Booking and Payment

What hours is the studio open?

We are available to take bookings from 8am until 11pm. However, we are only IN the studio if there is a booking.

How much does a studio cost?

Studio Pricing can be found here

All studios are priced the same, booking rates are as follows:

One hour standard bookings available for $60/hr **Must be booked by phone
One hour wedding party bookings $100/hr
2-4 hours (Hourly Rental) – standard bookings only $40.00/hr
5-8 hours (Half-day Rental) – standard bookings only $37.50/hr
9-12 hours (Full-day Rental) – standard bookings only $35.00/hr
13+ hrs (Exclusive Day Rental) – standard bookings only $30.00/hr

Event Bookings: Please inquire

Custom rates may be available if you are scheduling a multi-day session, training session, meeting or other event.

Reduced rates are available for Non-Profit Agencies and Students (must be enrolled in a full-time photography or digital media program – Proof will be required). Please inquire.

What are the payment options?

When booking online, our booking calendar will take you to Paypal for payment.  You can pay there using a credit card, or your paypal account, if you have one.   No account is required to use a credit card.

PLEASE NOTE: If you do not complete the payment process – YOUR BOOKING WILL NOT BE SAVED!

If you want to pay cash or email transfer for a booking, you will need to call the studio manager in advance at 204-505-3950. These bookings cannot be processed online. In person, we can accept cash and debit payments (tap only), credit card payments or email transfers. Cheques are only accepted from corporate accounts, with approval by studio manager.

ALL BOOKINGS MUST BE PAID IN ADVANCE. DAY OF PAYMENTS ARE ACCEPTED ONLY FOR EXTENSION OF TIME.

Can I just pay cash when I arrive?

Sorry, no.  ALL bookings must be paid in advance.

If your booking is not paid, we cannot guarantee that we will be available at the studio for your booking.

I don't want to pay in advance because I'm not sure my client will show up.

Sorry – all bookings must be paid in advance!  Unexpected things happen with clients – That’s why we always recommend you get a downpayment from your client, or have them book the studio space themselves! Last minute cancellations and no-shows will be held to our cancellation policies.

Can I temporarily book a studio while my client confirms?

You cannot book using the online calendar without paying.  In special circumstances, the studio manager can make a decision to allow this, but generally it is recommended that you confirm with the client first.

I need to know studio availability to plan my shoot. What do I do?

Please sign up for an account to view our studio booking calendar. This is a real-time calendar that you can use to plan your shoot, and to make your booking once you have settled on a date and time. It’s easy to sign up for an account, and will save you much time and frustration!

I'd like to make a booking for tomorrow but the calendar won't let me

There is a 24-hour cap on making bookings. If you need a space and it’s less than 24 hours away, you MUST call the studio to make arrangements. We need time to arrange for staffing, and simply… to plan our lives!

I made my booking online but I didn't receive a confirmation email

If you did complete the payment process fully via Paypal and did not receive a confirmation, please do this:

1) Check your junk mail to make sure it didn’t end up there
2) Log back into the booking calendar to make sure your booking has saved on the calendar

If you DID NOT complete the payment process via Paypal – then your booking has NOT been saved to the calendar.   Bookings are held by the calendar for 15 minutes to complete payment, and if not received, are automatically deleted.  If this is what happened, please start the booking process over again and complete the payment online, or call the studio manager at 204-505-3950 to make your booking over the phone.

I'm having troubles booking from my cellphone/tablet

From time to time, we receive reports that people are unable to book from mobile devices because cookies need to be enabled.  Please enable your cookies, and if that is not possible, try from a computer, or call the studio manager at 204-505-3950 to make your booking.

If you are using a cellphone or tablet and the calendar looks like this:

booking_calendar_example

You can click on “Use Desktop Version” in the orange bar at the bottom and the calendar should appear as it does on the computer.

I'd like to add some rental furniture to my booking.

If you know in advance what item(s) you would like to add to your rental, you can add these to the notes section of your booking.  Rented items can be paid for on the day of your booking with cash or credit card.  If the item will not be available for your booking, we will do our best to notify you as quickly as possible. All furniture items are first-come, first-served.

Cancellations / Changes

I'm going to be late for my booking, what do I do?

If you are going to be late for your studio booking, please call the studio to let us know. Any booking that has not arrived after 30 minutes will be considered a no-show and will be forfeited.

If you need to notify your photographer that you are going to be late, please contact them directly. We only rent the studios and we do not manage our clients time or schedules.

I need to change the date or time of my booking.

To modify your booking, please contact the studio manager at 204-505-3950.

Please note that cancellation policies may apply, depending on the proximity to your booking.

My client cancelled last minute / didn't show up - can I get a refund or rebook?

It’s unfortunate when this happens – but since we are unable to book the space again at this short notice, cancellation policy does apply.

Our cancellation policy is as follows:

Within 3 days of the booking – NO REFUNDS
3-7 days from the booking – 50% refund
7 or more days from the booking – Full refund.

Please contact the studio manager by phone at 204-505-3950 or by email at studiomgr@aspireprostudios.com to arrange for refunds, if applicable.

I need more time! Can I stay longer?

We do try to accommodate everyone’s needs for extra time, we know shoots don’t always go as planned. However, please try to give us as much advance notice as you can if you know you will need more time. If the studio is booked after your booking, we may be able to provide you time in another studio. Please be advised that time extensions may not always be possible, and this is up to the discretion of the studio manager.

 

Studio Access

Do you have customer parking?

You can park in our lot, entrance from King Street. During daytime hours (M-F 8am-5pm), we have 4 dedicated spots for Aspire Studios (marked by signage), and the remainder of the lot is 1-hr parking. Evenings, Saturday after 3, and Sundays, the lot is no charge, scramble parking.

How do I get in to the building?

Our main entrance is on the loading dock, at the top of the stairs from the parking lot. This is the main entrance for all businesses in the building. Once inside, you will take the stairs up to the third floor.

If you arrive, and the main door is locked, please call 204-505-3950.

If you need access to the elevator, please call or come up to the third floor by the stairs to get us.

I've never been there before - how do we get access to the studios?

A studio manager will meet you at the studio. Please note, we may not be there until 10-15 minutes before your booking. If the doors are locked, please call the studio and we will advise you of what you need to do.

A studio manager will be onsite at all times during your booking.

Do you have an elevator?

We have a freight elevator than can be used for bringing up gear, and for people who are unable to walk the three flights of stairs.  It is not designed to be a passenger elevator.  The freight elevator must be operated by studio staff.  If you require use of the elevator, please call the studio manager at 204-505-3950 when you arrive and we will meet you downstairs.

Are the studios wheelchair accessible?

Because our studios are built inside of an exchange district warehouse building, wheelchair access to the building is not available.

If you are able to navigate up onto the loading docks, we are completely accessible from there. If you require the elevator for access to the third floor, you may call the studio manager and we will assist. The studios are 100% accessible.

I'd like to come early to set up my lighting/sets before my clients arrive.

We recommend you do not arrive more than 10-15 minutes ahead of your booked time. If you need extra time for setup, it is recommended to book additional time, or advise your clients to arrive 1/2 hour into your booked time. It is possible that when you arrive, you will be allowed in to set up a few minutes early, however this is never guaranteed.

Please note your booked hours must include your setup and teardown time.  If your booking is from 12-2, it will start promptly at 12 and you must be finished and packed up by 2.  If there is another client booking following yours, they will be expecting to start promptly at their booked time as well.

We do our best to give you a 5-10 minute warning. If you need extra time, please try to arrange this with the studio manager BEFORE the end of your booking, or extending may not be possible.

Can my hair / makeup artist come early before my booking to do hair / makeup?

Same as for photographers, hair/makeup will only be allowed into the studio a few minutes before the booked time IF no other booking is ahead of yours, but this is never a guarantee.  If extra time is required for preparations, this should be booked on the calendar at the same rates.

We do not provide space outside of the studios for getting ready preparations.  Our washrooms are for use by all clients and should not be used for this purpose. Time can be booked to use an alternate space for makeup, when a studio / makeup room is not available. Rates are the same as a studio rental.

Is there roof access?

There is absolutely NO access to the roof. This is a fire exit ONLY.

Studio Usage

What is included with a studio rental?

Each of our studios includes basic lighting, modifiers and a set of Pocketwizard triggers.  There are various props and furniture available for use in each studio, however specific items are not guaranteed to specific spaces.  We have a large selection of props and furniture, some with an extra rental charge and many to use for no charge.

Is it possible to use more than one studio during my booking?

This is a feature that is reserved for our membership clients. An additional charge will apply for any non-member bookings.

For regular bookings:

The additional fee of $25 will be applied if you wish to use a second studio during your booking.  This is only allowed IF the second studio is not booked during your time, and time will be split between the studios (not both in use at the same time).

If you need to be guaranteed the space will be available, you will need to pay for two bookings in full by booking both in advance, either two 1-hr bookings, or 2 hours each.

If you have a minimum of 2 hours for each studio (i.e. your booking is for 4 hours and you wish to use 2 studios), this can be arranged as 2 separate bookings or you can call the studio manager to apply. No extra charge is applied if you use each studio for a minimum of 2 hours. In this case, you may not move between studios, you must finish in one studio and then move to the next.

Please call the studio manager at 204-505-3950 to make this arrangement.

Can I shoot video in the studios?

Our studios were designed for photography, however they can be used for video as well. If you are recording sound, you may want to do a sound test prior to your session to ensure compatibility. We will do our best to control external noise factors, however should you require complete silence, this should be discussed with the studio manager prior to your booking so that special arrangements can be made.

At this time we do not provide video lights or sound equipment

Are dogs allowed in photo shoots?

Dogs are allowed, but must be kept on a leash or in a kennel when not being photographed. They should not be allowed to run free on the cove walls or hardwood floors. Any mess/damage is your responsibility.

Do I have to clean the studio when I'm done?

Please make sure that you clean any messes that you make. Studio lights should be unplugged with cords LIGHTLY wrapped, and any props/furniture that have been used should be returned to their shelves or be placed neatly in the studio. If you require brooms/mop/garbages for general cleanup, these are available for your use – please ask the studio manager. If your studio is found to be unreasonably untidy or any damages or major cleaning is required, you may be billed for the time and supplies required to do so.

The studio manager may request to verify the studio before you leave. Please ensure you do not leave before they have had a chance to do so.

What are we allowed / not allowed to do in the studios?

The simple answer here is… please use common sense. There are rules posted in each studio. Please treat the studio as though it was your own. Anything that could create a mess or damage should be discussed with the studio manager. The terms and conditions.” rel=”noopener” target=”_blank”>terms and conditions that you agree to when booking a studio do outline many of the possible concerns, however we trust you to be reasonable when planning your photo session and to ask questions before an incident may occur.

I'm feeling uncomfortable in my photoshoot - what can I do?

If at ANY time, you feel uncomfortable during a photoshoot, please come speak to the studio manager. This goes for whether you are the photographer, the model, or a participant in a shoot of any kind. We will do whatever we can to ensure you feel safe, and any concerns or issues you have are dealt with, in the quickest manner possible. A studio manager will be onsite at all times, and we have a zero tolerance policy on any kind of abuse – verbal, sexual, physical or otherwise.

Something is wrong / broken in the studio when I started my shoot....

Please tell the studio manager AS SOON as you notice that something isn’t right. This is the best defence against you being blamed for something that wasn’t your fault. It’s hard for us to notice every little thing, and a lot of people try to get away with not taking responsibility for damages. We don’t want to have to charge you for someone else’s irresponsibility.

I have a group with multiple photographers and models. Do we need to do anything special?

This is what we would call a “group shoot”. Please let us know if you are planning to have more than 10 people attending your shoot. We do have a special method for calculating additional charges for this type of shoot. Please contact the studio manager for more details on how we calculate and bill for this.

I'd like to teach a workshop / hold an event. How do I arrange this?

Please contact the studio manager to discuss any event that is not a standard photo shoot. There are different ways that we can calculate charges for special events. Please note that we must remain within our occupancy guidelines and we do not allow events where food/alcohol will be served, unless this falls within the MLCC guidelines.

I'd like to hold my wedding in your studios? Can I do this?

Unfortunately, we are not set up for this type of event at this time. We are happy to provide an indoor location for your wedding photos!

We would like to create a music video in your studios. Is this OK?

We do allow music videos, however we do have some special guidelines that need to be followed. Please let the studio manager know if this is what you will be doing so we can discuss!

I/my client broke something. What should we do?

We do sincerely appreciate your honesty. In many cases, damages turn out to be not a very big deal at all. However we have many people try to get away with not telling us when something happens. That’s unfortunate, because it causes issues for everyone.

In the event of damages, please let us know as soon as possible so we can have it fixed, or replace it before it becomes a danger to someone else. In the event that we need to charge you, we will try to be reasonable and find a solution that works for everyone.

Equipment Usage

What is included with a studio rental?

Each of our studios includes basic lighting, modifiers and a set of Pocketwizard triggers.  There are various props and furniture available for use in each studio, however specific items are not guaranteed to specific spaces.  We have a large selection of props and furniture, some with an extra rental charge and many to use for no charge.

Is there a listing of furniture/props that are available?

It’s nearly impossible to keep track of the props as they come in and out of repair and are always changing. If you are looking for something in particular, it is best to come in to the studio to see what we have a few days before your shoot, or arrange a little extra time before your shoot to pick out what you might need. Many of our props are free to use, and some of the antique pieces have a $10-$20 charge for usage. Please let the studio manager know what you will be using so we can verify if it needs to be cleaned or put away properly after usage.

Can you teach me how to use the lights?

We cannot provide instruction on lighting setups or assist you in lighting your shoot, but we are happy to give you a quick rundown on the equipment you will be using. If you would like one-on-one instruction, please call the studio manager, and we can arrange to spend some time with you helping you use the lighting more efficiently. (There is a fee for this instruction, depending on the level of instruction required)

What's so special about the cyclorama / cove wall?

A white cyclorama wall, or cove wall is a construction with two planes smoothly merging horizontally and vertically. This structure helps creates an infinity effect of the same tone. Cyc walls were first used in television and news and later emerged in photo and video studios.

Since the cyclorama provides a very smooth background, it allows for simple light manipulation. A photographer can easily create gradient lighting or control the background to appear light or dark, and a videographer can cut the background. Evenly lighting the smooth surface provides an “infinity effect,” even as it goes around the corner of a studio. This produces an endless space behind the models. If you don’t want any shadows on the cyc, light it with two sources placed mirror-like on either side of the cyc wall.

A cyc wall is very useful for a variety of product shoots and styles of photography including e-commerce, catalogue, and fashion. The infinity ability helps drag attention to the model or product you’re shooting, without obvious background or wall-floor corners. A flawless background without distraction allows the focus to remain on the product you are showcasing.

While the positives allow for high-quality photography, there are a few downsides with a cyc wall. They are usually painted with matte or semi-gloss paints to avoid reflections, which can attract dirt. When dirt appears on the cyclorama, it is hard to wash away, and re-painting is the only solution. However, this takes time and may delay your shoot. If you have a long photo shoot and don’t want to spend time later in post-production cleaning up the floor in your pictures and removing footsteps on the cyc wall, there are a couple of rules to keep in mind.

To get the best experience with a Cyclorama, just follow these simple rules:
1. Clean shoe soles before you step on the cyc wall or bring a clean pair for only walking on the cyclorama; you are not going to be happy re-touching all the footprints later. You can either wash and dry the soles beforehand or tape them to create a clean surface. The best option is to have a separate pair of shoes for the model to wear while he/she is not walking on the cyclorama. Just prepare these shoes by either cleaning them or taping the soles and leave them on the cyclorama.
2. Let only the model walk on the cyclorama and make sure he/she wears clean shoes.
3. Avoid eating/drinking near the cyc wall. Food stains also do not look flattering in the final frames.
4. Don’t think your bare feet cannot leave marks!
5. Obviously, don’t skate, ride, or walk in any way on the curved part. It is easily broken, and repair costs are estimated in the hundreds and are very time-consuming.

What do I do if something is/gets broken or damaged?

Honesty is always the best policy. In order to keep our costs down, we do appreciate when our clients treat our props and equipment as if they were their own. We are not unreasonable, and we do understand that accidents happens, so if you have an issue PLEASE let us know as soon as possible so we can prevent any further accidents or issues.