Photo Studios for Hire in Manchester

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Top Photo Studios in Manchester

Are you looking to organise a photoshoot in Manchester? Tagvenue has got you covered. Manchester is home to many photo studios, each able to cater to the needs of any type of shoot you are planning. Browsing through our listings can help you find the perfect studio in a flash. We offer everything from small, well-lighted studios for product shots, or beautiful, large venues for filming the project you’ve always dreamed of. So, book now and you’ll find yourself in a studio in a flash!

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Photo Studios Hire Guide

Manchester is a city of creatives, so you’ll find tons of art spaces, private theatres, and photo studios for hire all over the city. Whether you’re looking for a proper space for studio photography, a family shoot or building your modelling portfolio, Tagvenue can help you get things done. You can even hire additional services like access to professional grade photo and video equipment, or help from an in-house photographer. Check out this world of possibilities on Tagvenue!

Things to do before you hire a photo studio in Manchester

Figure out your requirements. You have to make a plan of how much space and equipment you’re going to need. Your requirements for a one-on-one portrait session will be much different than for a professional product shoot with many other people involved. Set your photoshoot up for success by keeping in touch with your venue manager about the details of your session and checking out the space beforehand to make sure everything is up to your standards. 

Understand the payment models. If you want to get a great deal for your venue hire, you have to know how to differentiate offers from each other. Usually, local photo studios use the dry hire system.

Check out the equipment list. Another good idea would be to ask about the gear used by the studio. Some spaces have their equipment listed on their venue page, but you can always ask the manager about the details. After all, it would be a shame not to bring a piece of equipment that would be very important for the shoot, or to over-prepare and take a bunch of stuff that’s already set up and ready in your studio. 

Consider extra help or services. Did you know that many of the photo studios can offer additional crew or facilities in case you need them? For example, having a light technician or a second photographer with you can help you make the shoot quicker and improve the quality of your results. Sometimes you can even give them your photos for retouching! Remember to read the venue’s page or talk to the manager for more details.

Make sure it’s easy to access. You wouldn’t want to get stuck in traffic while your session time is already going, would you? That’s why it’s important to consider your commute when searching for the perfect Manchester photo studio. If you happen to live in the city area, it’s usually your best bet to get a venue that’s relatively close to your home. You can also check out the venue’s closest public transport connections - if you don’t need to bring any gear with you, that’s a great alternative to driving.

Guide on photoshoot categories

In case you want to start out as a professional photographer, or you want to branch out into different categories, here's a list of the most popular types of photo shoots in and around Manchester:

  • Family - Sometimes people just need some nice photos to put up on their wall. Since almost every family wants to have at least one pretty photograph together, you should be able to get lots of work by just doing family photoshoots.
  • Portrait - By far the most popular form of professional photography. Everyone needs a fresh portrait made for IDs, passports and driving licences, after all. There are entire photo studios dedicated just to portraits, so if you’re interested in going pro, you should seriously consider specialising in portrait photography.
  • Model - If you have a knack for fashion photography, you’d probably be interested in working with models. When it comes to dealing with magazine producers and fashion companies, you’re going to need an extensive portfolio before you can start applying for jobs. Find the right studio and start arranging sessions with amateur models, or even friends so that you can improve your skills and assemble an awesome portfolio. 
  • Product - An alternative route to getting gigs from large companies would be to do product photography. It’s very simple to get into - just start messing around with things you already know to make them look as impressive and beautiful as possible. As you develop your personal portfolio or social media presence, different companies may start reaching out to you to do a shoot of their new product.
  • Event - There’s always demand for talented photographers to cover events, parties and weddings. This type of photography requires a different set of abilities than the others - as you will often need to photograph people in motion - whether it’s a child blowing candles on their birthday cake, or a newlywed couple doing their first dance. If you want to always be moving around the venue looking for the best photo opportunities, the spontaneous nature of event photography will suit you.

How to arrange a photo studio session

If you’re a beginner photographer and it will be your first time in a proper photo studio, you may find this whole ordeal a little intimidating. Luckily, we made a list of tips to help you get through the process of planning your shoot and making sure you’ll have everything you need for your studio time. Here’s all you need to know:

Make a plan of your session

Before you make any real effort into your project, you should have a very good idea of what you want to achieve. Whether you’re trying to collaborate with a model to enhance your portfolio, or take some nice photos for a friend, you should at least make a basic agenda. With a concise time table and a list of photo designs you want to take, you will be much more calm and efficient in your studio. If you want to pin down on the style of photo you want to go for, you should try making a moodboard. Simply go to a photo repository such as Pinterest, look for some inspiration and compile it together for quick reference down the line.

Check out listings for studios for hire

Taking photos in a real studio environment will let you get right into the shoot without any set preparation or unnecessary mess. You should start looking for the right space at least a couple weeks in advance to have the best chance of securing the right studio on the timeframe you want. If you use Tagvenue, you won’t even have to leave your house to get the booking done! 

Schedule the shoot with the model and/or crew

Before you finalise your studio hire, you should talk to everyone involved to confirm that they’re okay with your chosen time frame. The more advance notice you give them, the more likely it is that they will have that window open. If you do product or still life photography and don’t need any assistance, you can obviously skip this one.

Assess what kind of equipment you need

Whether it’s studio lighting, cameras, batteries or backdrops, it’s very important to make sure you have everything set in its place. Most of the prep should be done by the studio by the time of your arrival. If you’re planning on using your own camera or equipment, make sure to leave it in a single place for easy pickup. You should remember to charge up the batteries on both your camera, and the flash!

Go to your studio

After you’ve prepared everything there is to prepare, it’s showtime! Take a last look at your notes and make sure you get there early for some last minute adjustments. If you follow this advice, your experience should be stress-free and super productive.

How to hire a photo studio on the cheap

Do you think you can’t afford a separate space for your photography needs? Even if you’re on a tight budget, you can definitely find something that suits you. These are our favourite ways of saving money when hiring photo studios in Manchester:

  • Book studios at off-peak time frames - Sometimes different creative studios have varying hire fees depending on the day or time. Photo and film venues are usually the busiest during weekends and weekday afternoons. So if you want to save some money, consider doing your photoshoot on a weekday.
  • Use different kinds of spaces to your advantage - If you already have your own camera, and you won’t need the special lights and coloramas, maybe a different type of space would suit your needs better? The gear provided by the studio makes up for a large part of the hire prices, after all. If all you need is a clean space with natural lighting, you can opt for a blank canvas space instead. Depending on your needs, you can even experiment with the setting. For example, you could check out our list of creative spaces  if you could use some props and furniture in your session. You can even organise a session in a cafe or a restaurant if you think it would be a good creative choice.
  • Be efficient with your studio time - Most Manchester photo studios have a 2-hour minimum booking time. And it’s in your best interest to use this time as efficiently  as possible. As long as you plan early, go only for the photos you need, and not take long breaks, you’ll be able to finish your session without having to pay for extra time.

How to start out as a portrait photographer

Portrait photography is both a lucrative and a relatively easy option for an up-and-coming photographer, as you don’t need to travel around the area like with event photography. If you’re looking to make some money on the side, this would be an interesting idea to explore. We made a list of tips to set you on the right path:

Find the best area to start your business

First of all, you should do some research - check out the local listings for portrait photography to see where they operate from. You should avoid working from areas where there are lots of already established photographers. If you find a studio in an area that could use some more photographers, that’s great news!

Get in contact with a local studio manager

If you want to make photography a regular thing, you should definitely have a talk with the venue manager of your local photo studio. You can either establish a regular weekly timeframe on which you’re going to work, or stay in touch with the manager to get a session arranged every time you have some new clients.

Start building a portfolio

Everybody could use a good portrait photo once in a while, so if you ask some friends and family if they want to model for you, they’ll probably agree! Get a good amount of good looking portraits so that you can fill out your portfolio or social media page. The simplest way to get a portfolio going is to use a free platform like Flickr or Behance. A Facebook page or an Instagram account will do the trick as well!

Spread the word about your services

Now that you have a basic portfolio (or social media page), you can start promoting your new gig. Word of mouth is definitely the simplest option, but if you post regularly on your social media, this could also lead some potential clients your way.

Photo Studios in Manchester FAQ

How much does it cost to rent a photo studio in Manchester?

Many studios in Manchester charge rates for longer time spans and for many a minimum rental time of 2 hours are required. Hiring a space for 2 hours costs £45 whereas prices for half-day and full-day service range from £80 to £275 during weekdays and up to £330 on weekends. Before booking a studio it is worth taking into consideration that weekend hires are usually more expensive. (All data from Tagvenue.)

What is the essential equipment a photo studio should have?

To ensure the success of your session, enquire beforehand about the equipment that is available on-site. Most professional studios offer professional-grade lighting and softboxes as well as a large number of backgrounds to suit your needs. Enquire about the colour options and size of the backgrounds, this is crucial because, depending on the number of people present in the frame, larger backgrounds may be required. Many studios will also possess a number of props to liven up your shoot, but feel free to bring your own to create the look you desire. As with any collaborative endeavour be sure to communicate your vision clearly so that the space can be prepared and the venue team can offer the assistance you need.

Can I hire a Manchester photo studio on a budget?

Staying on a budget may seem like a daunting task, considering that most envision photographic sessions as glamorous and expensive enterprises. Fortunately, this isn’t the case anymore, and creating a professional photoshoot is within the budget of most anyone. Besides choosing a studio that won’t cripple your bank account, you can maximise the effectiveness of your session by following these helpful tips:

  • Keep costs low by renting space during the weekdays. Most studios charge more for weekend hire so this is the quickest way to keep costs low.
  • Utilise blank canvas spaces and bring the gear yourself. If you already have the stuff you need, all you need is a spacious room with good lighting (or no lighting, if you want to use your studio lights)
  • Be efficient about your studio time. Most spaces are priced on a flat hire, meaning you pay for every hour spent in the studio. If you do your work quickly, you won’t have to pay extra.

Where can I find a cheap photo studio in Manchester?

If you want to find the best cheap photo studios in the area, start with New Islington. There you’ll find a uniquely furnished workshop space and a proper photo studio with a great bang for the buck. Stretford has a very nice studio space with easy access from Chester Road. If you live in Northern Manchester, check out the locations in Crumpsall and Strangeways.

Guests Reviews of Photo Studios on Tagvenue

Tallulah Guard
Booked The Atelier at The Atelier
Clear communication from the manager who was really flexible when I made a last minute booking. The building is a bit confusing but the instructions we got helped us find the space! Lovely space, clean, a good size and good lighting set-up
Booked Studio Two (Natural Light) at The Photocove
Very welcoming & helpful Able to cater to what was wanted Good studio location Able to resolve/communicate queries
Zahra Ghaus
Booked Studio at Budget Studio
Over all the studio has a very cosy vibe. Everything was explained in detail. It was a smooth experience
James Garrow
Booked Studio5 Photography Studio at Studio5 Creative
Great little space with great essential equipment. Very affordable and easy to get to. Very helpful staff.

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