When I first started Oh Hello Events, I was so green and anxious to get hand's on experience with vendors and venues in Tampa. I hadn't even heard of a styled shoot before when my friend Katie asked me to participate in one. I said yes without hesitating. Within weeks, we had selected a gown, hair and makeup artist, venue, floral designer, cake artist, stationer, rental company, models, and vintage shop to provide the groomswear and bridal accessories. The shoot I'm referencing was published on Green Wedding Shoes, and remains to be one of my favorites. There were some hiccups at the shoot that taught me big lessons and I'll be sharing those in my next post when I write about HOW to do stylized photoshoots.
For today, I thought I would share some reasons WHY pros participate in a styled photoshoots::
Experience - Collaborators rarely make any money when working on a styled shoot, and often - it may even cost money. That's a bummer, because artists should be compensated for their work like any other professional. BUT, when you're about to launch a brand and really need a portfolio, a styled shoot can provide you precious images to work with. You'll also be working in the field and learning about maximizing your time with your vendors.
Collaboration - You'll likely meet vendors you haven't worked with before, and make connections and friendships that may be handy when you begin helping clients build their dream team. I've gotten to know a lot of personalities through photoshoots, and observe how various photographers work. It's helped me create a point of reference for myself when I'm reviewing other vendors work. I can see the labor, craft, passion, and energy that goes into some professionals' portfolio. I've also used photoshoots as an excuse to work with vendors I just love personally, but haven't gotten to collaborate with before. There's only so many weddings per year, and if I'm dying to work with you, sometimes we have to make up our own reason.
Inspiration - Styled shoots usually are derivative of a concept either the planner/designer or photographer choose. I've done shoots based on eras (vintage Florida), movies (Amelie), or strictly just color stories (fuchsia and navy). They've all started with Pinterest boards, and that may seem like a cop out, but they always evolve into something really unique. They have different vibes and bones- the hard goods and florals are sourced with a feeling in mind - rather than just a checklist to copy another look. It's a great creative exercise to conceptualize, source, create, and then see the images as the final result. The bonus is that sometimes (OK all the time, if you're Oh Hello), your work gets published to inspire others and that's pretty, pretty fun.
There are some criticisms of styled photoshoots. The biggest of which is that they're deceptive because couples see these images and imagine unrealistically that their wedding may look like that. I can understand that. But, I also know that weddings CAN look like the shoots we dream up, if you have the right professional vendor team involved. There may be some details that are unreasonable when executing for a certain number of guests, but they may serve as inspiration for a more affordable alternative. You never know.
I haven't done a photoshoot in what feels like a decade, and I don't plan on doing one for a bit, but I do have some ideas up my sleeve that I can't wait to execute. As a bride or groom, do you like looking at dreamy styled photos? Or, vendors, are there any reasons I missed in regards to why we do shoots?