Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Studios for Rent in Edmonton

When I was in college, I dreamt of fostering win-win business support for the arts community where everyone had equal access and ability to reach their own potential by simply pooling resources and sharing spaces in what can oftentimes seem like a very arts-unfriendly environment.  Visual artists including painters, sculptors, and printmakers have embraced this philosophy but in the photography community, success began with a business model that required hoarding resources in order to squeeze out or kill the competition.  I wanted to see more creative professionals opening up scarce resources to colleagues, fostering cooperative, mutually supportive business models.  This could be accomplished by a) small groups of photographers with opposing schedules finding ways of maximizing the hours of use in a dedicated venue and b) private studio owners lowering their overhead and having the freedom to spend more time being creative by charging reasonable rent for access.

The first step towards putting the plan into action came with establishing Edmonton's first sustainable shared studio space for photographers, The Photographer Studio, designed by and for non-commercial home-based photographers.  This was followed up shortly thereafter with the establishment of My Edmonton Studio which offered primarily education and business support to a broad range of creative professionals.  An increasing inability to use hotel rooms for boudoir was especially instrumental in helping private studio owners recognize the earning potential of going public.  Within 2.5 years, Edmonton photographers now have more than 10 studios available for rent in all areas of the city and surrounding areas, serving a wide variety of styles and needs, at prices that even a fledgling photographer can afford.  While the idea of the commercial for-profit rental studio has existed for ages, I've heard tell that the trend of sustainable, cooperative studio spaces is slowly catching on in other centres.

It is my hope that these shared spaces will continue to pop up and thrive so that as I embark on my next adventure I am able to benefit from what I like to think of as starting a movement.  Hopefully this means I will be able to enjoy the benefit of hippy love-ins while I spend some time travelling around with my family.  I very much feel like my work here is done ;)  Carry on, all!


Photographers in the Edmonton area are fortunate to have access to many venues with a wide variety of amenities, aesthetics, and functions.  With rates averaging around $40/hr, here are a handful of other rental venues (in alphabetical order) available with a quick rundown of their highlights.  My Edmonton Studio has CLOSED (see what owner Hope Walls is up to by visiting her photography blog at or her family's bus blog at so this is the list!!!  If you know (or own!) a space that isn't on this list, please contact me and I will make sure I expand the list!

Elizabeth Van Der Bij of ENV Photography just moved into her new 325sq ft digs this month and has been sharing sneak peeks of her almost-ready boudoir suite on Facebook.  Email her here.  Details and rates here.

Located in the heart of Edmonton's gorgeous 124th street business district, Garage Photographic is a slick outfit with tonnes of amenities including main floor access, HUGE continuous backdrop area, flexible operating hours, and an enviable collection of continuous lighting.  Geared towards film, Garage has also been used for stills by the likes of Jason Symington MFA of Imagen and Renee Robyn of Renee Robyn Photography.  Contact talented and knowledgeable owner Peter Markowski for complete details.

Edmonton Studio Rentals
Photocred: Garage Photographic

Recently opening up their private studios for rental, Kelly and partner Svetlana have a studio in West Edmonton (174 street, 106a Ave).  Currently outfitted with a warm water set, a regular set, and a fitness set, this space evolves as the hobby owners change their minds about what to shoot.  Private change/make-up room with tanning bed plus 2 other shooting areas.  $100/4 hours includes lights.  Email Kelly here.

Catering to both film and photography, the team at King Oak offers a variety of production services.  Owner Chris is personable and friendly, and will assist with setting you up for your full or half-day shoot.  Contact him for complete information on renting his 1000sq ft 2nd floor south side studio with green room and kitchenette.  

Photocred: King Oak Studios

Rates start at $40/hr to rent this beautiful space with 12ft vaulted ceilings, loads of natural light, and a variety of wall colours for quick shooting.  Nare also features a change room, washroom, and the capacity to set up multiple seamless drops.  Contact Noelia and Rodrigo by emailing them here.  Minimum 2-hr booking.

Photocred: Nare Studio

Outfitted with a bed and multiple draperies, The Photographer Studio's quaint 2nd floor west-central Edmonton location perfectly suits the dedicated natural light boudoir photographer.  Their second location in west Edmonton is 1700 square feet and is also ideally suited to boudoir.  Rent starts at $40 - $50/hr.  Email them here.

Photocred: The Photographer Studio

The Where House is available to rent for photography, videos, rehearsal space, shop space, and more.  20 foot ceilings, full stage, 5000 watts of sound, countless props.  The Where House recently added a stripper pole to its collection of unique amenities for creative collaborations.  Zombies.  Fetish.  Fantasy.  Fire.  If these are the things you're looking to do, this is the place you want to be.  Contact them via their Facebook Page.

If you happen to be out in Sherwood Park/Gibbons/Fort Saskatchewan, you are welcome to contact Lareina or Corry-Lyn and inquire about their adorable little space located in the Fort.  With a quaint collection of furniture and drops, this itty bitty space has huge possibilities.

Still don't see what you need?  You should just check Kijiji - there is always a dance studio, gym, or other new photographer who has their doors open for a once-in-a-while rental.

Don't see your name on this list?  Send me a pic of your space and a brief write-up so you can be added!