Styled Shoot | Part 1

So I recently posted some sneak peek photos form a styled shoot I created to a photographer's group I belong to on Facebook (shout out to my Jasmine Star Creative Live Photographer's!!!). I never imagined I would receive the amount of positive responses and feedback I did (Seriously, I was giddy every time that little red icon came up in the top right corner of my screen!). Additionally, I had several people inquire how I went about setting up a styled shoot. So, I thought it would be beneficial to outline how I created it. 

ISO 200 |  50mm | f/2.8 | 1/500 sec

ISO 200 |  50mm | f/2.8 | 1/500 sec

ISO 500 |  50mm | f/3.5 | 1/200 sec

ISO 500 |  50mm | f/3.5 | 1/200 sec

  1. DEFINE YOUR VISION. What do you want to photograph?.. And you can't say everything! ;) This is the one time the "wedding" is totally in your hands, so define the wedding you want to photograph.
  2.  CREATE A BOARD: I know... most photographer's cringe at the ides of recruiting Pinterest! But I create a secret board on Pinterest, so only I and the other wedding vendors involved are able to contribute. I choose a color palette, then add images that complement the color palette and help create a direction for the styled shoot. This keeps me on track, and helps define my direction for the shoot. 
  3. RECRUIT YOUR TEAM. So how do you get people excited to share your vision and donate their time?? Simple, time is money... so what are they going to get out of it? Below are the key points I review when recruiting other vendors to join the styled shoot.
    • Full Printing Rights: I give all vendors involved full printing rights, and make it a point to let them know up front they can use all edited photos taken for social medial and website use. As a photographer, I sometimes take for granted how easy it is to access photos, so guaranteeing photos for their portfolio is almost a no-brainer benefit.
    • Possible Publication: I make a list of the top 5 wedding blogs I plan to submit the styled session to. I don't guarantee publication, but I let the vendors know the shoot goes beyond building my portfolio. The key goals for any styled shoot I'm involved with is to get published, increase awareness, and generate excitement. Even discussing the idea of getting published let's them know I'm determined, I obviously have direction (i.e. my list), and I'm taking a professional approach. 
    • Vendor List: Once I have a vendor committed to the styled shoot, I'll be sure to mention their involvement when recruiting the next vendor. This makes it easier for other vendors to jump on the styled shoot train! Once they know their peers are involved, the more excited they are to commit. 
    • Vision Board: If you are creating this styled shoot, then it's on you to get other vendor's excited about working with you. If they can see the outcome or at minimum the direction you're going... then more people will jump on board when you reach out for vendor support. I include the snap shot of my vision board I created during Step 2 in my initial email to vendors. Not only does this create direction, but it creates a tangible possibility of what's to come... which is always exacting ;) 
  4. FILL GAPS: Not all vendors commit to a styled shoot, which is totally understandable (especially during season). So I look for other resources to fill vendor gaps to ensure I have a "full" shoot. For example, the most recent shoot I did, I wasn't able to secure a wedding dress... so I ordered it from Rent the Runway. That's right... and the Marchese Notte dress from RTR was perfect! If you need flowers... go to your local famers market, order some silk ribbon, and google how to create a bouquet... and whala! If you need a model... ask your fabulous beautiful friend! Who cares if she's never modeled, you'll direct her through the poses (and keep in mind most brides have never modeled either... so this is great practice). Essentially, you could create a styled shoot all on your own. Do other vendors make it easier and help with networking? Yes. Are the necessary? Absolutely not. 

Hope that helps and gives a little insight into how I go about creating a styled shoot. Stay tuned for Part 2, where I'll discuss the timeline of the day and what to expect to ensure the day runs as smooth as possible.