How To Photograph A Styled Shoot
Styled shoots are an amazing way to build your portfolio as well as building your vendor relationships. You may be wondering the same question I had, “How do I get asked to photograph a styled shoot?”.
One very easy way to get into styled shoots is to befriend your local wedding coordinators. They are usually the ones putting everything together. If they don’t know about you and your business, they aren’t going to reach out. They are not googling for local photographers. They have worked and met so many photographers that when they are planning a styled shoot, they have an idea of which photographers will match their style.
When you are asked to photograph a styled shoot, you need to ask what their end goal is for the photos. Publication? Blog? Magazine? Then look up previous issues or posts from that publication to see what style and feel they have throughout their site. They are going to want something similar for their audience.
During the styled shoot, it is ALL about the details. You need to photograph every single aspect of the styled shoot. From floral arrangements, to silverware, to details in seating, and the venue itself. All of the vendors are coming together to create one fantastic art piece. It’s your job to provide them with photos they can use to showcase their contribution to the group.
Before the session, check in with the planner to see if they or the publication have requested any specific photos. Then make sure to have those on your shot list. Speaking of a shot list, do not rely on your memory during the session. Plan ahead and make a list of important photos you want to get and then reference that list during the shoot. No one if going to think you are any less professional if you pull a list out of your pocket. Many will be impressed with how prepared you are.
Now that you’ve shot the styled shoot and you edited all the photos. DO NOT post anything on social media yet! You want these photos to be introduced as the publication/feature and not just an Instagram post.
Now submitting the photo will be different for who the publication is. If it’s a local magazine/blog they may allow you to send them a link to an online gallery or just email a few photos. If you are planning to submit to a national/international brand, my opinion would be to submit via a wonderful and super easy service called, Two Bright Lights. (They are not sponsors, although TBL I’m open to it haha)
When submitting your photos, submit a story along with it. Publishers are going to want something to write about. It’s hard to draw a narrative from a photo of a black candle stick on a picnic table. In addition to your story, include ALL the vendors and their social media handles and websites for proper credit.
Oh, and have fun!