Freelancers VS. Studios: Who is Better For Me and My Budget

Blog 2 of 3 Part Series - Freelancers vs studio: Who is better for my needs and budget? 


I love freelancers, so don’t get me wrong when I size up freelancers against a photo studio. We find all our photographers because they were freelancers.

What is the difference to hire freelancer vs a studio?

We are your one-stop for photography, model booking, styling and retouch.

We are your one-stop for photography, model booking, styling and retouch.

In my view a freelancer is not looking to do the same job over and over again. No photographer is looking to do the same thing repeatedly, but that is likely what happens at a studio that specializes in E-comm and product photography. 

At StyleExpo, we aren’t a one-trick-pony type of studio as we have photographers with all types of skill sets (lifestyle, jewelry, product), but in their silos, my teams focus mainly on producing one type of output. What this means for you is that we set up fast, set lighting quickly, and know how to style consistently from shoot to shoot. 

Another potential difference between booking a freelancer and a studio is that a studio will have a suite of services in-house. You come to us and we have the studio, the equipment, the photographers, the stylist, and the retouchers.

Many freelancers might have a home studio which is great for tabletop photography, but they can’t accommodate your needs when you want to be at the shoot or your shooting surface requirements exceed beyond a flat surface. 

Two of the main reasons we win business away from freelancers is because we have the human-power and availability that a freelancer often doesn’t have. 

We are available 5 days a week, all day. We have a team of retouchers that are going to start working on your images the next morning when the freelancer might be on to their next job. Moreover, a studio can be booked to shoot a small amount of product, whereas a freelancer generally expects a half to full day booking.

At StyleExpo, you can book us for as little as 1 hour, so when 5 samples come late, we can often shoot and retouch by end of day. 

If you like the assurance of being able to book your photo shoots months in advance, a studio might be a better bet. If one of our team of photographers isn’t free, we will have another one available to meet your time requirement. If you are on a tight deadline for retouched images, a studio might be a better bet. StyleExpo has a 3-business day for retouched images.

If you need flexibility on the shooting of your samples, a studio might be a better bet. Most studios can be booked for small shoots and don’t need a half or full day commitment.

Our studio in downtown Los Angeles

Our studio in downtown Los Angeles

Lastly, a studio likely is paying rent for its space in a building. In my view, this offers some security that the studio has to have a steady client base or it would be hard to pay the rent on a 2000 square foot space. The flip side of the fixed space is that with that comes overhead and a freelancer will always be able to have the flexibility on cost that a studio will not.  

Did you read Part One?