Find a blackout studio hire in London
The purpose of a blackout photography studio is to block all the natural light from entering the space so the set is near pitch black. This is done with the use of blackout drapes covering all light sources like windows and often black vinyl or painted floors and walls. These studios are great for a variety of photography styles including fashion photography, commercial shoots and food photography.
Hiring a blackout studio means you have complete control over your light sources and therefore the subjects can be lit in precisely the way you want. Most blackout studios in London come well-equipped with temperature control and dedicated facilities like kitchens and breakrooms to ensure your photoshoot is a comfortable and enjoyable experience, so you can concentrate on doing your best work.
Here at Tutti, we can guide you through finding the perfect London blackout studio for your needs and your budget.
For more information on how to plan your photoshoot for a seamless outcome, check out our detailed how-to guide further down the page.
How to plan for your shoot before you hire a blackout studio in London
Develop a concept
The beauty of choosing a London photographic studio is there’s a venue for every look and mood you could want to create, so your limit is your imagination. To achieve a certain look for your photos you’ll want to start building a concept for your photoshoot. This is so important because ideally, the concept drives all other creative and practical decisions for your blackout shoot. A great way to visualise this is with a mood board, whether physical or digital using the likes of Pinterest.
Establish your budget
Remember when deciding on your budget, not only does it need to cover the basic fee for blackout studio hire in London, but you’ll also need to factor in additional costs like models and hair/makeup artists, additional help e.g. a photography assistant, backdrops and props, rates for going overtime, paid parking costs, and extra equipment rental.
Decide on floor space and facilities required
Will you be shooting a fashion editorial with one model or a corporate campaign with a large team? Knowing the capacity of the venue is vital, not only for the shoot itself but also for preparation. You’ll need to ensure there are sufficient facilities for everyone to get ready comfortably, for example, a well-equipped kitchen and dedicated makeup and changing room.
Pick a location
Will you need to drive to the shoot? And, if so, does the blackout studio come with a dedicated parking space? A photo studio in central London may not be the right choice once you consider potential parking and traffic problems, but there are plenty of other studios to hire in zones 2-4 covering North, South, East and West London.
If you’ll be working with models then it’s a good idea to ensure there are public transport options such as nearby tube stations, and consider whether these will be available if you have an early start or late finish. You also might want to check out the local amenities for food and coffee options during your breaks.
Choose the best equipment for your shoot
Blackout studios allow you complete lighting control over your set, so it’s crucial to bring the right equipment to get your desired outcome from your photos. You’ll need to consider your key light source, plus a fill light which will remove harsh shadows created by the key light, and a rim light or background light to illuminate your subject from behind, separating it from the background.
Other equipment you’ll find useful are modifiers to adjust the quality or intensity of the light and either soften or sharpen the effect on your subject. Types of modifiers include softboxes, umbrellas, and reflectors. If you want to learn more about lighting setup check out our in-depth photo studio equipment guide.
Checklist for hiring a London blackout photography studio
Do you require a parking space? Using Tutti’s advanced search tool you can filter the studios by free or paid parking to ensure you will have a carpark space available. Each listing also shows you the local transport options including the closest tube lines and bus routes.
What props do you need? Some blackout studio hire fees include props and it’s a good idea to check whether you can move these existing props around to use them in your shoot.
What lighting equipment do you need? Because lighting equipment is integral to the shoot, many blackout studios will provide equipment like flashguns, strobes, umbrellas, and softboxes. If you plan on using equipment offered by the studio, make sure to ask whether it is included in the hire fee.
How much space will you require? This will depend on how large your team is. If you are working with models, make sure you have a changing room and enough hair & beauty stations so the stylists can work simultaneously. It’s also a good idea to check there’s a break area and a kitchen/refreshment making facilities available for the team so everyone is comfortable.
What are your background options? Once you’ve decided on the style and colour themes for your shoot, you’ll need to ensure there is a good variety of background textures and coloured backdrops available at the blackout studio to suit. blackout studios are equipped the same as classical photo studios, which usually include background options.
What are your power requirements? Under general information on each of Tutti’s studio page listings, you can check whether single or three-phase power is available.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Can I only use the studio as a blackout studio?
Not necessarily, if you would like multiple lighting options you could choose a blackout studio that also converts to a daylight studio. In this case, look for a blackout studio which has natural light sources such as windows or large skylights.
How long can I hire a blackout photo studio for?
This is completely up to you. Most London-based studio hire fees charge by the day or half-day, but using Tutti’s enquiry form you can request multiple dates for a location.
How much should I budget to hire a blackout photography studio in London?
Tutti offers a wide range of studios for hire for every budget. You can narrow your search by using the advanced search options and filtering by price. Most studios in London charge by the day or half-day with the majority of prices falling between £200 and £1500 per day.
What kinds of projects should I use a blackout studio for?
A blackout studio is ideal for film and photography shoots where you want total control over lighting and are popular for choreographed music videos, filmed interviews, and fashion photography shoots to name just a few.
What is typically included in the hire price of a London blackout studio?
Like classical photo studios in London, blackout studios generally include basic photo equipment in the hire fee, such as camera stands, softboxes, poly boards, coloramas and reflectors. There will also usually be core facilities such as a kitchen, storage space and changing room. If you have specific requirements please remember to message the host and if they do provide additional equipment, check whether there is any additional charge.
Do I need special lighting equipment for a blackout studio?
As there are no external lighting sources, you’ll need an array of lighting options to ensure your project is adequately lit, such as your key light source plus modifiers. The good news is many blackout studios offer lighting equipment like flashguns and umbrellas so you don’t need to source your own. Check the space listing details for what equipment is included, or message the host with any questions.