Goodbye Photo Studio, Hello PeerSpace: Why I Ditched My Photo Studio

Goodbye Photo Studio, Hello PeerSpace: Why I Ditched My Photo Studio

Is it really necessary to have your own photo studio? Here's why I let go of my own photo studio and use PeerSpace instead. 

In 2013, I launched my professional photography career, setting up shop in the spare bedroom of my small apartment. Having my own photo studio was my ultimate dream back then. Yet, the only route to access one was by leasing one —a far-off goal at that point.

I dreamt of a space that would exude professionalism, fostering creativity and excitement for my clients. I held that dream firm in my mind, worked hard, and rocked out many photo shoots in my guest bedroom studio. Eventually, I was able to lease a studio of my own. I remember that day when I first got the keys. It was a small but mighty space. After that, I moved on and leased two other photo studios, each bigger, nicer, and more perfectly suited for my needs than the last. It was wonderful to have a space filled with gear where I could work, create, and host photoshoots and meetings in, but there were also some drawbacks. Long-term leases proved expensive, with escalating rent and additional expenses like internet and electricity. On top of that, I also felt a little limited. 

Traveling for photoshoots was becoming more and more necessary for my photography work. I found myself booking shoots in places like Los Angeles, New York, and Nashville. My photo work was no longer restricted to my hometown. 

PeerSpace studio rental in Los Angeles

As I started to book these shoots in other cities, I did some research about studio rentals, hoping to find a person that I could connect with to borrow their studio for a day or two. To my own luck and surprise, I stumbled across PeerSpace. PeerSpace is a platform that allows you to rent photo studios by the hour in cities all over the world. On PeerSpace, you can find everything from professionally equipped studios to unconventional rooms and residences that you can rent by the hour. You can browse through tons of different spaces, select the one that best suits your needs, and book it directly through their website. 

I booked my first studio rental in my hometown of Richmond, Virginia to test it out. The process worked seamlessly. I booked my studio online and was instantly emailed a confirmation. Prior to the shoot, I was contacted by the host with all of the information I needed about working in the studio and given an access code. When I arrived at the studio for my shoot, the space was perfectly set up and ready for me to start shooting. After the shoot, I tidied up and left the space as I found it. So simple. So easy.

PeerSpace Studio rental in action.

Since that initial experience, I have used PeerSpace to rent studios in Los Angeles, New York City, and Nashville. I’ve found that the options in larger cities are really impressive. I've rented studios multiple times, always experiencing a positive reception. Some studios come fully equipped with cyc walls, professional lighting, stands, apple boxes—the works. Others are more minimal, yet PeerSpace accurately represents all equipment and gear, ensuring clarity about what to expect. Every studio I've rented has been clean, organized, and hosted by extremely kind and accommodating hosts. Most studios rent for somewhere between $30 to $75 an hour, making it a cost-effective choice. 

With the increased travel I was doing for my work and the availability of PeerSpace studios pretty much anywhere in the world, I ultimately decided to let go of my own studio space. Now I use PeerSpace to rent studios for all of my shoots. It keeps my overhead low and allows me the flexibility to travel and do studio photography work anywhere I want. I appreciate the ability to rent spaces that cater to each shoot's unique requirements, whether it's a full makeup mirror, kitchen, or lounge area, depending on the project's scope. 

Don’t get me wrong, I definitely think there are a ton of pros of having a studio of your own, and at times, I definitely do miss mine. But it is really cool that it is now possible to operate a successful studio photography business without having to lease a studio of your own and take on that overhead. It opens the door of possibility for photographers of all levels.

I'd love to hear your thoughts! Have you used PeerSpace before? What was your experience like?

Jada Parrish's picture

Jada is a photographer and director specializing in conceptual portraits. Her work is known for its bold, colorful, and surreal style. Her creative style of portraiture lends itself nicely to work in both fashion and the music industry. She is one half of the creative duo Jada + David.

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*Peerspace not PeerSpace

Source: am a Peerspace host.

I have used Peerspace before. It works well when I need a certain aesthetic. I've used it for example, to brand nutritionists or entrepreneurs who wanted a home or office-looking space. Most of my work though, I prefer my studio. I've had it for years and I have everything I need. It's my favorite little spot. Peerspace is a great tool for the right job though.

Why not rent your studio out on PS? Allowing you to reduce some of your cost while still having your place available when you need it.

I too have used Peerspace before. Great concept. I've since elected to get my own studio. Using the service in my market cut too deeply into my profits. Further, I needed more room than I (and my lovely and supportive wife) was willing to sacrifice in our home. I was fortunate to find professional space just a 5min drive from the house for roughly the cost of roughly 8 peerspace hours. No assembly/disassembly, consistent and professional client experience, and like you said a creative space suited for the work. I'm not saying that Peerspace isn't a valuable resource, especially for travelling gigs, but the decision to use them vs leasing must suit the business case. I may even offer to rent my studio to offset expenses. Could you have done the same and kept at least one of your studios?

Thanks for the information. I checked around my state and, not surprising, the big cities have the most, with the best costs. Thanks again!

Not a good idea 🤷‍♂️ First : You can rent your own studio on Peerspace .
Second: It gets more expensive if you need to build a “set” for the photoshoot , what if it takes two days to build the set 🧐
Third : It will limit you doing creative shoots for testing and fun because now you have to pay 💰 for any hour that you want to experiment or just shoot for fun where you don’t get paid .
Its only a good idea if you don’t make enough money from photography to justify having the studio 🤓

I have a belief I just read a commercial.