The heads of Smashbox and Quixote, Los Angeles ‘s two biggest photo studios, announced today that they will join forces under the new banner, Smashbox Studios.
Smashbox, which was created in 1990 by photographer Davis Factor and his brother Dean, is a high-profile brand, with an in-house modeling and talent agency, an international cosmetics line and an L.A. fashion week. Thus it’s no surprise that Quixote founders Mikel Elliot and Jordan Kitaen were willing to assume the Smashbox name.
“Smashbox’s cosmetics line and fashion week have generated tremendous brand awareness and we wanted to leverage that awareness in the photo services industry,” Elliott said. He added that Quixote will continue to grow its production business under its own name, while its Smashbox segment focuses on its photo clients.
The new partnership will combine five Smashbox studios at the Culver City complex and the original Smashbox in Santa Monica with Quixote’s four Hollywood studios, creating 80,000 total square feet of rental studio and office space at ten studios.
Quixote, for which photography constitutes about 25 percent of business, will dedicate one-third of its 15,000 square feet of studios to the new partnership and it will provide management for both companies.
Elliot and Dean Factor originally made contact at a Four Seasons in Hawaii where they both happened to be staying with their families. They became friends and for a while had been referring clients to each other when necessary, so merging seemed a better solution than one buying the other out.
This way, the companies promise, they can provide more studio space, equipment, vehicles, and staff services, as well as more competitive rates.