So what is this studio thing?
Before I start, I just want to make clear that I won’t be trying to convince you to start at or to leave a physical studio. This will be about my experience and how some of my perspectives changed, because most of my previous perceptions were based on the simple fact that I did not had enough information. I will also explain the word studio because I’d like to clarify first what I mean by it. In the camworld the word studio is used quite a lot, but it often has a very different meaning.
You have the “virtual studio”, which basically is an (recruitment) agency. There is no actual building you go to. They promise to help you with marketing and signing you up with a camsite. You sign a contract with them, you perform on a camsite. The camsite pays the agency and the agency pays you. You however still work from your home.
A lot of content selling sites also use the word studio. What they actually mean is that you as a producer can open a store with them to sell your content. Here the word studio is a different word for store.
This article will be about neither of them. I’m talking here about the “physical studio”. A workplace. An actual building where you go to, perform for an x amount of time and go home afterwards. You sign up with the studio, they do your marketing and training. They get paid by the camsite you perform on and they pay you.
When I first heard the word cam studio years ago, I didn’t know these differences. I thought that a cam studio was simply an agency that handled your things. Soon it turned out that a lot of these cam studios where nothing more than people trying to get a piece of your pie (percentage of your cut, because they signed you up with a camsite) with big promises (We’ll get you on the frontpage of every camsite! We'll handle all your marketing and make you famous on social media!). There are of course agencies that put their money where their mouth is, but for a lot them it is just an easy way to make money.
Not so long after that I came across the concept of the physical studio. I heard that they were mainly in Romania and my mind created this idea of dark filthy rooms where poor girls were performing in very bad circumstances. I could not have been more wrong…
It all started a few years back when we were attending a Romanian cam conference. My first experience with a studio was, how shall I put it, quite interesting. I was sitting outside on the terrace with Rutger and two guys walked up to us and sat down at the same table. They checked our badges to see who we were and they said the following sentences I’ll never forget: “O, you WeCamgirls. You bad for business”. Before we could say a word, they simply turned their chairs around, so they were sitting with their backs to us (still at the same table).
So the first impression of meeting actual studio owners was not so great. Later on this changed, because it turned out that other studio’s actually value WeCamgirls and ask their models to join us, so that they can learn and see how for example independent models (i.e. models that do not work from a studio) handle their things. It was also the first time I read a brochure about a studio and the pictures in it did not match my previous dark filthy room concept at all! These rooms were very fancy, like 5 star hotels. There were makeup area’s. A photo studio to make glamour pics of models. Teams that did marketing. It all looked so professional. I didn’t expect that at all. A couple of weeks ago Rutger and I finally got the chance to actually visit a studio that was based in a proper office building. Themed rooms, high end gear, even a bathroom with a jacuzzi that could be used for shows. Everything spick and span and everything very well done.
So I know that studio’s are not for everyone. Some models like to be their own boss and handle everything themselves, but other models like the idea that they go to work, do their show and afterwards go back home. They can purely focus on doing the show, without having to care about the marketing aspects. Studio’s you will mainly find in Romania and in the upcoming webcam country of Columbia. Models that are working from a studio are often categorized as “glamour models”, the opposite as the ones you can categorize as for example “the girl next door”. They attract a very specific audience, but a lot of them are highly successful. Especially when backed by a professional marketing team.
So to recap. The word studio can have different meanings in the camworld, but the studio I’m talking about is the one where you actually go to, to work. I can’t speak of all studio’s because I simply don’t know them, but lots of them are highly professional, supplying a specific demand by the customers. They have been very successful with this concept.
What do you think? Would you want to work in a studio if one was available for example in the US?