Enforcing Quality Control Standards: The Key to Uncompromising Excellence in Studio Operations

In the lead-up to our Studio Manager Playbook, we've been sharing vital plays across our blog to bolster your studio management skills. So far, we've divulged the secrets to cultivating a solid photo team and highlighted emerging tech that can streamline your day-to-day operations. 

Now, it's time to dive into a less explored, but critical piece of studio management: control.

In the studio management realm, the control we’re talking about refers to the capacity to ensure timely deliverables, uphold your studio's quality standards, and manage high-volume tasks without sacrificing style and aesthetic considerations. These factors are the lifeblood of a prosperous studio operation. Let's talk about a few tips and tricks to set up quality control processes and explore how to enforce them for consistently excellent work.

3 Quality Control Tips and Tricks

Quality control is a central pillar of maintaining control of your studio's high standards. Here's where you ensure that your output aligns with your vision, meets your client's expectations, and surpasses industry benchmarks. How can you enforce stringent quality control measures? Let us count the ways. 

  1. Create a Quality Management Plan - Outline the key performance indicators (KPIs) for your studio. This plan should define your quality objectives and the steps required to attain them. For instance, you could monitor how many shots per day your team is taking or the number of reshoots needed as a metric of your studio's performance. 
  2. Standardize Studio Setups - Tse Kao, Studio Manager at I Heart Studios shares, “All eComm sets are standardized [at I Heart Studios]. This means that all light setups are the same across all clients for apparel shoots. The stills sets are also standardized, with small tweaks here and there depending on the client. The light settings vary between clients depending on their wishes. The placement of the equipment on the sets has been measured exactly, so it matches on every set. A light diagram with photos of how the set should look is taped on the photographer's desk including a list of the exposure and Capture One input settings per client. The exposure is metered on every set with a light meter prior to shooting. During start up in the morning, an off-set photographer supports on set and checks the setups.” 
  3. Implement a Peer Review System - Help catch issues before they escalate by introducing a system of checks and balances. A second set of eyes on projects could feel like a slowdown or more work, but this quality control check can actually save teams both time and money. Imagine hiring an expensive model for a shoot, they come in for one day, pictures are shipped, the model leaves, and a required image is missing. If a peer review was in place that caught the missing image before the model left, no reshoot would be needed.

Monitoring and Reporting Progress

Keeping track of your studio's progress towards meeting its quality standards is crucial for control. This could involve regularly reviewing your KPIs, assessing individual and team performances, and adjusting your operations based on feedback and outcomes.

Fortunately, today's technology can aid immensely in monitoring progress. For instance, project management and workflow tools can provide real-time insights into your studio's operations, helping you identify bottlenecks and make data-driven decisions to get rid of them. 

Keeping that all in mind, it’s important to think about how you report it back to your department heads. “If you were to say, ‘Oh, we've reduced time,’ which reducing time in any way is amazing, your leader may think, "Oh, what? And then you go home early?" said Lauren Stefaniak, Director of Creative Operations at Victoria’s Secret at the time, in an episode of the E-Commerce Content Creation Podcast.

“So you'd want to turn it into something that actually makes sense back to them: ‘So we're reducing time, which means we're increasing our shots per day from 20 to 30,’ or whatever it may be. So you're more effective, you're saving money, you're showing true benefit to them not just in a way of like, ‘We're faster.’"

As the saying goes, the numbers will set you free. Keep an eye on them and consider ways to improve them moving forward. 


Control in the studio is all about ensuring quality standards, monitoring progress, and making adjustments as necessary to deliver consistently high-quality output. After all, control is not just about maintaining order, it's about empowering your team to consistently deliver outstanding work.

Stay tuned for more insights in our upcoming articles where we'll explore even more themes. And remember, these are just sneak peeks of what you can expect in our Studio Manager Playbook. A few topics we've already discussed include the importance of fostering a creative environment, emerging tech, and creating a single source of truth in your workflow, to name a few.

Want even more expert knowledge from our Studio Manager Playbook? Be sure to sign up here for the upcoming Playbook and get equipped to elevate your studio operations to new heights.