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The styled shoot series: how to pull it off

Welcome back to the styled shoot series!

If you missed part 1: why do a styled shoot, you can check that out here.

Today we’re going to be chit chatting about the details involved in pulling this off. If you want, you can always get a planner on board and hand it over to them. But if you’re like me and you’re a little too neurotic for that, let’s jump into it.

 

Flesh out the concept

Before you go hunting for other vendors, think about what you want to accomplish here. What are you seeing in your head? What vibe are you going for?

Think about the style, colour scheme, mood… Write it down. If it’s just you, this isn’t as important, but having things written down is still helpful; it may give you some new ideas. And the bigger your intended team, the more important this is. “Too many cooks spoil the broth.” If everyone shows up with a different idea, your shoot will be anything but cohesive. Flesh out a mood board so that the other vendors know what the goal is.

Are you going to be publishing? Research blogs/magazines ahead of time! Find out what your preferred blogs are looking for, then make sure you capture those things.

 

Assemble your team

This group can be as small or large as you want

Personally, I like to keep things simple, so I usually work with a florist, makeup artist, and hair stylist. If we’re lucky, we get a dress designer on board too! I shoot small, uncomplicated weddings, so planning a huge, over-the-top styled shoot just isn’t up my alley. It might be exactly what you’re into, though, in which case you’ll also have to think about table settings, an invite suite, designer rings, and all manner of other vendors.

If the group is getting large, I’d recommend bringing a planner on board to coordinate everything. Decide on a time and place, send out contracts (important!! Don’t skip this), and draft a call sheet to make sure everyone shows up where they’re supposed to be when they’re supposed to be there. Whatever your role, flaking on a styled shoot is very bad form; it’s disrespectful to all the other vendors who put in time and effort to pull it off.

 

Choose a location

Refer back to your plan: what kind of location are you looking for? If you’re totally lost, refer back to this!

Indoors? Outdoors? Bright and cheerful? Dark and moody? Take the time to find the right location to fit the vibe of your shoot; it can be make or break. Think outside the box here, too. Ask people for permission to use their space, research permits for off-the-beaten-path locations.

And please. Please. Especially if you aren’t used to it: research nature preservation and leave no trace.

Taking photos in beautiful places is getting more and more “trendy” lately, in places like Yosemite, Moab, Iceland, etc. And as a result, the environment is being damaged by people who just don’t know what they’re doing. Check out cryptobiotic soil; it’ll send you down a rabbit hole.

Anyway.

I’ll get off my soap box. But please. Be kind to the world.

 

Give yourself extra time

Since you’re putting in all this time and effort to plan the shoot, give yourself time to … actually shoot. Don’t rush through it like a portrait session running behind; give yourself several hours to shoot the hell out of it.

You may also consider shooting the “getting ready” process for the other vendors; everyone loves a good behind-the-scenes shot. Bring on an assistant to take the same photos for you! Or a videographer!

 

Shoot the damn thing!

When you’re shooting, pay even more attention to the details than usual; honour your vendors. They put in a lot of time/money/effort too, so make sure you give them images that highlight their work. 

  • Get those tight, camera facing shots of the makeup
  • Style the bouquet
  • Catch the details of the dress

 

Take your time. If you’ve planned things out and given yourself enough time, use it. Make sure you’re capturing what you want to, and don’t rush through it.

Experiment, try something new!  

I believe in you.

 

 

Check back in next week for what to do after your styled shoot xx

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