrop gives you a lot of artistic freedom, as it’s often full angle. Some venues may even offer a green screen cyclorama, which is perfect for special effects and means the space also works well as a film studio.
- Reflectors – Bounce flash technique is getting more and more recognition, as it allows you to modify the lighting in many ways. You can either use traditional standing umbrellas or highly portable, collapsible circular reflectors with a bigger surface. These are able to soften the light, as well as modify its warmth. You can make the light cooler or warmer, using either golden or silver reflectors.
- Softboxes – Also known as light diffusers, softboxes are commonly used in portrait photography. Smooth, subtle light helps to reduce imperfections. Remember that the larger the softbox, the softer the light. The size is particularly relevant when you’re shooting wider angles, as you need to cover your entire subject or the model. For product photography, a smaller one can be enough. So when you’re choosing the right softbox, think about the effect you want to achieve.
- Tripods - Camera stands are high on the list of must-have photo equipment. You’ll need them to keep your camera steady during the shoot. A functional aluminium tripod should be a good fit for all purposes. While a tripod is meant to keep your camera from moving, it should also be easy to manoeuvre. You’ll be moving around a lot to find the perfect angle, so make sure the camera stand can be set up and secured quickly.
- Ladders – This may sound peculiar, but ladders come in handy quite a lot. It often turns out that the model is much taller than the photographer, and you don’t want to photograph them from a bad angle – trust us, the Bohemian Rhapsody effect is not always in demand. Even when you’re rather tall, a ladder may be useful for changing the perspective to something more creative.
Things to keep in mind when hiring photography studios in London
With basic photo studio equipment out of the way, here are some other things you should pay attention to when securing the perfect space for your creative project:
- The studio floor space you’ll need – Are you shooting a large group of people, such as a football team for a promotional photoshoot? Keep in mind that you’ll need a lot of square metres – the more, the better - so look for large photo studios available for hire! You have to be able to move freely to experiment with different shooting angles to find the best one. Remember that space is needed not only for shooting but also for preparation. Don’t forget such things as a kitchen, a dedicated changing area or hair and make-up facilities. Make sure the studio has a large mirror with good lighting. The make-up artist, stylist and hairdresser will thank you later.
- Your budget for the photo shoot – Settle your budget in the early stages of planning your photo shoot. This will help you establish whether you’re looking for a very basic affordable studio space or if you have some extra money to splurge on something a little fancier. No matter your budget for the shoot, we can help you find professional photo studios in London that are just perfect for your needs. At Tagvenue, we offer multiple art studios for hire in different districts of the city. Just use our smart filters to set your price range and browse our listings!
- Extra facilities you might require – Fancy projects come with fancy requirements. If you’re doing a glamourous lookbook, think about whether you might like a fashion photo shoot venue with a theatrical fog machine or a table fan for special effects. Another inspiring idea is to use UV lighting for a special, futuristic effect. There’s no limit to your imagination! Just plan ahead and look for a studio with the right facilities that will make your creative vision come to life.
- Any photography equipment you might need to hire – Consider a London photo studio with gear for hire. You can often choose from top Canon and Nikon DSLR bodies, razor sharp lenses with different focal lengths and different types of lighting equipment. All these are available for a fee, usually on a per day basis. Discuss the possibility of renting them with the studio manager to see if it’s something you can take advantage of.
- Overtime fees – Every shoot is different. There’s no way of knowing how long the photo session will take. That’s why it’s very important to discuss the possibility of running late with the studio manager. See if they’re able to offer extra hours for a lower price, or check if the full hourly rate applies when you exceed the agreed time.
- Good transport links and accessibility – Photo studios in London are scattered all over the city, and some of them are hidden in unexpected places. Before you decide on a studio, check if it’s easy to get to. You’ll probably have a lot of heavy equipment with you, so choose a place that’s near a tube station or has a car park nearby. And if the photo studio is located in a quirky space, such as a loft, a warehouse or a basement, check if they offer elevator access, or if the venue is wheelchair-friendly.
- Viewing the photo studio before you book – Seeing the space before you book it is crucial for planning a successful shoot. A photo studio might look great on the pictures, but it’s always a good idea to go there and see it for yourself. This way, you’ll have a chance to meet the studio manager and discuss any requirements you might have. It will also give you a chance to check the lighting, the atmosphere and the layout of the studio, so you’ll be able to visualise your project much better. Get to know the space and see how it can benefit your shoot.
Here’s a list of the best photo studios in London:
- Indra Studios in Hackney Downs – A spacious photo studio with minimalist white walls that you can transform according to your creative vision. It’s suitable for various types of photo shoots, such as fashion, product or portrait photography. The studio offers a green screen and good lighting equipment, as well as comfortable make-up and changing areas.
- Motel Studios in Shoreditch – This is a Victorian railway arch transformed into a photography space. It’s one of the best photo studios in London, with its own cyclorama, great lighting options and spacious make-up and changing facilities. This is a perfect venue for more demanding projects, as it’s able to accommodate larger groups of people, such as teams or models.
- Mavro Worldwide Studios in Rotherhithe – If you’re looking for a state-of-the-art photo studio for hire, this might be the place for you. They offer a team of professional photographers, hair stylists and make-up artists that are able to assist you during the shoot. There’s a cyclorama, top-notch lighting equipment and a large space to make your project come to life.
- Springfield House Lofts in Dalston – If you’re more of a DIY person and you want to work in a smaller, more intimate space, this might be the place for you. It’s one of the small photo studios in London that offer a cosy atmosphere and good equipment for simple projects. The white brick walls and the wooden floor give it a warm, rustic feel, which might be a good background for lifestyle or fashion shoots.
- Sizona - A spacious warehouse apartment studio with a minimalist design, high ceilings and original features, such as exposed bricks and wooden beams. Spread over two floors, this creative photoshoot space combines modern interiors with retro elements. Located in the heart of East Central London, near the bustling Old Street, Angel and Clerkenwell.
FAQs about Photo Studios in London
How much does it cost to hire a photo studio in London?
Most photo studios in London charge hourly hire fees. Those typically fall anywhere between £10 and £300 per hour. Such a big discrepancy is caused by a huge range of photo shoot locations available for hire, from cheap photo studios to more elaborate venues. If you need to hire a photography studio for an entire day, expect to pay from around £216 up to even £12000+ per day. (All data from Tagvenue.)
Which areas of London have the best photo studios for hire?
You can find amazing photography studios scattered all over London. But why not start your search from the capital’s known cultural hubs? There are some great studios in London located in artsy Shoreditch, as well as in eclectic South Bank. Camden maintains its reputation as one of London’s most hip neighbourhoods, drawing a creative crowd with its lovely art studios. Other artsy areas include Notting Hill, Hackney and Clerkenwell.
What is typically included in the price of London photo studio hire?
Most Studios in London will include basic photo equipment in the hire fee, such as poly boards, Coloramas, reflectors, softboxes, and camera stands. Depending on the size and standard of the studio, you can expect some storage space, a kitchen, changing rooms, hair and make-up stations, and editing facilities. Remember to always ask the studio manager about what’s included in the price and whether you should expect any extra fees for equipment hire.
How much does it cost to hire a professional photographer or assistant?
Some London-based photo studios offer the option of hiring various professionals to help you run your shoot. Such services usually require an extra fee. Hiring a photographer costs around £100 per hour. The services of a professional make-up artist can cost you around £80 per hour. And if you’re looking to hire an assistant for your photo shoot, expect to pay around £25 per hour. (All data from Tagvenue.)