Styled shoots can be a great way to collaborate or allow yourself creative freedom in the shooting field. We see beautiful inspiration sessions happening all the time, and it’s quickly become a common practice among wedding photographers. While deciding to do one is the easy part, determining how to pull it all together can be difficult. If you aren’t sure where to start, I hope today’s post helps you! Below, I’m sharing five tips to help you plan for your first or next styled adventure.
Here are some tips for getting started:
Determine a solid base. Setting a date aside, deciding on a design concept, and coming up with a venue can help you define the smaller details. You’ll know where, when, and what and that will equip you to start looking for who!
Figure out your budget. It is true that many times, if a vendor is excited to work on the project or has the freedoms/availability to do so, services can be donated. While that is sometimes the case, it’s also very important to acknowledge other fees you may incur. For example, a florist cannot buy flowers for free, so they would be unable to provide them for less than cost. Be open and honest about what you can afford. Most vendors will be flexible if they are excited about the project.
Make your network work for you. If you don’t already have someone in mind you’d like to collaborate with, reach out through social media! A simple status update or posting in a group like The Rising Tide Society or Shutter Sisters can be a beneficial use of your resources. Be clear about what you need, when, how much you have to spend, etc. when you are approached so you can strike while the iron of interest is hot. Bonus tip-Add a picture with your online post to catch the eye and make sure it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.
Don’t be afraid of a little DIY. Just because you don’t have a massive budget, well-known vendors, or extravagant rental items does not mean that your styled shoot won’t be fabulous. Get creative and use what you have. Future brides and editors love inspiring details so don’t be afraid to try something new, create custom pieces, or elevate the style of an affordable trend.
Make the best of it. No matter what happens leading into your shooting time, embrace it. Whether it rains, a vendor cancels, details don’t turn out how you imagined, or the cake topples over, capture it the best you can. Much like weddings, you don’t always have the option for a “do-over,” but you do have more creative freedom. Who knows.. the thing that goes wrong could be the thing that inspires the entire shoot!
Conceptual shoots can really be a fun way to expand your portfolio and try something new! I love working with my friendors on projects we dream up, and I definitely recommend putting one together to see if it is something that creatively empowers you. These can be so much fun if planned the right way! Alicia Wiley Photography and I have been working on a little side project that will help empower photographers to plan, execute, and submit styled shoots for publication with confidence. We’ve set a day aside to talk all about it at our Baltimore studio and you can find out more, HERE.
Have more questions about styled shoots? Leave a comment on this blog post and i’ll address it within 24 hours. I hope this gets you inspired to plan your first beautiful styled shoot and I can’t wait to see it!