Billing for Studio Rental

Discussion in 'Business of Photography' started by sjen, Mar 27, 2018.

  1. Hello and thanks in advance for your time and insight.

    I have a studio share for a set amount of days and a new client's looking for an affordable space to shoot. In the estimate, I itemized the studio rental separately. My share's been paid for in full already.

    So my question is: When I invoice the client, how do I bill for the studio rental? Do I create an invoice for the prorated days and submit it along with the other receipts? If I create an invoice for renting out my studio share (the studio lease holder is fine with the arrangement), do I put my own name on the letterhead? The client knows about my share and on our call the client didn't ask any questions about the studio line item. What is the best way to bill for this?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks again!
  2. Bill the client for the products and services he/she purchased from you. This should be clear between you and the client, in the form of a written proposal (the word "quote" is often used in the U.S., in other countries the word "offer" is sometimes used), before the products or services are delivered.

    If you sold the client studio time, bill the client for studio time. For example, if you sold the client 2 days of studio time, bill the client for 2 days of studio time.

    I prefer to invoice on a job basis. This means all products and services sold to a client for a job/project/shoot, etc. This means one invoice with everything it took to get the job done. If in your case this included studio time, then include it.

    Does this answer your question?
  3. I always billed clients for the following items: creative services (my photography), usage licensing, expenses which included assistants, catering, studio and equipment rental, hair, makeup etc. I itemized it all. I marked it all up a standard 17.5%, as specified in my contract/quote/offer.
  4. Thanks so much for your advice. When I bill, all the receipts, assistant/stylist invoices, relevant credit card charges are submitted along with my invoice.

    But now, I won't have the studio rental on my credit card anymore as I'll be renting my studio share to the client. So do I create an invoice for the studio rental with my name on the letterhead and submit that as the studio rental receipt?

    What do other photographers do when they rent out their studio to their client?

    Thanks again!
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2018
  5. Thank you for your reply. Yes, all the services/expenses are billed and itemized. I just don't know how to bill for the studio rental days because it's prepaid and I won't have any receipts or credit card statements to submit to the client unless I make up an invoice or something.
  6. I never itemized for my studio, only when I rented an outside studio. I figure that my studio costs and overhead are sunk into my Creative Fee number, as is my equipment, insurance, heat, etc.
  7. Thanks!
  8. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Clarification is required.

    The way the question reads to me is: that you are sub-letting or sub-leasing or sub renting the studio space (for which you have pre-paid), to another Photographer to use for his shoot?

    Is this correct?

  9. Yes the studio space has been prepaid. And instead of renting a higher-priced space, I told my client about my studio share, which costs less. The client will be using some of my days. Unlike other times when I rent a studio on behalf of the client and pay for it with my credit card, I don't have credit card statements or receipts to submit with my invoice. That's really my question. How do I bill for the studio? Do I make up an invoice for the studio time rental? Thanks again!
  10. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    If I rent a studio to use and I do the Photography, I do NOT submit my receipts for the Studio Hire, to my Client.

    I don't submit any receipts for any of the purchases that I have made to facilitate a job for a Client. I quote on a job and if it is accepted the Client pays that money; what I pay out as my costs for running my company is my business and not my Clients' business.

    If you have paid up front for Studio hire and you are now on-selling that hire time, provided you have the authority and permission from the owner of the property, then simply make an invoice on your letterhead for "Studio Hire", designating the date(s) and time(s) of the hire and the total charge of the hire - it is as simple as that in my mind.


    Post script: I advise to seriously rethink the practice of supplying any Client with information and/or receipts pertaining to any costs of running your business.

    IMO that puts your Clients in a superior negotiating position of power and leaves your business quite vulnerable.
    Charles_Webster likes this.
  11. PapaTango

    PapaTango Itinerant Philosopher

    I think you are making this far more complicated than it needs to be. If you have 7 days a month you have prepaid, and lease 3 of them to someone else--it does not matter what you charge. It will balance out against your initial cost of the space as a profit or a loss. Just that simple. Figure out what you want from other items, and bill as a line item charge. Again, whatever you feel is proper and necessary. Just like this:

    Studio Space 2days @ $100 day $200.00
    Lighting Equipment 2days @ $75 day $150.00
    Use of Rhinoceros $ 40.00
    Cleaning & Supplies $ 50.00
    TOTAL $440.00

    Forget about how you pay for it or whatever. This is reconciled later in accounts receivable/accounts payable later. These are charges to the person leasing the space from you. If you have the authority to sublease--what you are getting has nothing to do with the person who you lease from unless there are damages.

    You do have a basic accounting system, yes?
    William Michael likes this.
  12. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Rhinoceros usage seems a tad under-priced . . .
  13. PapaTango

    PapaTango Itinerant Philosopher

    It's a small rhinoceros, with a limp... :confused:
  14. Thanks all for your insights & advice!
  15. I would never give/show a client receipts for items or services used in a shoot. I itemize them and mark them up, but never show/give receipts.
  16. sjen, write one invoice to the client, with your business name written on the top.

    Include a small number of line items. As others have recommended, do not include a long list of itemized expenses and receipts. For example:

    Studio time $x.xx
    Materials and equipment $y.yy
    Total $x.xx+y.yy

    Thank you for your business!
    Total due in 30 days. Overdue accounts subject to a service charge of 2% per month.
    Charles_Webster likes this.
  17. Thank you!
  18. In the last year, I got an invoice that simply stated:

    Services ......... $15,000

    There's a fine line between too much and too little itemizaton.

    Unless you are specifically renting studio time in your studio, normally the use of facilities would be indirect costs included in your overall rates, wouldn't it?

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