Styled Wedding Photoshoot

Styled wedding photoshoots have been all the rage lately. A year or two ago, only a handful of photographers had taken on the (sometimes daunting) task of putting one together. Now, you see them everywhere! I have been approached by several photographers who have asked how I organize these, and let me tell you, it is not easy. (Not if you want to do it well, that is.)

Styled shoots, are in essence, a task in which the photographer (at least in my case), is not only the photographer, but also, the event coordinator, the art director, the stylist (to name a few.) You have to be the point-person for EVERYTHING. Where will the shoot be held? How many models? Who will be supplying a wedding gown? What about accessories? Can I get someone to make a cake? Who will do the hair and makeup? What if the gown doesn’t fit? And what is someone doesnt show up? The list goes on and on.

My first bit of advice is to NETWORK with others in the wedding industry. If someone loves your work, and knows that you will work your butt off to get the shoot published, the odds can be in your favor that they might be willing to collaborate with you. Talk with your local bridal shop and see if they have any sample gowns they would be willing to lend out for the shoot. (And this goes without saying, but be careful with it!!) Same goes with the accessories and what else will have to be returned after the shoot. While these type of shoots are great for getting your work out there, if you ruin someone’s piece in the process, it isn’t worth it. (And the opposite is true as well-and they can easily become someone that you work with for years to come!)

Next, be sure you do your research. Figure out a trend/concept, and execute it in a way that hasn’t been done before. This goes without saying, but a lot of styled shoots can end up being carbon copies of one another. Also, do you have a publication in mind where you want to send the photoshoot in hopes of being published? (You should!) Doing a bit of research on the intended wedding magazine or blog can help you tremendously, not only with the style of photography that they like, but also on their policies as far as submitting, and whether or not you are allowed to post the photos anywhere before-hand.

And my biggest bit of advice? If you are dying to work with a particular designer, then ASK!!! The worst thing they can say is No, or ignore you. And you never know who will surprise you!

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