Top 5 Tips for Photography Studio Rentals in NYC

Photography studio best practices come naturally to us at Canoe Studios; photo shoots in NYC are our most sought-after service! 

After years of hosting the the world’s biggest brands as well as managing and producing hundreds of editorial photo shoots, fashion photo shoots, portrait photo shoots, event shoots, and everything in between, we’ve assembled a tried-and-true playbook of ways to make your NYC photo shoot as professional, high-quality, and thoughtfully executed as possible.

TIP #1: It’s All About the Natural Light

There’s no question we hear more often than, “What type of daylight do you get in the studio?” It’s because professionals and casual clients alike know the importance of harnessing natural light and using it to their photo shoot’s advantage. It’s also why Canoe Studios and its 8 full-size studios have full daylight capabilities and wraparound the Southwest and North sides of its building to harness as much light as possible.

Using natural light not only offers your photos a texture and authenticity that’s difficult and time-consuming to recreate with artificial light, it will also enable a more efficient shoot and maximize your studio time by requiring less equipment for setups.

Efficient and effective, natural light is a sure way to make your subject and set look as beautiful as possible in the least amount of setup time.

Tip #2: Start Early

Photographers and their crews need to leave plenty of time for setup and adjustments, especially if they’ve never been to the photo studio before. Many of our clients begin loading into their studio(s) around 7:30a or 8a in order to be completely setup by 11a. This allows them to maximize daylight shooting hours and harness the beautiful golden light of the sunset later in the afternoon.

That may seem excessive, but you always need more time than you think to load in, acquaint yourself with the space, decide on the ideal organization of lighting and equipment, and then executive the setup. Oftentimes the shoot is the grand finale of their rental period! 

Every client is different, but the point is that allowing plenty of time to scout the perfect corner of the studio and decide on the perfect ultrabounce for the light is essential to creating the best content possible.

Tip #3: If Natural Light Isn’t Your Thing, You Need Blackout Capabilities and Power

Natural light isn’t for everybody and there are plenty of editorial clients who want to create more stylized, controlled lighting setups using their own kit. That requires a studio whose space is also versatile enough to block all sources of natural light, otherwise known as “black out capable.”

If you’ll be relying on artificial light sources for your photo shoot, you’ll need to ensure your photo studio has sufficient power outlets and supply to sustain the power-draining lights and equipment that a full artificial setup requires. Standard plugs and voltage likely insufficient to power everything you’d need to create a professional-looking lighting setup from scratch.

Tip #4: Understand the Full Capability of Your Studio

Knowing your photo studio’s amount of natural light, blackout capability, and power capability is essential, but what about equipment, staff, and other resources?

Don’t rely on your photo studio having additional camera, sound, lighting, or production equipment unless they’ve explicitly spelled out to you that those are services provided on-site. No photo studio is the same and you don’t want to assume and get caught on shoot day unprepared while your allotted time ticks away.

There’s a big difference between renting a space for a photo shoot and working with a production company or photography studio to solicit their in-house production services. Whatever your needs, make sure your studio can provide them!

Tip #5: Equipment Makes or Breaks

Having a vision is a huge first step but realizing it takes a lot of thought, preparation, and intuition. You’ll likely need a lot of help to make that vision come to life: knowledge guidance, space, maybe a crew, cameras, lights. Assuming you and your team are set in stone, the next most important step is deciding the best tools to use.

State-of-the-art equipment is always a safe bet but knowing how to use and optimize each piece of equipment is the difference between average work and the cover of Vogue. One piece of equipment Canoe Studios is proud to carry is the Profoto Pro-11 Flash System, an exclusive piece of Swedish hardware currently found nowhere else in NYC.

Not only does it provide the next generation of flash speed and power, it also offers a seamless user experience and wireless syncing from smart devices. That translates to less time adjusting the individual settings of lights and more time shooting your amazing shots!

These 5 tips are just skimming the surface of everything you should and need to know to create the best-looking photo shoots possible. Something else that can help tremendously: eliciting the help of professionals!

At Canoe Studios, we not only have an abundance of natural light, over 40,000 square feet of versatile studio space, a 1,000 square foot south-facing terrace, a full catering-ready kitchen, blackout capabilities, cycloramas, high-speed internet, and more bleeding-edge tech than you can shake 14 Pro-11’s at, we also have a trained staff of production-ready experts ready to help realize your vision from beginning to end.

Ready to setup your next top-shelf photo shoot? Call Canoe Studios and book your studio today.