How do I reserve dates?
After signing a contract, you will receive a login and password to our live online reservation site. It operates in real-time and is therefore always current, so there is no waiting for reservation approval. It is literally as easy as clicking on your desired studio, date, and time.
Will it be hard to get the dates and times that I want?
Not really. Sometimes, of course, someone else may have booked it first. However, we do NOT oversell memberships. That means there is plenty of cushion in the schedule and a lot of open availability, even when our memberships are sold out. We are also very careful to keep a good mix of members who are full-time professionals and those who maintain other day jobs... it helps us balance the demand between weekends and weekdays.
How accessible are your locations for my clients?
Each of our studios has ample parking. Our two downtown locations are in a converted turn-of-the-century factory that can be a bit confusing to navigate, so we do recommend meeting your clients at the building entrance.
I would like to bring in heavy props for my mini sessions. How easy will that be? Is it allowed?
When you reserve the studio, treat it like your own. Many of our members create their own whimsical sets for themed sessions throughout the year. For the downtown studios, you can pull right into the building and use the provided carts and freight elevator to easily get your pieces in and out of the studios. At Studio North, we have a dedicated exterior entrance that goes directly into the studio that you can pull right up to in your car for loading and unloading. It really could not be easier.
I'm thinking about opening a studio with a few photographer friends. What is the advantage to joining Indy Studio Share instead?
Did you ever argue with a roommate in college? There is a reason for the phrase "the only ships that don't sail are partnerships." A collaborative space among friends can sound good in theory, but in practice, they often dissolve due to disagreements over details like cleaning and schedule-hogging. We take care of all studio management issues, so you can work as a professional in a zero-drama environment. An additional benefit to joining Indy Studio Share is our prop rotation. With a total of four studios and more on the way, we have a constantly-changing stream of chairs, sofas, benches, and other gorgeous new and vintage items that rotate through our spaces, keeping your portfolio fresh and fun.
I'm torn between the studio share and creating a studio space in my home or using local coffee shops for meetings. Any advice?
There is definitely something to be said for the convenience and resourcefulness of working at home. However, our members have found that working from home is both a blessing and a curse. The convenience is offset by the need to keep it clean and tidy, and it can lack a certain professionalism. The biggest drawback, however, is that inviting strangers into your home on a regular basis can negatively impact the calm and peacefulness of the home as a retreat for both you and your family. Being in a "real" studio fuels creativity and inventiveness in a way that is hard to describe.
How do I pay my monthly fees?
You will receive a click-and-pay invoice via email once a month.
What if I don't need all of my monthly studio time?
We do not roll over unused time. If you do not need all of your studio blocks, we encourage you to grab a model and use the time to practice a new technique or build your portfolio. You have so many new props, lights, and backgrounds at your disposal with your membership... make use of them every chance that you can.
I have no idea whatsoever how to work studio lighting equipment.
Then what better way to learn than when it is all in front of you, already selected and purchased by someone else? In all seriousness, although all of our studios have an abundance of natural light, every professional photographer should understand the basics of studio lighting, and it is not as scary as you might think. There are numerous tutorials online, and you will get basic operating instructions during your tour/contract signing. For more detailed training, you can book a mentoring session with owner Connie Phillips. Nothing beats the consistency and confidence that comes from having a dedicated, always-available light source.
I'm concerned that I don't have the client base yet.
Well... that may be true! If you are unsure, hold off and keep us in mind. We would rather be part of your success than something you regret. However, if you are ambitious and driven and have the talent to back it up, we absolutely encourage you to dive in. Historically our members see an increase in their client base when they invest in a studio share membership. Family pictures in a field are gorgeous, but they simply aren't for everyone. Many of our former members have grown enough to open their own independent studios in downtown Greenwood, Greenfield, Indianapolis, Carmel, and Broad Ripple. We are the perfect stepping stone for driven professionals.
Do you take everyone who applies?
No. We interview potential members on the phone and during tours to make sure everyone we admit has a personality that will work well in a collaborative environment. We also only work with legal business entities. THAT BEING SAID, if you aren't a legal business entity because you have no idea what that entails... then don't be shy! Our owner is an attorney, so ask us for business help. We do one-on-one business mentoring and have helped numerous emerging photographers get set up the right way.
What is the difference between a premier membership and a standard membership?
In addition to having more time slots, premiere members get a specific extra benefits: They can reserve weekend time slots in advance. Standard members may only reserve weekend studio blocks two weeks in advance of the date in question.
What exactly is a studio block?
We don't rent by the hour so that our members don't feel rushed during setup and cleanup. Instead, we rent by the studio block. The Newborn Suite and the Main Studio each have half-day studio blocks. That means if you reserve the AM block, you have it until 2:00 p.m. If you reserve the PM block, you have use of the studio after 2:00 p.m. You may open and close at your discretion. If you want to open at 6:00 a.m., great! If you don't want to roll in until 10:00 a.m., that's fine too. Studio North has slightly shorter blocks, they are essentially morning, afternoon, and evening. You may also open and close at your own discretion at Studio North.
What if I have a problem with another member?
You never interact with other members unless you choose to. If you use the studio and notice a problem, you report it and we take it from there. We are pretty easygoing, but we do not tolerate messiness. We rarely have issues because we select our members carefully and enforce cleanup rules. We can and do revoke memberships for housekeeping reasons.
Are pets allowed in the studios?
Only in the Main Studio downtown.
Is boudoir an option?
Yes, our membership includes a number of well-known Indianapolis boudoir photographers. Suggestive posing of anyone under 18 is absolutely forbidden, and minors being photographed in the studio must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Do you require business insurance?
Absolutely. No exceptions. One of our former members is an insurance agent, her rates are fabulous. Contact Nikki Pelance at 317-887-9886 or email her at email@example.com.
Is it weird to share a space with people who are competitors? Does everyone's work look the same?
Not at all. It is incredible and humbling to see how different creatives bring their own unique vision to the exact same space, and we are continually amazed at the quality and variety in the body of work that comes out of the studios. We have members from the entire Indianapolis metropolitan area, as well as photographers who drive up from Bloomington or down from Lafayette. Indianapolis is large enough, and there are enough specific genres of photography, that we never seem to have direct competitors from the same geographic area who share the same specialty.
How are you different from other studio shares around Indianapolis?
Well, we're not sure! We don't pay a whole lot of attention to other shared spaces. However, we do think we were the first to utilize this particular managed studio-share concept in the Indy area. We have also noticed that photographers we turn away for personality reasons often end up at other collaborative studios, and several of them have closed after very public spats among users that spilled over onto social media. We are zero-drama, high-level professionals, and we tend to attract like-minded individuals. That has sustained us and allowed us to thrive.
What is your deposit requirement?
The deposit is equal to two months fees, so it varies depending on the plan and studio you select.
I only need the studio for one day, can we make that work?
No, we do not rent on a single-day basis. Our business model is geared toward serving only those who want to make a commitment to studio photography. If you need it once, chances are high that you will need it again. Check out our rates and see if one of our smaller plans make sense for you. That being said, we do sometimes rent the studio during off-peak seasons to other businesses at the rate of $400 per day. This option is available for business-to-business rentals only, and is not offered to individual photographers and videographers. Examples include clothing retailers, commercial product shoots, video interviews, and editorial shoots for local magazines.
Can I do a test session first to see if I like it before I commit?
No, unfortunately, we do not have the staff available to supervise and engage in trial sessions.
What if I hate it and change my mind after a few months?
You won't! But if you do, there is an exit clause in your contract. Please note that you will forfeit your deposit if you elect to cancel your agreement before the end of its term, and that you may not be eligible to rejoin. We encourage you to think through the commitment carefully before signing your contract. The exit clause is intended for situations such as a medical emergency, relocation, or business closing rather than a simple change of heart. We honor our commitments, and expect others to do so as well.