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the storeHouse studio
Studio Hire 1
Studio Hire 2
Why a Studio?
You know how it is Ė youíre a photographer, an enthusiast and youíd like to do some studio work, perhaps hire a model but thereís no room at home and you donít have the right gear anyway. And perhaps your spouse and kids might be bothered by the idea of you photographing models in the garage, even if it wasnít full of junk. That was what happened to me anyway (I donít even have a garage) so I went looking for studio space to rent. It exists of course, huge spaces an hourís drive away from me in the Ďcreativeí areas of Melbourne with cycloramas and skylights and all the equipment to shoot a full-on advert for a car. And even a back corner costs hundreds per day. Ouch. A friend hired one and all he got for a couple of thousand was a day in a big white space with a pair of ancient arc lights.
The Big Idea
So, I built my own; rented a nice big old storeroom near my home in the hills and fitted it out. An 8 metre square room with a 3 metre ceiling and with a separate changeroom/storeroom and gallery area - set it up the way I wanted with some powerful flash units, smaller monoblocs, wireless and optical triggers, backdrops and so on. It used to be a storeroom for the shops downstairs and needed a lot of renovation. But it also has change room, toilets and even a kitchen! Itís my space where I can shoot, write and just relax. I do earn part of my living from photography and journalism so this was a logical step!
Now I want some help with the rent, deductible expenses and some small return on my work and investment, beyond my own pleasure - so Itís available for short term rental. At first Iím offering time on a simple space plus basis Ė a charge for using the space plus an extra charge for using my equipment. Costs are low, especially if you are using all your own gear and just need a place to work for a few hours at night or weekends. If you want to use my lighting and backdrops, thereís a deposit and small fee required to cover rent plus wear and tear. I'll hang around and help if you want or leave you to it if you prefer. You can even store your own equipment here safely for short periods if thatís more convenient. At present I have a couple of basic digital SLR's available for your use plus a basic computer workspace (Mac) and I can offer extensive advice. In fact, Iím hoping to plough the Ďprofitsí back into the venture to improve the facilities, equipment and to perhaps convert one wall to a small seamless cyclorama. Recently I've set up a second set of rollers for cloth backdrops - black, white and chroma green. Also added booms to both shooting zones.
It's simple at present. I do not have the limitless resources of a full professional studio of course. What I can offer is a secure environment, absolute privacy to work in comfort, a few props and the basics - plus whatever assistance you may want or need. Check the floor plan - The main room has coloured paper backdrops and black/white 6m muslin backdrops set up with over 8,000 watts of lighting with accessories. At present I'm also building a big 2m x 1m softbox to hold two flash heads which will free stand or hang from the ceiling. Then there is a second connecting room with a change cubicle, sink and bench for model preparation and privacy, plus coffee and tea. There is also a a foyer area and a connecting gallery passage to a small domestic kitchen and toilets. You will also have access to my library of books on studio technique and tearsheets of classic portrait styles.
Iím looking for $75 for a two hour evening session, $25 for each additional hour.
-$50 + $20 if you use your own lights, etc. (You'll be amazed how much you can achieve in a couple of hours in the proper setting).
- Half-day rate (4 hours before or after 1pm) -$120 ($150 after 6pm).
- Full day rate for 8 hours between 8am and 6pm - $200 with a small premium for evening hours.
- Small groups are welcome to share costs though Iíd prefer no more than five except by special arrangement and there is a small surcharge of 10% per extra person.
Up to three lighting rigs and zones can be set up - basic rigging time is included in the hire period although I will preprepare if I know what you need. My aim is to help you get as much done as possible in the time available.
Discount rates are offered to club members, photography students, schools and regular users. I enjoy the company of genuine enthusiast photographers and welcome ideas for improving the facility Ė Iíll even trade studio time for assistance and equipment sharing. I am a qualified teacher, VIT member so I can supervise school groups and younger models.
Documentation and literature like model releases, books, portrait tearsheets and posing guides are available.
Iíd prefer that you hire or organise your own models for now as tastes and requirements differ so much and I havenít yet had time to build up relationships with reliable people. If you donít know where to start I recommend searching Ozmodel online - www.ozmodel.com.au - as it allows you to contact professional, semi-professional and amateur models by location. I can show you how to do that and offer some common sense suggestions. You can make your own arrangements easily enough although as this venture builds, I will be able to make specific recommendations as the knowledge base builds up and I will have a stock of legal model release documents, etc.
You need specific shots for your website - I can help with that and even help you write your site. I'm no website designer but most designers aren't good writers and I am a trained advertising writer - I've rewritten quite a few for others. I'm setting up a tabletop and cocoon studio suitable for small products and the other areas will suit anything you can get down the steps - and back up! If you can't, we can set up nearby for 'environmental shots. Come in and shoot your ebay sale products properly and improve your sales or I'll do it for you and supply appropriately sized files on CD. Rates are lower than normal space hire charges of course and my time is cheap.
Whatever it is that you want to do, give me a call and drop in for a chat so we can work something out. There's no charge for a preliminary visit and short test of course so bring a camera down for an hour's free try-out. Semi-pro, enthusiast or rank amateur, youíre welcome. I really donít care if you want to photograph nudes with professional grade digital, cauliflowers on large format film or shiny little items for ebay with a decent compact camera, Iím happy to help out, leave you to it or stand back and watch in awe. The only limitation is access Ė itís down a flight of steps remember so shooting cars and caravans is out! Whatever, give me a call Ė drop over and see if the place and space can meet your needs Ė burn a few pixels and see how much fun studio work can be. Iím having a ball!
Who am I?
Iím semi-retired from teaching such things as Politics, Philosophy, Environmental Science and Photography. At present I write and shoot for a major Australian photography magazine (Digital Photography and Design) as well as teaching Philosophy and Photography, writing advertising copy for profit and poetry and fiction for the love of it.
Where is it?
Way out but worth it. The studio is in Belgrave, just behind the main street and above the Commonwealth Bank. Entry is from the car park on the hill above - down the steps. All day free parking is available. Itís convenient to most of the Eastern suburbs Ė straight up Toorak Road/Burwood Hwy. The studio is handy to restaurants, cafťs, pizza, organic food, music, tourist venues and forest. Itís like a cross between Brunswick and a country town. Great place for a day out Ė put the family on Puffing Billy while you work or just enjoy the local cafť culture where I sometimes write - do a couple of hours shooting and then kick back at a local eatery.
At present, all evenings and weekends as I still have a day job! But also some times during the day Ė at the moment, most afternoons and all day Tuesday and Thursday. Plus any time at all during school holidays. This may change.
Contact: Andrew Fildes
- eastern Melbourne
tel. - 0404 330075 or 03 9754 4545