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Styled Shoot 101: What you need to know before doing it

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As a wedding vendor, it is very important to have a styled shoot once in awhile to show off your skills as well as increase exposure because brides-to-be would refer to them to find vendors and determine their wedding theme. Doing a styled shoot has certainly become a common practice among creative professionals, however if you have never done it yet, let's find out why you should have it next in your to-do list!

What is a styled shoot?
In a styled shoot, wedding vendors gather and collaborate to create a joint-effort shoot. The ideas and themes can either be prepared beforehand by the principal organizer/initiator or brainstormed together by all participating vendors. The result will a thematic shoot to set new trends in the wedding industry.

Why do a styled shoot?
This is a great opportunity for wedding vendors to gather and explore new creative possibilities. It is also a chance to exchange knowledge, socialize, and brand yourself. Let's take a look at some perks you'll get from doing a styled shoot:

  • Explore possibilities
    A styled shoot gives you a certain extent of freedom different from real wedding shoots - the former allows you to explore new styles while the latter may somewhat restrict your creativity. This gives variety to your portfolio, highlights your skill, and could even help potential clients determine what they would like for their weddings.

  • Collaborate & learn new skills
    Doing a styled shoot might feel like attending a workshop. You get to try new things hands on with direction from the professionals and exchange knowledge in a short time.

  • Increase exposure & strengthen brand
    Many vendors do a styled shoot for publication purposes to increase exposure and strengthen their brands. If this is what you are aiming for, make sure your shoot adheres to the policies of the wedding blog or magazines that you want to be featured in to ease the submission process.

How to start a styled shoot?
It sounds pretty exciting to do a styled shoot, doesn't it? If you decided to give it a try, here are three steps to help you start with the right footing:

1. Craft an idea
Decide a theme you wish to do. You can either emphasize your signature or create a fresh idea to set a trend in the industry (i.e. new styles as season changes). As you are thinking, it is good to create a mood board so you can see the bigger picture.

2. Find the team
After you lying down your idea, it's time to find your squad! When approaching another vendor, look for one whose aesthetics matches your ideas and has similar understanding with you. If you think a vendor couldn't cooperate or don't have the same vision as yours, it's better to back out and search again.

3. Execute your idea
Once you have the theme and team ready, brainstorm once again to make sure everyone is on the same page. Use the mood board you have prepared and add on more details as necessary. This is an important stage as comes the day, everyone should have known what each other is responsible for and prevent any styling mistakes.

Why would vendors refuse to do a styled shoot?
It is true that, comes the opportunity, not everyone would immediately agree to do a styled shoot Here are some reasons why some vendors refuse jump on board with you:

  • Financial commitment
    Unlike when you're doing a real wedding, planning and executing a styled shoot requires money coming out from own pocket instead getting paid to do the job. For this reason, some vendors might be reluctant at first to take offers to do styled shoots. This is understandable as every styled shoot has a varying degree of financial commitment.

  • Expectations vs. Reality
    At times, what comes out at the end is different from your expectations. You might have planned for a rustic-themed styled shoot but ended up with something looking closer to eco-friendly. Such outcome could happen as you get too caught up with minute details and forgetting that we have prepared a mood board to guide you throughout the styling process. Therefore, we want to emphasize again the importance of having everyone on the same page and looking at the same mood board.

As styled shoot is done as a collective effort, it shows a finished result that brides-to-be could adopt altogether if they wish to. With your name credited as one of the contributing vendors, there is a chance they will look into your business and send inquiries if the images are up to their liking. Remain positive even if results do not immediately come through the door - you started good already.

So, what theme would you like to do for your styled shoot? If you have done a styled shoot before, feel free to share your experience too!
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