In the current climate, photography is a very popular profession for people going self employed, whether following redundancy or just to supplement an existing income. It's (relatively) inexpensive to set up and you don't need any special qualifications or really any experience to get started. (OK, you'd be daft just to start up without a bit of ability, but you'd be surprised the number of people who do...)
The easiest way to get started is to go mobile. Whether it's in the home or on location, by far the highest number of 'professional' photographers don't use a studio. It has its obvious financial advantages to the photographer, but there are also advantages to the customer as well - no need to pack the kids up in the car, no need to find parking, no need to leave the house at all! Location shoots are good to put the shots into context and can help people relax. Kids are often more comfortable in the park than in a studio, for example...
But I still have a big soft spot for studio work. But why? Well, for one thing it's a bit of an event coming into the studio. It's nice to make an outing of it. It's as much about the experience as it is the photos. My studio (and many others) is set up to make individuals, couples and families comfortable and relaxed. When you walk in it has the 'wow' factor! It's not just a photo shoot, it's a Photo Experience!
From a technical point of view, there's a lot more flexibility in the photos I can take in the studio. There are no space concerns that you can have in a living room, so I can fit a lot of people into one shot, I can get in close or back away to give different perspectives. I also have everything I need in one handy place. If I want to take some contrasty black and white pictures I have the kit to do it. That's not so easy in your home...
I have a whole load of props to use to add a bit more interest to your shots that I can't transport, such as chairs and two chaise longues!
I also have the space for you to come and view the pictures on a big screen. I don't need to invade your house for a second time and we don't all need to crowd around a laptop screen to see your shots!
As always it's down to personal choice, but please do think carefully before investing in your memories!