Photo Studios for Rent in Chicago, IL

Photo Studios for Rent in Chicago, IL

Pick your dream phototography space for the best shots

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Top Photo Studios in Chicago, IL

Welcome to Chicago, a place in the U.S. famous for its arts, cuisine, diversity, Jazz music, and many other things. This locus will undoubtedly inspire you with its big-city culture and spectacular landscapes. A blend of both worlds, Chi-town has some of the best photo studios for both budding and professional photographers. Looking for a luminous loft studio with some monstera for your next editorial? You got it! Planning a boudoir shoot in a vintage studio? Look no further. With the help of Tagvenue’s curated list of photo studios, finding the ideal location in the city is child’s play!

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Photo Studios Rental Guide

How to make the most of your photo session at a studio?

Planning a photoshoot can be a taxing task. It doesn’t matter whether you’re new to it or a seasoned photographer; there are so many things to take care of when planning a shoot that you can quickly find yourself amidst a sea of confusion. From the makeup to the right lights, every little detail can impact the success of your work. However, these tips can assist you in taking excellent shots:

Write down your brilliant ideas

It’s no secret that handwritten words are remembered best. And it’s also no news that you can forget your fantastic ideas pretty quickly. Creative minds tend to have a lot of brilliant fleeting ideas, like adding a chandelier or using specific effects for a photo session. You run the danger of forgetting the aim of your photoshoot since you'll be looking at a lot of images while researching the shooting themes. Not only is it essential to nurture your creativity by writing down your concept in the first few seconds, but it also aids in the development of your photographic concept. Remember that there is no such thing as a bad idea. Though, when brainstorming ideas, keep in mind the objective of your photoshoot. You can even go above and beyond by sketching your vision—whether it's simply adding a chandelier to the area or placing a crown on the model's head—the fruits of your imagination will undoubtedly aid you in making the most of your venue. Consider the following steps now that you have a plan ready to go.

Pick the right location

While finding the perfect studio may appear to be a simple task, there are a few factors to consider such as the client's needs, the concept of the photoshoot, and the location, amongst others. If you're arranging a product shoot with a well-known client, for instance, it's preferable to rent a venue near the city center. If you're only looking to expand your portfolio, you can choose from a range of studios in Chicago, spanning from that little quirky studio in the West Loop to a renowned photography studio near Lincoln Square. Your budget will also be an inhibiting factor when it comes to selection. The cost might vary depending on the location, its popularity, and on-site amenities such as parking facilities or supplies. While Chicago provides numerous affordable studio options, you’ll have to keep the client’s and crew’s convenience in mind when selecting the spot. Another thing to weigh up is your brand. If you’re still new to the market, you don’t have to spend all your money on the venue. However, you might want to find a location with ample parking space and assistance in order not to be overwhelmed. 

Select a suitable decor

Besides the location and the reputation of the photo studio, you should also take a good look at the interior design of the spot. Browsing through the online photos of the venue and previous shoots is one of the easiest ways to find whether a studio is suitable for your project or not. Consider your photography genre and the decor of the venue before booking the spot. For instance, the color of the walls and backdrops will alter your setup; soft colors are ideal for reducing shadows, while wooden flooring lends a rustic sense to your work. Are you planning a family photograph in the style of the Roaring Twenties? Why not make your task a tad simpler by renting a photo studio with antique furniture for the proper ambiance? Don’t know where to start? You can look for suitable locations on Google or online marketplaces, where you can browse a variety of photo studios, ranging from simple daylight spaces to elegant vintage ones.

Choose the right equipment

It’s always tempting to bring all your crazy gear to the studio when you’ve just started your photography career. However, it’s important for you to bear in mind that natural light is often more than enough. The only source of light for many professional photographers is daylight. You can utilize reflectors to amp up the light if your venue is on the darker side. Many studios will lend you additional lighting equipment (for free or for a fee) and even assist you in setting up your gear once you arrive. Some studios will supply simple lighting, additional backdrops, and sometimes other items like costumes so that you can have the best experience possible. When setting up everything, two things to note are timing and positioning. Play with the light source and shadows to get the best effects. Start capturing your photographs in the middle of the day for a dramatic effect. For a softer appearance, arrange your shoot in the early hours of the morning when the light is subdued. You don't have to break the bank to get some extra lighting equipment; simply look up inexpensive DIY options on YouTube to make your lighting box or whatever else you may require.

Get feedback and connect with people

Getting constructive feedback on your work is essential no matter how good you are at your job as it will also help you to enhance your work and what better place to connect with people with similar passion than a photo studio. Such spaces are ideal for others to discover your talent and collaborate with you on future projects. Working in such an environment will also provide you with the opportunity to learn new things about the profession, photographic abilities, equipment, and possible gigs. Perhaps a Times magazine photographer or another freelancer would finally notice your unique talent. Furthermore, you can identify the right people to collaborate with on future projects, such as freelance makeup artists, hair stylists, and others, ensuring that your work improves over time. Haven't been to a photo studio yet and are struggling to locate a makeup artist in the area? Use Facebook or Instagram to reach out to all potential artists; this way, you'll be helping someone else expand their portfolio while getting free or low-cost makeup services.

Select the right lens 

The lens plays a big role in the quality of your images. Choosing the proper lens is critical for getting the finest photos; for example, 35mm lenses stretch images, making them unsuitable for portraits. Avoid using wide-angle lenses to eliminate distortion. Instead, opt for shorter lenses that are more suited to portrait photography. There are many different types of lenses on the market, each with its own purpose. Anything longer than 120mm is likely to provide the impression of distance between you and your subject. Long lenses are best for shooting outdoors, whereas short lenses are perfect for shooting indoors particularly if you're an amateur photographer. How about some close-ups? To get the clearest close-up images, use a macro attachment; these are fantastic for product shoots or abstract photography.

Play with the light

Lighting is everything in photography. One of the biggest advantages of shooting indoors is having complete control over your setup. As a result, you should experiment to get the most out of the studio lighting. Many photographers believe that the images can be improved after they have been taken. While this is somewhat true, merely experimenting with your subject and source of light on set will save you a lot of time on repairs. Take your time to fine-tune your environment, and you'll be rewarded with high-resolution photos in no time. Light has the ability to elevate your photographs to new heights. As a result, don't be scared to experiment with your arrangement. A photo shoot's exposure and composition are crucial. While there are easy principles to follow when photographing, such as the rule of thirds, you should be willing to experiment with different angles to get the greatest results. While photographing portraits, you must walk around the set. Taking such risks can only help you enhance your skills and your final shots. Remember to enjoy creating art and not limiting yourself to the four walls of a studio while working. After all, photography is about creativity and fun!

Use a tripod for movement

Many people believe that photo studios are limited when it comes to creativity and that tripods are more of a hindrance than anything else. That is a major misunderstanding! Tripods make it easy to use natural light and interact with your figure. When your camera is on a tripod, your model is more likely to strike ideal poses. It's easier to focus on the movement and experiment with the aperture when your camera is mounted on a tripod. Furthermore, they require you to check every shot, which implies that you must take the best shots possible every time and be rewarded with a collection of perfect pictures at the end of the session. Anyone who has worked as a model understands that being the center of attention isn't always easy. However, when using a remote to control the camera, you can engage your model by offering them instructions, directing their motions, or simply cracking a few jokes to get that genuine smile! Tripods, in any case, allow both the photographer and the model to relax and perform at their best when on set.

Make your subject feel at ease

If you want to set the stage for the best images, make an effort to connect with your subject. If your model is new to the job, posing will most likely make him or her nervous, but talented photographers know how to handle such situations. If you've been hired for a picture shoot, you'll almost certainly need to communicate with your subject in order to eliminate the elephant in the room: discomfort. A vital component of capturing appealing images is ensuring that your subject is at ease in front of the camera.  If you are lucky enough to work with a professional model, you won’t have to worry about them freezing up once you start shooting. However, even the best models have terrible days and might not be feeling their best. For this reason, it’s essential to engage in small talk and show interest in your subject. Simply talk about your experiences or let them talk about something they enjoy doing for them to decompress and act naturally when on camera. It can be anything from their current plans to their favorite music. In addition, you could compliment them on how they look and tell them how lucky you are to be working with them. A few encouraging words can go a long way.

What is the equipment provided by photo studios in Chicago?

The type of equipment provided at photo studios largely varies. Besides ample natural light at most studios, you can rent artificial light sources provided by the venue on cloudy days. Other equipment, such as LED lamps for light constancy or color filters to improve your product photography game, can also be requested. Photo studios can also provide speedlights, which are ideal for adding a burst of life to your photographs and giving the subject more personality.  Instead of purchasing speedlight kits, try to see if the studio has any additional equipment on hand. Numerous studios also offer modifiers, which help spread and adjust light across the studio while also removing undesirable skin texture. Softboxes are great for highlighting your subject without drawing attention to the background, and scrims are flat screens that help you adjust your focus. Umbrellas are great for portraits, softboxes are great for highlighting your subject without drawing attention to the background, and scrims are flat screens that help you adjust your focus. If you're unsure whether or not a piece of equipment is available, contact the studio manager to confirm; if they don't, you may always hire it for the occasion.

FAQs about Photo Studios in Chicago, IL

Are extra lights provided at all photo studios in Chicago?

You can always find complementary lights at multiple studios. Some studios might provide lights and modifiers at an additional cost. However, the good thing is that you can benefit from a variety of equipment and make sure to use the best equipment available when working with a studio. 

Will I be able to use any of the studio's furniture or props?

Many photo studios in Chicago have everything you'll need for your shoot, from lights to costumes. Others may already have a specific decor in place for you to work with. You can find a range of furniture and props to work with, in various spaces.

Will every photographic studio have a parking lot in Chicago?

As a client, you will usually be assigned a parking spot. However, your team and anyone working with you may need to hunt for pay or display parking spaces nearby.

Is there a makeup or change room available for my models?

Yes, most likely. Additional rooms, such as makeup rooms, changing rooms,, and kitchenettes, are frequently included in studios. Some studios may even provide you with a variety of creative spaces or studio styles to pick from. Because you've reserved the venue for a specific time frame, you'll almost certainly have free access to the makeup area.

What are some of the nicest areas in Chicago to hire a photo studio?

The neighborhoods of Chicago are likely to impress you. This city has everything a creative mind could wish for, whether you prefer an urban ambiance or a laid-back neighborhood with a stunning view, this metropolis has it all. We recommend hiring a venue in Andersonville for its unique businesses and magnificent architecture, Hyde Park for its rich history, Logan Square for the finest cafes and parks, or Old Town for its locales if you want to wow your clients and establish your name as a photographer. Just keep a lookout for some fantastic venues in unusual places at very cheap prices!


Guest Reviews of Photo Studios on Tagvenue

Joe S.
Booked Loft Spotlights & Neon Space at MikSpace Chicago
This was my first time shooting in Chicago as I was travelling into the city for a meeting and wanted an opportunity to shoot. I would HAPPILY book again - even this studio. I've been shooting in studios for multiple decades and appreciate the system (secure check in, digital correspondence, reasonable pricing). I'd highly recommend this space to others and am now curious about the other space and future opportunites.

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