London has a vibrant art scene 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 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. 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, you can be sure to find your place in vast London! As one of the world’s most creative cities, the UK’s capital is filled with amazing 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 just a few clicks. Browse through our listings 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.
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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, we're sure to have something special to catch your eye and meet – or even exceed – your expectations.
If it’s your first time hiring a photography studio, 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, 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. Price Studios in Battersea even offers 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 help 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 a photography studio
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. 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 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 a photo studio in London that’s just perfect for your needs. At Tagvenue, we offer multiple photo 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 photographic equipment you might need to hire – Some photo studios offer a wide variety of 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 filters. Medium and large format digital cameras are also in demand for commercial shoots. They allow you to achieve a resolution high enough to make large prints or even billboards. Ask the owner of the photo studio if they offer the gear you need for your project. Also, find out whether you’ll have to pay any extra charges or if the equipment is already covered by the hire fee.
- What rates you’ll be charged if you go over your allotted time – If you hire a photography studio for a day, check the studio’s time slots and opening hours. Remember that haste makes waste. You don’t need any unnecessary stress, so it’s better if you hire the photo studio with props for an extended period of time. You can also rent a photography studio for an entire day to be sure you have enough time for everything. Tagvenue can help you find a cheap one that will help keep costs down.
- Additional charges for items such as backdrop paper or parking spaces – If you need a lot of extra items, the final price may turn out to be much higher than expected. Read the terms and conditions carefully to avoid surprises later.
- Whether the photo studio offers access to a professional photographer or assistant – With more complex lighting setups you’ll definitely need a helping hand, so you won’t have to run around the space and make changes by yourself. Before shooting, discuss your ideas with the assistant. Share the details of your vision and let him or her know exactly what you expect.
- Charging your batteries – You don’t want to run out of power in the middle of the creative process! Batteries run out very quickly when you use multiple flashlights. Always carry a few spare ones just to be safe.
- Choosing the right location – If you’re working with models, pick a location that’s easy to get to. Consider the traffic and/or the studio’s proximity to public transport hubs, e.g. Tube stations. You may also want to think about things such as the general vibe of the area and whether there are any coffee shops or lunch places nearby should you want to hop out for a quick break from work.
- Viewing the space prior to booking - Before you book the photo studio and come in for your shoot, it’s always a good idea to schedule a viewing. That way, you’ll be able to see the space in person, assess the lighting conditions, check out the available equipment and facilities, and decide for sure whether it’s the right fit for your project.
What are some of the best photo studios for hire in London?
Now that you’ve got a rough idea of what you’re looking for, check out some of our top picks for your next shoot in the capital city!
- Indra Studios is a photography and video space located in Hackney Downs in East London. It boasts a minimalist feel with a high ceiling and white walls and floors. The studio is a perfect fit for multiple purposes, including photo shoots, films, music videos, adverts, television shows and youtube videos.
- Motel Studios in Shoreditch is another superb studio based in a Victorian railway arch, which means it has enough space even for very big projects. They also offer a natural light shooting area. Its flexibility makes it a perfect venue for a variety of event types, such as fashion shows, product launches and even weddings.
- Mavro Worldwide Studios is a creative hub situated near Surrey Quays in Rotherhithe, featuring a range of modern and comfortable studio spaces available for hire 24/7. Apart from that, there’s a team of professional on-site photographers, videographers, editors, designers and animators ready and willing to breathe life into your visual project!
- Springfield House Lofts are located in the very heart of Dalston in East London, close to Kingsland Road and Dalston Junction Overground station. There, you’ll find a fully equipped photography studio perfect for commercial shoots, headshots, fashion shoots, product photography or video shoots. Besides the state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, you can also hire a professional photographer, assistant, and make-up artist.
- Sizona is a spacious warehouse apartment with a minimalist design, high ceilings and original features, such as exposed bricks and wooden beams. Spread over two floors, this creative space combines modern interiors with retro elements. Located in the heart of East Central London, near the bustling Old Street, Angel and Clerkenwell.
Photo Studios in London FAQ
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 spaces available for hire, from modest 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 photo studios scattered all over London. But why not start your search from the capital’s known cultural hubs? There are some great studio spaces 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 unique vibes. Other artsy areas include Notting Hill, Hackney and Clerkenwell.
What is typically included in the price for hiring a photo studio?
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 professional 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.)