There are plenty of places for photographers to book studio space. But Cam Kirk Studios offers additional services and community elements that provide even more value to creatives. Read about the business and its unique offerings in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.
What the Business Does
Provides studio and creative services for photographers and artists in Atlanta.
Founder Cam Kirk told Small Business Trends, “The studio is a place for photographers and creatives alike to create projects, sharpen their creative skills, and conduct business with the professional tools needed to advance.
“With over 500 bookings a month, Cam Kirk Studios has expanded to offer services within the fashion and music industries, along with hosting educational events for the community within its 7000 square foot space in the heart of Atlanta.”
Building community through services.
Kirk says, “Most of our competitors simply offer a space for creatives to work out of but we take it a step further and actually work with our clients to ensure they not only get the most out of their experience at our space but that they also have the tools and resources needed to progress in their career.”
How the Business Got Started
Understanding industry challenges.
Kirk explains, “As a photographer myself, I understood how challenging creating in a photography studio can be, especially when you are not making enough money to hire assistants for your sets. Understanding those challenges we created a unique creative studio space experience that directly combats that and makes the photo studio experience as user-friendly as possible.”
Reaching 25,000 scheduled appointments.
Kirk says, “Reaching such a milestone number of bookings really certifies our impact in Atlanta and the creative community, something that I am forever grateful for in business.”
Giving away studio time for free.
Kirk explains, “When we first opened our studio doors, we had a really difficult time getting clients and bookings. Many people in our community believed it was just my private studio. So they did not realize it was a space open for them. I knew we had to come up with a way to just get creatives in the door. And from there, we could keep and expand their business.
“We came up with our free studio time system, something we actually still have in place til this day that allows creatives to book an hour at our studio completely free. This program coupled with add on amenities and upsale strategies really got our business off the ground and allowed us to show our creative community that we were a business that understood their needs and was more about them than the money. To this day we have given away close to 10k free studio time ours to the community here in Atlanta.”
Navigating the pandemic.
Kirk adds, “We had to shut our doors for months and were not able to gather with our community. That was an extreme challenge to overcome. But one that definitely made us stronger for years to come. It taught us to expand our community more online and to find more ways to monetize via merchandise, content and brand partnerships.”
How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000
Expanding to additional markets.
Kirk says, “If I had an extra 100k, I would use it to open up multiple locations in some neighboring cities that could use a space like ours. My goal is by 2024 to at least have two more locations up and running.”
The studio is a hidden gem.
Kirk says, “One really interesting tidbit about our business is that we actually stand like a hidden gem inside of a really old office building. Before we took occupancy into our building, many people in Atlanta thought our office building was an abandoned building, since it had so few relevant businesses as tenants. When our clients enter our building, they often are in disbelief that our modern studio lives inside such an old school building. It reminds me so much of businesses in NYC where they might be tucked inside a large office building on a random floor, almost like a speakeasy. That’s the vibe our space gives in Atlanta.”
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Image: Cam Kirk Studios, Cam Kirk