Studio Scout: New start-up seamlessly matching up creatives with dynamic locations

Studio Scout is a newly launched online marketplace based on the ‘share’ economy, acting as a liaison point for creatives (such as photographers, content creators and social media and events managers) and small business and property owners by providing an on-demand list of spaces available to rent by the hour for creative productions.

With a focus on creation, collaboration and community, it’s the brainchild of local professional photographers Jess and Renee. They liaise closely with all the hosts on the Studio Scout platform (such as property owners, cafes, restaurants, office-co-working spaces and fitness centres) to understand their spaces and locations. As well as delivering an easy, hassle-free booking system the platform provides information for creatives on important elements such as layout and lighting.

With hosts receiving free listings, it’s also an opportunity to increase their exposure and diversify their income stream, while for creatives Studio Scout takes the time and stress out of having to randomly source locations.

We recently chatted with Founder Jess Cutler from Studio Scout to find out more about the concept and how it came about.

Congratulations on the launch of Studio Scout! How did you come up with the concept – was there a particular ‘lightbulb’ moment where the idea came to you or is it something you’ve had bubbling away in the background for a while?

Thank you! I guess like most start-ups, the idea for Studio Scout came from a problem, or frustration that both Renee (Co-Founder Studio Scout) and I experienced. As photographers, we were always looking for real-life locations to book for our clients, but found there was no centralised platform that displayed options, availability and a means to book. Instead the whole process of booking a photoshoot location was long, slow and very manual. The idea came to us in 2020, and when we realized there was no such platform, we knew we wanted to create it.

With your own background as a photographer did you find that sourcing great shooting locations was a common issue/frustration for those in your field?

Yes definitely! Too often photographers spend large amounts of money on booking beautiful private properties through AirBnB and can then spend hours back and forth trying to reserve and confirm lifestyle locations like cafes or gyms… or upon getting to the location discovering that the lighting doesn’t suit the time of day, or there is an abundance of people in the background. It can be incredibly time-consuming and energy-draining to sort out all of these details, and our mission with Studio Scout is to make this process seamless and actually enjoyable.

Have you found the idea to be a fairly niche concept? Are there other cities or places abroad where you could see the concept in action already?

Whilst the concept of booking private photoshoot locations by the hour, on-demand is niche, we are just another start-up looking for a piece of the pie in the Australian sharing economy which has been experiencing mass adoption over the past five years (think Uber and Airbnb.) Right now, whilst in a global health pandemic, business owners have had to be agile and nimble. Studio Scout helps Hosts looking to boost and diversify their income, or Creatives who need access to beautiful, local photoshoot locations.

What’s the response been like so far, both from clients and customers?

We have been blown away by the positive feedback, both from Creatives and Hosts. A common response is how needed a platform like Studio Scout is and there’s genuine excitement for the opportunities it will open up.

Do you have any favourite new spaces/locations that you’ve now discovered yourself as a result of Studio Scout?

Everyday I’m discovering incredible spaces, so it’s truly hard to choose! What I’m finding is property owners and business owners are creatives in their own right too. They may not take photos or videos, but they design incredible spaces that are both stunning to look at and fun to be in. This always inspires me and I get so excited each time I connect with the Hosts.

Projecting forwards, where would you like to take this concept?

Being Creatives, Renee and I have SO many ideas for Studio Scout. Dreaming big, we’d love to be the go-to location scouting and booking platform for Creatives and Brands in Australia. But for us it’s more than just providing a service; community and collaboration is at the very heart of what we do. We’re always brainstorming opportunities to be able to foster that within our community, so watch this space!

If you’d like to become a Studio Scout Host (and list your space for free) or if you’re a creative looking to take the hassle out of scouting for a location for your next project, get in touch with the team at Studio Scout.

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