If you have finally decided to make a career out of your photography hobby, then there are a couple of different career paths you can take. One very popular career path is to offer "old time" photos, pictures taken of different eras in history. If this sounds like something you would want to pursue, but you also want the photos to be historically accurate, here is what you need to set up an old time photo studio and where you can acquire what you need.
Acquiring the Right Kind of Flooring
If you select a Prohibition Era backdrop and scene for your photo, there is a slight chance that the floor may be seen in the picture, just a little bit. Select wooden board floors that are rough and maybe even a little dirty. This same floor covering can be used for Old West. You can either rent studio space that already has a wooden floor, or you can create your own wooden floor with flooring scraps from a flooring store. Make sure your flooring in your photos is not a concrete slab or large, commercial tiled floors, since these types of flooring were not available during most of the time periods you might wish to offer.
Acquiring the Period Clothing/Costumes
Some old time photo studios only specialize in one or two time periods, but if you decide to offer several different time periods, be sure your costumes all fit together and create a cohesive image. Old time photo studios often have racks and racks of costumes in various sizes to fit visitors. If your customers want to dress for the Old West, for example, then look for cowboy costumes, cowboy boots, gun slingers' belts, saloon ladies' dresses, long skirts and tight-fitting shirts of school marms of the mid- to late 1800's and so on. Most of these costume pieces can be purchased secondhand from thrift stores or from a theatrical supply company.
Acquiring the Props
When you finally choose your props, antique shops and theatrical supply companies can help you find the props you need. These shops and companies sell to theaters, performing arts centers and traveling productions. (Even if you get the backdrop/scenery and costumes correct, you could have a total picture fail if you choose the wrong props.) Many of your props may be more inexpensive and more authentic if you acquire them from an antique shop, but some items (like tommy guns) are more difficult to come by in an antique shop. Therefore you could try purchasing harder-to-find props through a theatrical supply company.
For an old time photo studio, contact a company such as Four Sisters Old Time Photo.