Styled Shoot : Must Know Tips to Make it a Success

Today It is all about planning a successful styled shoot! I have had SO many people ask me and wanting to know exactly how to do this, so I am super excited to be sharing with you some of my best tips on how to make it a success. When I started planning mine, I couldn’t find much information on how plan one, so there was a huge learning curve for me. So I am excited to share my experience and really break it down for you because styled shoots are literally a must-do!

a photo of me (Melissa Grissom) photographing a table of the styled shoot I created

what is a styled shoot?

OK so first, what is a styled Shoot? Just in case you aren’t familiar, essentially it’s where multiple creatives come together for a shoot in a style you are dreaming of! Whether it’s influenced by wedding trends or your brand, YOU are the boss.

a visual styled shoot aesthetic board planned on Pinterest

Why plan a styled shoot?

It might not be obvious the benefits to planning a styled shoot, so here are three reasons why you should DEFINITELY plan one!

  • Can submit for publishing. Who doesn’t wanna be published?! This not only gives you serious street cred, but also gives you backlinks for your SEO + in front of potential brides!
  • Create images for your portfolio that you’re obsessed with. This will help attract brides who are also in love with what you are putting out!
  • It’s an amazing way to network. Think about the power of multiple creatives in the wedding space coming together and all sharing each other regularly on social! Think about the connections and friendships you can make working together with someone to plan something gorgeous! It’s such a great networking opportunity!
a visual styled shoot shot list created on Pinterest

how to plan

This is a TON of info, so get your note pad ready 😉

  1. First plan the visual theme and inspiration on Pinterest.
  2. If you’re looking to get it published, research which publications or blogs you would like to get it published in. Pay attention to what they’re currently publishing and what seems to be trending. And try to come up with ideas that you think would be a good fit for their content!
  3. Create a list of which ‘pieces’ of the day you want to include in the shoot and what kind of shots you want to photograph. Do this early in the process! This is one thing I would change from my experience. I waited until WAY late to do this and it had me running around like crazy last minute and reaching out to everyone last minute over the weekend. You can always add on specific shots later, but get your bones of knowing what you want to include and know approximately how much time you’ll need for each section of the day you plan to photograph.
    • TIP: Create your photo inspiration board on Pinterest. Categorize a “shot list board” by “bride portraits” “bride details” etc.
  4. Work with a wedding planner. Having a wedding planner was HUGELY helpful and really where this turned into a actual thing that happened lol. They will help you coordinate the entire process, give you names of vendors & create a beautiful tablescape.
    • TIP: work with a planner within the part of the market you are trying to work in.
    • TIP: Here is some verbiage to reach out to all vendors including the wedding planner: Hi ____ my name is ______. I am in the process of planning a styled shoot and I would absolutely love to work with you. Your work is beautiful and I think would be a perfect fit for what I am putting together! In exchange for participation all vendors will receive rights to the images. (List if you’re submitting for publishing, etc.)
    • Share your inspiration board with the planner!
  5. Find a venue to host it in & Reach out to vendors.
    • TIP: Share inspiration board with all vendors
    • TIP: Use the message above to either email or message to reach out!
  6. Post a model call. You can also do this earlier, or ask some hot friends ya have haha, but do not do it too close to the event. People may need to get off early or take off work!
  7. Create your own timeline. You know how much time you need for each ‘piece’ of the day you want to photograph. If you want to spend a ton of time on bridal portraits, then be sure to allow yourself extra time!
  8. Delegate the full day of timeline to the planner. Send your planner your timeline and ask her to create a full day of timeline. She will think about a lot of things that we normally don’t think of, and this is super important! Also be sure to ask the planner about helping with other coordination tasks to help lighten your load.
  9. Create a google doc of all participants and email to everyone participating. This way they can all communicate with one another easily, and also check out each other’s instagrams , etc.! Also create a google doc of a shot request list for your vendors. Make sure no one is left out, and that they get what they want. They’ll also be more prone to share the images they are dying to have!
  10. Share sneak peek images in email ASAP & list all IG handles (here’s my IG come Follow me!) so everyone can easily copy & paste when sharing to social media.
    • TIP: If you’re planning to submit to an exclusive publication, you want to make sure to ask all your vendors to wait to flood their feeds with the images, but especially not to blog, until you find out if the submission was accepted. So try to submit as soon as you can!

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I truly hope this was so helpful for you! If you have any questions, please leave them down below and I will gladly answer them for you!

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