If you have been on the internet in the last three or so years - especially Pinterest there's a chance that, at some point, you have seen photos from a styled shoot. Heck, you have probably seen some of your photographer friends going on and on about them on your feed and you find yourself wondering "What even is a styled shoot?!"
Well, as one of those photographers that has been mentioning them a lot more lately, I figured I would give you the low down on what the heck I'm even talking about!
This month marks the one year anniversary of my first ever styled shoot and let me tell you - I have been addicted ever since!!
Okay, so before I go on about why I love them, let me tell you what they are.
A styled shoot is an event put together by a coordinator - commonly a wedding planner or a photographer but can really be anyone - that brings an array of vendors together to accomplish a certain goal. The goal can vary from portfolio building to showcasing one's creativity to showing off new product and it doesn't stop there! There are countless reasons one may host a styled shoot and often times, everyone involved is there for a different reason!
When I attended my first styled shoot, my goal was to network and learn from other professionals. In the past, I have struggled HARD with meeting other industry professionals and developing relationships with them because I am terrified to talk to new people when I am feeling intimidated. Well, the best way to deal with that was for me to toss myself in the middle of a styled shoot where I had no choice to collaborate and learn and you know what? It worked!!
And there, an addiction was born.
I now have been to three different styled shoots, including my first, and each one I attend I have a different goal.
Why I LOVE Them!
Styled shoots are amazing because you have an opportunity to be as creative as you want without having to worry about a paid client being happy with the results. The vendors range from cake designers to florists to rental companies and way more and everyone gets to show off their best work! In return, all of this hard work and amazing creativity is professionally photographed by multiple photographers and shared with the vendors. Basically, everyone scratches everyone's back, we all share our expertise, and we all gain from it!
At previous styled shoots, I have learned and tried new posing techniques, I have played around with camera settings, and I have even collaborated with complete strangers! I think the main thing here is that we develop amazing relationships through these events because we are all there because we have an industry in common and having strong business relationships is essential for an business' growth, no matter the size.
Alyssa + NathanCouple’s Model: Alyssa Jen Price @alyssajensprice
Flowers: Krista Renee @kristaflorista
Bride’s Dress: Perfect Dress @theperfectdressbridal
Blue dress: Piper and Scoot @piperandscoot
Black Hat: Hope Ave @hope.ave
Here's a rundown of the process, based on my experience - which varies GREATLY depending on the individual styled shoot:
So basically, this is a great way for photographers to expand their portfolio and for vendors to get some complimentary professional photography and it is honestly a win-win for everyone involved!
And really, if you're a new-ish business owner, I definitely think that doing a styled shoot or two would help you greatly because not only do you get to show off your work in an applicable setting (seeing it at a wedding table is much different than seeing it on the countertop of your home), but you get professional photos from multiple photographers so you receive multiple angles and perspectives of your work and you get to choose which ones display it just the way you like! I know that professional photography isn't cheap and when you're just starting out, it may be way out of your budget so this is a great answer to that!
Zoe + CalebModels Zoe Schumer and Caleb Petzoldt; Dress by David's Bridal, Tux by Prom and Beyond, Hair by Emma Swacker, Makeup by Shanice Mac, Flowers by Faith's Florals, Cake by Sweet Design Bakery, Cupcakes and Cookies by Sprinkled Sweet Shop, Honeymoon Table by Premier Party Rentals, and Invitation Suite by Citycraftery
As I write this, I am preparing to leave for my second styled shoot of the year! I am super excited for this one as it is the biggest one for me yet! The event will be hosted by The Creatives at Lost Hill Lake in St. Clair, MO. It's an all-day event with 5 different set ups and multiple groups of people so that we all get to work with each set up a fair amount of time without having to worry about large groups losing time or shooting opportunities. For this event, my goal is to simply have fun. My busy season is here and it's going to be a ton of work so this is my last bit of play before buckling down and hustling!
In addition to attending a second one this year, I am also collaborating with a lovely photographer friend of mine, Brianna, for an exclusive Halloween styled shoot in a few weeks. This one will be much more intimate as she and I will be the only photographers but we are still working with industry vendors to not only spice up our set but to also ensure that we are offering local vendors a chance at professional product photography since many folks rely on solely their cell phones for product images! See - everyone wins with a styled shoot!
For the Halloween styled shoot, my goal is to unleash creativity and enhance my portfolio. I am absolutely OBSESSED with Halloween so when Brianna reached out to me to see if I would be interested, I JUMPED at it! I have been wanting to design a styled shoot for a while now but had no clue where to start but collaborating with a friend makes it so much less intimidating! Now I get to have fun, create some amazing images, and hopefully have another cahnge at publication!!
My Styled Shoot Experiences
If you want to see some of my work from previous styled shoots, click on the images below to check out the correlating blog posts!! You'll quickly see why I am flat out obsessed!!