Styled shoots are a great way to showcase your creativity, but have you ever wondered how they work? A styled shoot is the collaborative effort of multiple creatives who put their talents and resources together to create a stunning visual concept.
Wedding professionals do this often to create new wedding trend inspiration but styled shoots can reach far beyond the scope of weddings.
Interior designers can showcase a new decor concept, or an event planner can organize a styled shoot to bring their love of elaborate baby showers into life.
Creative people in any industry can utilize a styled shoot as an opportunity to tell moving stories that convey powerful messages through vivid imagery.
The following article will cover all aspects of what it takes to produce one of these beautiful productions!
How to Organize a Style Shoot?
1. Riddle out the Concept
A Style Shoot needs a strong concept. The first step of every shoot should be to come up with a theme which could range from rustic, modern, bohemian or classic.
Think about what kind of brides and grooms you want to attract in future and that will help you decide on your theme!
The next part is choosing the location where the shoot will take place. You should keep your target market in mind at all times and look for a location which is suitable to the specific style of shoots you're working on, just like how it works with themes.
Once you've figured out the concept and location , you can start thinking about who might be interested in collaborating with your shoot!
2. Plan the Budget
Style Shoots are often more expensive than your average wedding because they involve multiple vendors. To keep within your budget, make sure you do the following:
- Negotiate costs for each vendor and ask them to provide their best price.
- If it's possible, try asking the vendors to contribute something towards your shoot, such as a free product or service.
- Try working with your vendors on collaborative rates (i.e: two of you can do one styled shoot and split costs)
3. Choose Your Collaborators Carefully!
When it comes down to inviting people for your next Style Shoot collaboration here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Check their availability, try asking for at least one month before the shoot date.
- Get them to provide you with references and testimonials about their work (we're happy to do this for our current brides/grooms).
- Ask each vendor if they have specific products or services they bring.
- Find out if the vendor you're interested in has worked with other creatives before and what kind of experience it was like for them (we've shared our previous collaborations on Instagram, just search #oliviabossertstyledshoots).
4. Create a Plan!
Once all your collaborators have been chosen, it's time to create a plan!
- Decide on the shoot date and set up meetings with everyone involved in order to discuss all of the details.
- Create an agreement so that everything is documented in writing. Make sure you include specific dates for when each part of your collaboration will be due (i.e: two weeks before the shoot).
- Make sure you've gotten everyone's emails and phone numbers so that if there are any changes or updates, it can be communicated efficiently.
5. Make the pitch
Now that you've got all of the details sorted out, it's time to make your pitch!
- First thing is first, get in touch with the client who requested the collaboration and tell them everything you have planned.
- Besides making sure they're satisfied with what has been promised to them (it goes without saying), make sure they know about any specific requirements or conditions that might be involved (i.e: location must have a parking lot).
- Keep in mind to always get their approval on anything you plan! If they're not happy, it's better for everyone if the collaboration is aborted before anyone has made further commitments.
6. Start Sourcing Your Products and Services
Styled shoots work best when you have a mixture of your own products and services, as well as those from other vendors. So start sourcing everything you'll need at least one month before the shoot date! Here are some things to keep in mind:
- The more time you give yourself for this part, the easier it will be to get everything you need!
- Start by making a list of all the things you'll be using and make sure to include: flowers, decor items, clothing (if any), hair & makeup artists.
- Next step is getting in touch with each product/service partner on your list.
Here's how you do it: First email them, then you can call if they don't reply within a few days. You can also use WhatsApp (it's the fastest) to get in touch with any local vendors that might be tricky to reach by phone (i.e: hair and makeup artists).
Make sure you've created an agreement for each vendor before getting started! If not, it's a good idea to make sure you've got their phone numbers and email addresses.
7. Getting Your Gear Together
The most important part of every styled shoot is the photography! Make sure you have all your camera equipment ready at least one month before the shoot date.
This means having extra batteries that are fully charged, memory cards (with enough space), lenses cleaned and ready to go.
If you're bringing assistants, make sure they have their own equipment as well! If not, at least give them a list of what's expected from them on shoot day.
8. Get Inspired by Other Creatives' Work
Before the big day comes it's always good to get inspired and gather some new ideas for your styling! Here are a few places we like to go:
- Instagram (we follow a bunch of hashtags and accounts)
- Pinterest (especially for floral inspiration, but you'll find everything there!)
There's no harm in asking other creatives if they'd be okay with sharing their work as well. It might help us get some good ideas for our next shoot, and it never hurts to build a creative network!
9. Stick to the Timeline!
If you've planned everything out properly, this shouldn't be a problem! But it's always best to have an idea of what time each part of the collaboration will take. This way everyone involved knows when they should start and finish their work.
For example: If your vendors are coming at 11am for hair & makeup, but your models aren't available until 12pm, you can plan from 11am to start shooting with your assistants while the vendors get ready.
It'll help keep things running smoothly and on schedule!
- Always plan out your timeline from start to finish, this way everyone involved knows when they should begin and end their work.
- Collaborate efficiently and effectively by keeping your timeline and to-do list in mind.
10. Be Flexible!
Although we try our best not to leave anything open ended when it comes to the schedule, you'll always find yourself stuck with some unanticipated delays here and there (i.e: a vendor is running late) It's important that everyone involved knows to be flexible and patient when these little hiccups happen.
This way the shoot will always get done, even if it takes a bit longer than expected! Collaborate efficiently and effectively by being mindful of your timeline & to do list while allowing for some flexibility in case any unexpected delays come up.
11. Make the Magic Happen!
The most exciting part of every styled shoot is making it all come together, and watching your vision become a reality. We always love to hear feedback from our team on the day of the shoot too! It makes us feel like we're doing something right if everyone's excited about what they've already seen so far.
Remember, the most important thing is to stay calm and have fun. It's the only way you'll be able to concentrate on what you're doing (which is taking epic photos of course), as well as manage everyone else working with you.
12. Share Your Work with the World!
Once you've got all your photos, make sure to share them on social media or an online gallery. You can even upload them directly onto your blog for people to see.
This is especially exciting if one of your models happens to be a photographer as well (or someone else involved in this collaboration). It's always great to see someone else's point of view on the work you've done!
The best way to get noticed is by sharing each others work which can lead into new collaborations or opportunities.
There are a lot of different ways to go about building a styled shoot and we hope this blog post was able to shed some light on how you can start!
Style your shoot to your specific taste and style by using items that are meaningful to you. In the end, you'll be left with a collection of photos that are absolutely breathtaking!
Stay calm and have fun while capturing beautiful images in the process. You're doing great work!