I know, I've been there, done it and got the overdraft!
So, how can you set up a portrait studio on any High street in the world with literally no money down? (assuming you've already got a camera of course!)
If you look along any high street you'll find a plain wall that can be used as a back drop, you can then either use a couple of off camera strobes and pocket wizards or simply use the natural light and a reflector.
Now, you may not have access to lots of props or a changing room but you have plenty of willing models and it will certainly improve your photography skills, as well as creating quite a stir with the public: an excellent marketing tool!
The following pictures are part of a mini project I did about people on their lunch hour. I asked 20 people to stop and chat, share what they are thinking about and what they'r having/had for lunch as I shoot them.
It was a lovely sunny day when I did this but I found the perfect spot in front of some building screens that were brilliant white, as luck would have it, they were also in the shade so I got lovely soft, even diffused light and so no squinting or harsh shadows to contend with.
I had a stack of model release forms so I got everyone's permission, and their contact details to follow up with afterwards.
Now the big difference here is that i wasn't asking for payment at this point, just their time in exchange for a photo which I sent them, but it naturally opened the communications for further work.
The cost to me: £0 just 3 hours of my time and 20 print outs i did at home.
So, if you want to get started in street portraiture and can't afford to get one IN the High street, then just set one up ON the High street. Happy shooting!