Lets Talk Styled Shoots 

Sometimes I like to share a little bit of wisdom…. or at least try to!

I’ve previously written over on my Instagram about the subject of Styled Wedding Shoots….something I have spent an awful lot of my time doing over the years.

PHOTOGRAPHER CLARE KINCHIN PHOTOGRAPHY / STYLING – THE WED HUB / DRESS – ROCK THE FROCK BRIDAL BOUTIQUE / MUA AND MODEL – CHLOE JANE MUA AND HUSBAND MARK /VENUE – ASHRIDGE COURT FARM

With the huge rise in creative wedding suppliers taking hold of the reins and organising their own styled wedding shoots there was bound to be some confusion amongst everyone as to the who’s and hows of what’s allowed or expected from all those involved in the process. 

Now, styled shoots are not a new concept by any means (magazines and blogs have been facilitating them since time began) but not everyone is too hot on the etiquette or niceties involved. So, I thought why not try and share a little bit of what I’ve learned over the last ten years and try to help you navigate through this minefield with as little maiming as possible….. because I’m nice like that and I very much dislike blood and guts! 

Obviously I don’t want to gift away all of my secrets, because sooner rather than later I’m going to be launching a few exciting projects, which I would love for you to join me on. 

So let’s get started….

PHOTOGRAPHER VERITY WESTCOTT PHOTOGRAPHY / CREATIVE CONCEPT – ELLIEGANT HAIR / STYLING – THE WED HUB / FLOWERS – TIDE FLOWERS / CAKE – LADYVALE BAKERY / VENUE – THE COW SHED WEDDINGS / SHOOT FEATURED OVER ON WED MAGAZINE

Q. WHAT IS A STYLED SHOOT? 

Styled Wedding Shoots are collaborations between suppliers to showcase their talents, products and or services equally by creating a mock up wedding with the aim to submit to a blog and or magazine for publication. They’re an awesome opportunity to provide a beautiful visual that will grab the attention of your potential ideal clients…

IMAGE BY MRS JUTSON PHOTOGRAPHY / sTYLING – THE WED HUB / DRESS – ROCK THE FROCK BRIDAL BOUTIQUE / VEIL – KAREN DORNELLIE / FABRIC BOUQUET MAGENTA ROSE DESIGNS / MODEL – LAUREN MCNULTY

Q. WHO PAYS FOR A STYLED WEDDING SHOOT?

Generally they’re paid for by the person who comes up with the shoot concept, the Shoot Creator. That being said many of the smaller shoots are a collaboration between local suppliers who know each other and everyone is happy to cover the cost of their own products or services in exchange for images and exposure.

Larger shoots that may require suppliers to travel further afield, post items or provide something that may be of substantial financial cost to them should be paid for, or at least a contribution offered towards their costs by the shoot creator. 

Shoots can be as expensive and as time consuming as you allow them to be… or they can be totally off the cuff and very inexpensive…. 

iMAGE BY RUBY WALKER PHOTOGRAPHY / CREATIVE CONCEPT & DRESS DANDELIONS AND PEARLS / STYLING – THE WEDDING HUB / GROOMS OUTFIT THE VINTAGE SUIT HIRE CO / RINGS – LONDON VICTORIAN RING CO / HAIR – THE POP UP SALON / MUA – ROSE FORREST HAIR & MAKEUP ARTISTRY / HAIR ACCESSORIES – THE LUCKY SIXPENCE / BRIDAL SHOES – SASHA ARCHER SHOES / PROPS – THE PROP FACTORY / VENUE – THE LUCKY 7 CLUB

Q. WHO CAN ORGANISE A STYLED SHOOT?

Simply put, ANYONE! 

There are no set rules to say who can or can not come up with the concept for a shoot. If you have an idea then run with it… 

PLAN, RESEARCH & BE CONFIDENT.

I’ve been involved with styled shoots arranged by everyone from magazine editors to venue owners, hair stylists to wedding planners. 

IMAGE AND CREATIVE CONCEPT BY LIBERTY PEARL PHOTOGRAPHY // STYLING THE WED HUB // MUA CHLOE JANE MUA // HAIR GEM RYDER // MODEL KATRINA WOODS // VENUE NEW BARTON BARNS // SHOOT FEATURED WITH WED MAGAZINE

Q. WHO SUBMITS THE SHOOTS TO THE BLOGS OR MAGAZINES?

In the past it’s generally been left to the photographer to submit to publications, mainly because they understand the jargon that comes with the image requirements for sizing and pixels. Submissions aren’t the easiest thing to get your head around, especially as each blog or magazine have very different ways to do it. I personally like to submit the shoots that I have organised because I like to see the project through from start to finish. All that being said anyone can send in a submission, just always make sure you know the process so it makes it easier for everyone.

IMAGE BY TRELOAR PHOTOGRAPHY // CREATIVE CONCEPT ADVENTURE ALWAYS COMMUNITY // STYLING THE WED HUB // FLORAL HAT ROSEHIP & WREN // MUA CLARE PEARSON // MODELS DANIELLE & DAVID // LOCATION LOCH ETIVE

Q. WHEN AND WHO CAN SHARE IMAGES?

Now this is the big one that can cause a whole heap of tantrums! Believe me, I’ve thrown my toys out the pram on a few occasions in the past when I’ve been forgotten in the credits so I know how it feels, however I have also been guilty of forgetting to add people to credits too…. why? Well simply put, we’re all human and we all make mistakes, we can be forgetful and we can also be palmed off by our social media platforms when they decide they don’t want to play the tagging game and ghost businesses we know exist (this is more likely to happen if you’re using your mobile device rather than your computer to tag people). 

You’re totally right in thinking sharing is caring but in initially in this instance it’s good to hold back just a wee bit. If you really want some great exposure it may mean you just need to wait, sometimes sadly for several months because some publications require exclusivity and schedule their content months in advance.

This should always be discussed and agreed before a shoot takes place so that everyone knows what to expect. Depending on where the shoot will be published will dictate just how much can be shared and where. Most blogs and magazines don’t mind if a handful of images are shared on your personal social platforms, which is why I always pick several pre publication, for all suppliers involved to share. It’s enough to curb everyones excitement and then can also build a little suspense for the full shoot. It’s a good idea to share 3-6 images that show different elements of the shoot and include all the suppliers amongst the selection that you pick. 

IMAGE BY MARGO R PHOTOGRAPHY / CONCEPT & STYLING THE WED HUB / DRESS BY THE COUTURE COMPANY AT ROCK THE FROCK BRIDAL BOUTIQUE / WAISTCOAT THE VINTAGE SUIT HIRE CO / MUA CHLOE JANE MUA / MODELS JENNA JAZZ & BEN HIGGINS /

Q. WHO SHOULD YOU MENTION WHEN SHARING IMAGES?

Initially when first sharing images and text about the shoot I’d always include all who were involved because you want as much coverage as possible for everyone that took part in the shoot. However, I know that that’s not always doable and sometimes just doesn’t make sense visually. For example you’re sharing an image of a cake but expected to tag the shoe designer in it because they were part of the shoot, yes it’s lovely to do that but not always necessary. I would say as long as you always tag the photographer, the shoot creator and who or what you see in the image that’s acceptable. If you’re sharing a post talking about the shoot then tag everyone involved, it’s only fair and it works better for everyone. Ooh and if you decide to blog it personally, make sure to backlink with the other suppliers websites as well as mentioning them as it’s great for your SEO. Which is a whole different minefield to explain and one that I’m trying hard to master.

Like I mentioned before, sometimes we miss people out or we are missed out. Don’t take offence just contact the shoot creator and give them a little nudge so that they can rectify the mistake…. Pre publication always make sure that you have or give your correct details to who ever is submitting the shoot because it is much easier to change with a blog over a magazine that’s already gone to print (that can’t be changed).

IMAGE BY MRS JUTSON PHOTOGRAPHY // WEDDING PLANNER & CREATIVE CONCEPT ACCENT EVENTS // STYLING THE WED HUB // SUIT THE VINTAGE SUIT HIRE CO // DRESS ROCK THE FROCK BRIDAL BOUTIQUE // HMUA JOANNA FALANGA // HAIR VINE CLAIRE AUSTIN ENGLAND // FLOWERS GIUSEPPE & LUISA TERRECUSO // VENUE ART HOTEL VILLA FIORELLA // MODELS REAL COUPLE VICTORIA & ADRIANO // SHOOT FEATURED IN WEDDING IDEAS MAGAZINE

Q. WHAT TIPS DO YOU HAVE FOR GETTING YOUR DREAM SUPPLIERS TO COLLABORATE ON A STYLED WEDDING SHOOT WITH YOU? 

OK…. so a couple of my personal tips for this would firstly be:

  • you need to be confident in yourself and your idea!
  • Be prepared, really plan every detail and know that the suppliers you want are the ones that are right for your concept. For example there’s no point asking an awesome vintage dress designer to collaborate on a shoot if the brief is minimal contemporary bridal just because you are in love with her designs. Or asking a couple who look like they’re off the cover of a high end glossy fashion magazine to come model for a gothic, tattoo, moshpit mashup bridal shoot…. it just wouldn’t work. 
  • When I’m asked to join a shoot I always ask lots of questions so that I know what I’m getting into and also what potential there is to come out of it.
  • Be brave, the worst they could do is say no and if they do then that’s fine because you can use that as fuel to do better and make them wish they’d said yes!

IMAGE BY MRS JUTSON PHOTOGRAPHY / CREATIVE CONCEPT & STYLING THE WED HUB / FLOWERS HANNAH BURNETT FLORIST / DRESS ROCK THE FROCK BRIDAL BOUTIQUE / MUA KATY SHORT MAKEUP MAGIC / MODEL STACEY LEAN / VENUE OCEAN STUDIOS /

Q. DO YOU THINK IT’S WORTH THE TIME AND EFFORT TO ORGANISE YOUR OWN SHOOTS?

In a word YES!

Styling is one of my favourite things to do. I enjoy the planning as well as the on the day stuff and there’s no better feeling when you get an email reply from a publication saying that they not only like the shoot but want to feature it! 

Styled shoots are a great way to grow your portfolio, build new connections and friendships with other creative suppliers and advertise your products or services. Sadly, advertising for small businesses can be expensive and we can’t all afford to take out full page spreads in monthly issues of our fave magazines or pay for banner space on big blogs, so this is a wonderful way to get seen. You can use the images from shoots for more than just one publication, submit them elsewhere after the exclusivity period is over,  recycle them over and over again for content throughout the year or even years. Always think outside the box… way too much hard work goes in to a shoot to just use a few images and then let the others die a death in the darkest part of your desktop!  

Q. WILL YOU BE TEACHING HOW TO PUT A STYLED SHOOT TOGETHER? 

Yes, I would love to run some workshops, both here and when I move abroad. I will cover all things from planning to submitting, theory and practical… so if you’d like to know more subscribe here to be the first to hear about them.

Well I think that gives you all something to work with…  Later D x

  1. […] Coming up with ideas for styled shoots can be challenging. If you’re anything like me you’ll probably struggle with a bit of imposter syndrome every now and again. You’ll stress out thinking that someone has most likely done a similar shoot to you previously. They may well have, but it really doesn’t matter because no two shoots are ever exactly the same. We can all put our own spin on things. Every team of people will produce a different result, even if they are given the same brief. So, if you’ve been putting it off…Be Brave and just go for it! If you need a few hints and tips about how to go about it check out my previous blog post here. […]

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