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The expenses incurred when establishing a studio are considerable. Suitable cameras, lenses and accessories must be purchased, and specialized lighting and background equipment set up. When the cost of these items is added to that of maintaining suitable accommodation, a studio becomes a significant investment.

Photographers who already have photographic equipment, and who need only occasional use of studio facilities, may find it more economical to hire time in an established professional studio. Although typical hourly rates may seem expensive, the long-term costs incurred in maintaining permanent accommodation are avoided.

Another possibility for amateur work is to rent a local room where studio equipment can be set up for short periods - perhaps just one or two days. This is relatively easy to achieve for those who own their own lighting and background equipment. A flash meter is also an essential item.

The size or area of room required for a studio is dependent upon the type of work to be undertaken. Table-top work can be done successfully in quite restricted circumstances, but photographing people generally requires more space. Head-and-shoulders portrait work requires the least space, but it is still necessary to erect a suitable background system and position the subject a couple of metres in front of it. Lighting stands must also be erected out of the field of view, and space must be found for the photographer to work and for subjects to relax and change their clothes.

Working with groups of people, or with full-length portraiture, requires significantly more space. The background must be wider and higher, and it is necessary for the photographer to move further away from the subjects. Additional space must also be reserved for relaxation, changing clothes, toilet facilities and so on.

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