Photography Studios Manchester
Find a Manchester photo studio with Tutti
Hiring a professional photo studio in Manchester for your next shoot can make a world of difference to the quality of your images. But if you’ve never hired a studio before you might wonder if it’s worth the cost. Photo studios are purpose designed and come with handy facilities for your team like kitchens and dressing rooms, as well as basic photography equipment you would otherwise need to buy or hire separately. So if you don’t already own your own backdrops, or lighting modifiers, or just don’t have enough space in your own home, then hiring a photography studio in Manchester could actually be the cheapest and simplest option for your next shoot.
Here at Tutti, we can guide you through finding the ideal Manchester photographic studios for your needs and your budget.
Why hire a photo studio in Manchester?
Manchester may be famous for its football teams and music scene - famous artists like Liam and Noel Gallagher, David Gray, and The Smiths have all come out of Manchester. But it is also home to well-renowned photographers like Shirley Baker, who was best known for her street portraits in working-class areas of Greater Manchester, and Kevin Cummins, who started out photographing rock bands in Manchester in the mid-seventies.
The city centre has gone through a massive transformation and is now a modern and thriving creative hub. It has been named ‘the Capital of the North’ for its massive range of art, film, and theatre hotspots like Albert Hall, the Opera House and the HOME Arts Centre.
Manchester offers affordable photographic studios for any creative project. You can find daylight photo studios as well as blackout photo studios and drive-in infinity cove studios. Plus the city is only a 2-hour train ride from London and is compact enough that it is simple to get around once you’re here.
Plan your photoshoot before you hire a photography studio in Manchester
Know the purpose of your shoot
Many photography studios are designed for specific uses, for example, green screen studios are great if you want to easily add in post-production effects, daylight studios allow for plenty of natural lighting, while blackout studios are ideal for when you need complete lighting control. Will you be shooting products, animals, individuals or large groups? This will inform the size of the space you need.
Plan your budget
Calculating your budget before you start your search for a photo studio will help you narrow down your options so you aren’t overwhelmed by choice. It will also help determine how long you can hire your studio for. Remember your budget needs to cover the basic studio hire fee as well as additional costs like models and hair/makeup artists, an assistant, props, rates for going overtime, paid parking costs, and extra equipment rental.
Decide what equipment you need
Your lighting setup will have the most significant impact on the quality of 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. It’s also a good idea to have a diffuser to adjust the intensity of the light and reflectors to bounce light onto your subject. If you’re not sure whether your photoshoot would benefit from a high-key or low-key lighting setup, check out our lighting guide.
In terms of cameras, mirrorless and DSLR cameras are popular because they provide high-resolution image quality while also giving you creative flexibility. If you have a commercial product shoot for let's say e-commerce products, you’ll need a tripod as well to ensure your product height and angles remain consistent across all shots.
Choose your team
If you need to find models and stylists for your shoot, start with an online search in your local area. Social media is a great tool for finding professionals too, most artists will have a professional Instagram profile which makes it simple to view their work and see whether their looks or skills fit with your concept. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people online to see if they’re interested in working with you.
Checklist for hiring a Manchester photo studio
What lighting equipment do you need?
Often basic lighting equipment like umbrellas and softboxes are included in the studio hire. If you have any particular requests you can message the host to see if they provide the equipment for a fee. This will save you from hiring lighting separately and having to factor in transport costs.
What props do you need?
Some photo studio hire fees include props like chairs and other furniture. It's a good idea to check with the host whether you are allowed to move these existing props around to use them in your shoot.
Do you require a parking space?
If you wish to drive to the photo studio, you can choose studios with free or paid parking by using Tutti’s advanced search tool to filter your search. Each listing also shows you the local transport options including the closest tube lines and bus routes.
How much studio space will you require?
This will depend on how large your team is. Make sure there is a break area and a kitchen/refreshment-making facilities available for them. If your shoot includes models you’ll need to make sure there is a changing room and space for a hair & make-up station.
What are your background options?
Decide on the style and colour themes for your shoot, then ensure the photo studio has a variety of background textures and coloured backdrops to suit.
What are your power requirements?
Once you know your power needs - whether you need single or three-phase power, you can check the studio’s power access under general information on each Tutti page listing.
Do you require A/C or heating?
This will depend of course on what time of the year you’re hiring the photo studio. If you’re working with models it’s important to make sure they are comfortable, and if you’re photographing food you need to be able to control the temperature to ensure it doesn’t spoil.
Frequently asked questions
Are there good public transport links in Manchester?
Manchester is very accessible. As well as bus routes connecting the north, south, east and west of Manchester, there are also two main train stations, Piccadilly and Victoria which connect you to the rest of north England and London. The city also has a tram service called the Metrolink which runs frequently to Altrincham, Eccles, Bury, Rochdale. East Didsbury and Ashton-Under-Lyn.
Can I view the space before booking it?
Yes, sometimes it can be a good idea to view the dance studio before you hire it to make sure it's suitable for your needs. Most dance studios in London will allow you to book a viewing appointment, so you can check out the facilities and ask any questions you might have. During the viewing, you can also get a sense of the size of the studio, the quality of the equipment, and the overall vibe of the space.
What is typically included in the hire price of a Manchester photo studio?
Many photo studios in Manchester will include basic photo equipment in the hire fee, including camera stands, softboxes, poly boards, coloramas and reflectors. You will also generally be able to access basic facilities such as a kitchen, storage space and changing room. If they offer additional equipment it’s a good idea to check whether you are required to pay an extra rental fee. If you have specific requirements for your session, please remember to message the host.
How much should I budget to hire a photo studio in Manchester?
The majority of photography studios in Manchester charge by the day or half-day and you can find hire fees starting from £150 per day, making them generally a more affordable option than central London studios. You can also request to book multiple dates via Tutti’s online inquiry system.
Can I hire a professional photographer or assistant?
Some photo studio listings in West London advertise the option to hire photography professionals at an additional cost. You can either message the host or ask them the question when you submit a booking request to find out whether they offer this service and at what cost.