Hi Friends! So, I did it!!! I successfully executed my first styled shoot and it was AMAZING! I must admit I was a bit nervous at first, but once I rallied up the courage (and time) to begin planning, everything went smoothly. Eight hours of wedding editorial bliss. It’s been almost a week since the shoot and I’m still overwhelmed with pure joy and excitement. I cannot wait to share the photos with you all!
I dare digress though. This particular post is less about the beauties of the photoshoot (I will save that for a future post) and more about the why behind my decision to do one and what I learned from it. As the day came to an end, I realized that I had learned so much. I was so fascinated and humbled by the entire process that I wanted to share my experience for any industry professionals planning their first styled shoot. Here are 3 key takeaways for anyone planning their very first styled shoot:
Know and Remember Your WHY
From the moment you decide a styled shoot is what you want to do, the next thing to do is determine your why. By that I mean ask yourself a series of questions such as why are you doing a styled shoot, what do you hope to gain from the styled shoot, and maybe even is now the best time for a styled shoot? Asking such questions up front will make decision making down the road much easier. Maybe you’re new to the industry or you’re “out of season” and would like to keep your skills sharp and up to trend. Maybe you’re seeking magazine publication for marketing purposes. Whatever the reason or reasons may be, identify it upfront and write it down. Not only write it down, but refer back it whenever planning begins to engulf you. A common styled shoot planners etiquette is to work backwards. For example, if you’re seeking publication, start by browsing the magazine you’d like to be published in. See what it takes to make the cut and set out to meet that mark. Remembering your why will keep you motivated to see your vision and styled shoot goal to completion.
Allow Ample Time For Planning
Styled shoots are a collaborative effort involving several vendors. If you’re the planner coordinating the shoot, you want to be considerate of the business and personal schedules of the vendors participating. Allow enough time for initial contacts, follow up and meetings in between, all while being both considerate and flexible of the other work those vendors may be juggling as well. In a perfect world, all vendors, once confirmed, will remain confirmed. However, I experienced a minor hiccup in planning when my initial florist was no longer able to participate just two weeks before the shoot. Honestly, I do not think I would have successfully recovered from that had time not available – and by recover, I mean find another available florist. Overall, I allowed about two months for planning. I needed every day.
Vendor Selection is Important
With all the excitement of pulling a styled shoot together, it’s just as important to make sure the vendors you team up with share the same vision and that collaboratively, brand identities match up, as well. The images from a styled shoot can end up just about anywhere, ranging from business websites to social media and sometimes even wedding publications so you want to make sure you’re precisely representing all brands involved. Cohesiveness is key. Identifying a vendor’s brand identity can easily be done by browsing their social media or gallery of work found on their website.
Don’t forget to enjoy the process. Styled shoots are intended to be fun. They create such a great atmosphere for collaboration and creativity. Try something new…explore a new venue, introduce a new element that’s never been seen or tried before. It’s okay to do that now more than ever. You never know, you just might start the next wedding trend ;)
Creatively, I wanted to explore a style of décor and design that I had not yet had the pleasure of styling for a client. I also wanted to build upon vendor relationships and effectively collaborate with vendors that shared my vision, brand identity and desire for community over competition. My ultimate “why” – to seek publication.
Here are a few sneak peaks from my first styled shoot. Special shout out to all the vendors that participated (a.k.a “The Dream Team”). You guys ROCK!
Planners: Tifphany Nichol, Tira Lynn Events; Photography: Clapp Studios; Videography: Megapixels Media; Venue: Inn at the Colonnade; Florals: Taylored Grace Floral and Design Draping and Uplighting: 27Studios; Stationary: Devine Designs by Diesha; Rentals: White Glove Rentals, Select Event Group, Vintage Affairs; Makeup: Made Up My Grind; Cake: Enchanted Cakes and Treats; Tuxedo: Tuxedo House; Bridal Dress: Modern Trousseau; Models: Randi Williams, D’Sean Cummings