This large studio has put the costuming process "on stage" so persons entering the lobby gallery can see the action.
TRAFFIC FLOW THROUGH THE STUDIO
It was once thought that a one-way assembly line type traffic flow would be the ideal for an old time photo studio. This was never achieved so it was never validated. In the meantime, new scatter plans in fast food restaurants have proven that customers who know the ropes do not need to be led like sheep through a pre-determined traffic plan.
They may know the ropes but it is well established that old time photographers and their customers all tend to be predominantly creative types so, while they may "know the ropes", the challenge is to channel all this creative energy in a relatively efficient manner while allowing for behavior that naturally resists repetition.
If you were to gather all the veteran OTP operators in one room and ask them what is the ideal floor plan, no two of them would agree. There is no consensus. Therefore, the best advice is: visit as many studios as you possibly can and observe where the bottlenecks occur. Then try to avoid those problems in your studio design.
The studio needs space for:
Here are some suggestions for combining these various functions:
The studio that puts the costuming right out front where the guests are greeted is a very friendly studio indeed. It is also very intimate and not too private. No passerby will miss the fun that’s going on.
This large studio has put the costuming process “on stage” so persons entering the lobby gallery can see the action. Even in this high volume studio, there are slack times when the proximity of the costuming area to the greeting area enables staff to greet people while costuming others.
COMBINING COSTUMING AND POSING
While it’s very handy to have the hats and props within reach of your camera, you would hardly want to be doing the majority of costuming on the set. Only in the tiniest of studios should this ever be necessary.
In this studio, the men’s hats and props are stored between two sets. The photographer can use the hats and props to design each photo individually, then return the items to their proper places without traversing the rest of the busy studio.
COMBINING POSING AND PROOFING
In a high volume studio with five or more staff members on duty at once, it is helpful to move the subjects off the set and directly to the proofing station. Therefore, having the set adjoin the proofing station is a good idea. During slow times, if only one operator is on duty, the guests might as well see their proofs while still on the set and in costume. This keeps the magic of the moment intact and prolongs the value of arriving guests seeing persons in costume from the front door.
Some digital camera systems have a fairly good size monitor attached to the camera. This can sometimes be used for proofing if the actual proofing station must be located away from the camera...more