The Photographer’s Mail guide to rentals and hire
A shared passion for photography
Founded by Adam Custins in 1998, Kingsize Studios is a rental studio centred around a shared passion for art and imaging technique. Located in Ponsonby, the studio is a functional and community-based facility, offering studio rental, equipment hire, consultation, and education.
The studios are buzzing with activity seven days a week, accommodating advertising campaigns, TV commercials, and catalogue shoots, alongside individual artistic projects. The fully equipped studios are functional creative work spaces, and each offers unique features. Studio Three sees many food shoots using its full kitchen, bathroom, and make-up green room, while Studio One — the most popular space — takes up most of the ground floor, with drive-in access, a motorized lighting grid, seven-metre–wide cyclorama, separate client area, make-up green room, kitchen, and bathroom: perfect for accommodating large productions. Studio Four is ideal for still-life, portrait, and fashion shoots, due to its large skylight offering a unique atmosphere, or, alternatively, the space can be totally blacked out. Finally, Kingsize offers a unique Garden Studio: an outdoor-shooting stage purpose-built for a natural-light experience.
With the importance of individual projects in mind, Kingsize Studios offers Personal Development packages, which allow photographers to book studio spaces and equipment for non- commercial purposes at an affordable rate. These packages are designed to help creatives evolve their technical knowledge, build portfolios, and help with personal projects — without the burden of expensive studio costs.
The staff members at Kingsize have gained a reputation for sharing their technical knowledge, with one-to- one consultations, intensive courses, and speciality workshops, such as their Summer School programme led by top professional photographers. Plus, they have an expert team at the ready to help — it’s not all that uncommon for photographers to call by the studios to discuss an upcoming shoot or how best to approach a brief. Kingsize’s dedication to growing with its community extends to its annual scholarship programme. The intensive 12-week course has taught more than 50 emerging photographers and image-makers throughout the past three years. Scholarship students are selected from dozens of entrants each year, judged not only by the strength of their portfolios but also by their long-term ambitions. The programme is free to attend and is funded by Kingsize. For those looking for more casual education, Kingsize offers paid night classes and weekend workshops.
The studio houses a large rental inventory of specialist stills and video camera equipment, as well as lighting and grip equipment, often shipping around the country or overseas. With favourites such as Broncolor lighting equipment and the full range of Canon SLR cameras and lenses, as well as constant lighting, grip, and other accessories, Kingsize has just about everything a single shoot might require. Kingsize also offers one of the largest inventories of Canon C300 MkII 4K cinema cameras and supporting equipment.
For more information on education and studio and equipment hire, go to kingsize.co.nz, or call 09 378 1027.
Shooting your way
Owned and operated by Charles Howells, one of New Zealand’s top fashion and advertising photographers, White Studios understands the importance of quality equipment and pristine spaces in bringing creative ideas to life.
Just five minutes from the Auckland CBD, White Studios is conveniently located in Grafton, and is the largest studio rental facility within the country.
Ideal for stills, film, events and product launches, each of the four custom-built studios on offer are bright and spacious, with modern interiors. All the studios have both natural light and blackout options, lending to their versatility. Plus each houses its own kitchen facilities, seating, and styling areas, ensuring jobs of any size can find a professional and comfortable home. Studio One is the largest of the spaces on offer, accessible for vehicle shoots, and large enough for big sets — and for this reason it is a popular choice for TV shoots. Studio Two, the most popular — and Charles’ personal favourite — is a minimalist space that’s ideal for larger photographic set-ups. Studio Three is the smallest, and is a great option for the likes of product shoots and lookbooks, and finally, Studio Four is a character space that’s ideal for a wide range of shoots and events, with wooden rafters and large windows.
While White Studios is very large and well stocked, it’s far from intimidating — being run with an extremely friendly and serviceoriented outlook. A huge array of rental gear at the ready means that the studio is an ideal place for photographers to experiment with new equipment and techniques, which the staff are always willing to assist with. White Studios’ ethos is centred around working with people — meaning that if someone is struggling they offer a hand, whether that be some advice on how best to light a subject, or a deal on some gear for a special job.
While owning the base of your kit that’s used every day makes sense, renting everything else is working smarter. And with this in mind, White Studios offers over 2500 items in stock at any one time, with an extensive rental list of photographic and video equipment that can be shipped throughout New Zealand. Supplying everyone from budding enthusiasts to seasoned professionals, White Studios offers cameras, lenses, flash and continuous lightning, as well as a large range of grip equipment. Key favourites include Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Phase One and Leaf medium-format systems, as well as Ari, Broncolor, and Profoto lighting packs — White Studios is the country’s exclusive dealer for the latter. It has just about everything one could need for a shoot, however, if it doesn’t have it in stock, its staff will do their best to source the equipment. It’s clear White Studios prides itself on not only the studio’s exhaustive range of photographic equipment, but also on its ability to reliably provide the correct gear, where and when it’s needed.
For more information on studio and equipment hire, go to whitestudios.co.nz, or contact 09 358 0771.
Studio in paradise
Located within the Christchurch CBD, Lightworkx studio is the perfect base for any shoot — only a short drive away from locations that boast some of the most stunning scenery that New Zealand has to offer.
Lightworkx studio is an ideal space for medium-sized photographic and video production, with kitchen and workshop facilities at hand. As a versatile facility designed with automotive photography in mind, the studio is equipped with an ‘eggshell’ cyclorama. Taking advantage of post-earthquake repairs, the studio has been extensively refurbished with major soundproofing, as well as interior sound deadening plus a newly installed, heightadjustable overhead lighting truss system.
Not every project requires a full studio, and the studio’s LightworkxRentals department features a Shoot-It-Yourself product table that is a popular and affordable option. With four Broncolor heads mounted on a beautifully backlit seamless perspex surface, it’s almost a miniature studio in its own right. Permanently rigged and ready to go, it offers accurate and consistent colour for still-life and product photography.
Catering to both international production crews and New Zealand–based professional photographers alike, LightworkxRentals also offers an extensive range of rental equipment, including the latest Canon lenses and bodies and the always-popular Broncolor studio and location lighting kits. Plus, Lightworkx ships equipment throughout the South Island for both individual projects and large-scale productions.
For more information on Lightworkx studio and equipment for hire, go to lightworkxrentals.co.nz, or call 03 377 5080.
Where functionality and creativity meet
As a mid-sized and custom-built studio, Smith Studios is designed to service most photographic needs — from individual artistic projects to commercial campaigns. Situated between Eden Park and Kingsland in central Auckland, Smith Studios’ convenient inner-city location allows for easy access, with spaces available for hire by the half or full day, with plenty of off-street parking available. With urban interior designing throughout the floor, a makeup and stylist area, and a dedicated meeting room, the studio is truly a creative space.
Smith Studios is run by commercial photographer Robin Smith, and his many years’ experience in working with both local and international brands means that he can offer a wealth of technical knowledge and a keen creative energy to any project. Utilizing his personal experience, Smith Studios offers a tailored service on a need-be basis, which includes both planning and studio set-up — assisting clients to bring an initial concept to an image manifest.
With an infinity cove six-metres wide, threemetres high, and three-metres deep; a skylight for daylight shoots; and blackout curtains all around for video and flash lighting, the studio space is ideal for video, fashion, and portrait photography. In addition, the photography table offers the ability to capture consistently lit product shots, and, if you’ve got a large crew, Smith Studios has the option to shoot tethered to a colour-calibrated 4K 31-inch monitor, allowing your whole team to view the images while shooting is still in progress. The studio is available for dry hire or with the use of equipment on request — including the full set of Profoto D1 photography studio lighting and a wide range of Canon DSLR camera lenses and accessories.
For more information on studio hire, head to smithstudios.co.nz, or call Robin on 021 448 508 to talk image creation.
Bringing your creative art to life
Whether for artistic pursuit or commerical use, Photohire’s ample space offers a blank canvas for your creativity. Based out of FlashDog Studios in Wellington, Photohire’s Studio One measures 12x9 metres and offers a two-sided cyclorama for large-scale subjects and has wall and ceiling soundproofing for clear video recording. As a ready-to-shoot photographic studio, Photohire offers a wide range of Broncolor flash equipment and adapters, plus a range of tripods, stands, grip equipment, and background papers.
If your shoot is on-location, Photohire also provides an extensive list of photographic and video-recording equipment for hire — including Canon digital cameras and lenses, Phase One P45 Contax system, Redrock DSLR kits, Zacuto EVF, and Axis360 motion- controlled sliders. Plus, if you’re looking to broaden your scope by utilizing an unfamiliar piece of equipment or program, the staff will be happy to organize a tutorial with a member of their experienced team.
For more information on Photohire’s equipment on offer, and to book, head online to photohire.co.nz, or give the team a call on 04 939 2551.