If you are a vendor in the wedding industry chances are you have been asked to be in a Styled Shoot or maybe you are hoping to be part of one someday soon! Styled Shoots can be great for your business, but there are a few things to know to make sure all parties are getting a rewarding experience.
In today’s blog I’m giving you my best advice (and sharing some personal experiences) for being a part of Styled Shoots and what you can expect from them!
How it All Works
There are always exceptions to the rules but in all the Styled Shoots I have been a part of they are organized by either a Wedding Coordinator or a Photographer. Usually what happens is a Planner or Photographer will come up with an idea for a Styled Shoot, they’ll create a mood board (vision board) and then they will start reaching out to vendors that they think would be a good fit for the shoot.
One thing to look out for is a well put together and cohesive mood board (or vision board… people call them different things). This is the foundation of the Styled Shoot and if you see 30 different colors, 5 different styles of photo editing and a hodge podge of themes slapped together, chances are that this styled shoot is going to be a train wreck. All vendors need a clear vision of the photoshoot so they can prepare items that match that vision, that is why a cohesive and complementary mood board is so important!
Styled Shoots are Great Portfolio Builders
Professional photos of your work are absolutely imperative. However, professional photos can be expensive and when you are just starting your business it’s an added expense that may not be in your budget. That is why Styled Shoots can be great portfolio builders! When you are part of a Styled Shoot you get access to all the photographs taken of your work, which is frankly pretty amazing! You can use them on your website, social media or any printed collateral you have for your business.
They are a Great Way to Network
Another major plus of being in a Styled Shoot is that you get to meet other incredible vendors! I have met so many fantastically talented people this way. It’s also a great way to get your name out there. I often have people message me on Instagram and ask “How do I get started in the calligraphy business?” I always tell them, meet as many people as you can!
So What About Getting Published?
The overarching goal of a Styled Shoot is to get published or featured. If it does get published it’s a great way to get exposure! I will say that few Styled Shoots actually get published. In my own experience I have been part of about 25 Styled Shoots and only 7 of them have been published. But don’t get discouraged being published is not the only benefit of a Styled Shoot.
How Do I Get Involved with a Styled Shoot?
In my experience the person organizing the Styled Shoot will typically reach out to you. However, if you have been wanting to be in a Styled Shoot and no one has been reaching out to you, don’t be afraid to reach out to them. Find a Planner who’s style you adore and reach out to them! Start the email or DM off by saying how much you love their work and then mention that you would like to be considered for a collaboration if they are ever in need of a calligrapher (or photographer, florist or whatever your speciality is). Include photos of previous work you have done so they can see what you can do! Don’t get discouraged if they say no… for every “no” you get there is someone who is going to say yes :)
Another resource that is available for vendors wanting to be in a Styled Shoots is Styled Shoots Across America, you can visit their website here. They have lots of great information and resources!
Questions to Ask Before You Say YES to a Styled Shoot
Who is the Photographer?
This is the #1 question I tell fellow wedding vendors to ask. This is a HUGE one because this person will be taking photos of your work and if you don’t like what they produce… not to be a downer BUT… it’s basically wasted time on your part. With that said, find out who the photographer is and look at their website, social media etc… and make sure you like their style.
I did not know to ask this question at one of my first styled shoots and when I got the photos back I was so disappointed. The photographer was very talented but her style was DARK and not in line with my branding. I couldn’t use the photos at all but I definitely learned my lesson!
Don’t make the same mistake I made, find out who the photographer is and make sure you love their style before you say yes!
A side note, I have had some photographers tell me they would lighten up the pictures and that it’s ok to ask photographers to lighten the photos for you. While this is very nice, I don’t think everyone would appreciate this. The best thing to do is to say yes ONLY to a photographer’s style you like and not ask them to change.
Who is the Coordinator?
Is the coordinator a total hot mess on social media and showcasing work that you are less than excited about? Or Is the coordinator doing some really beautiful things that you love? If you say yes to the latter then say yes to the Styled Shoot (of course if you like the photographer’s style ;)).
What Will I Be Providing?
As a calligrapher typically I don’t have to ask this question because the person planning the Styled Shoot will tell me right from the get go. However, if they don’t tell you right away make sure you ask. And don’t be afraid to say no to something they are asking for if you don’t want to do it.
Recently I stopped offering vows for Styled Shoots. Vows are extremely time consuming and it began taking away from my paid work. Don’t be afraid to evaluate what is best for your business. Personally for me vows aren’t something I want tons of orders coming in for. They are extremely time consuming and if I mess up once I have to start all over. Ultimately it’s not something I want to showcase so I have removed that from my offerings for Styled Shoots. On a very rare occasion I might do them if I want to, but that’s the great thing about it… I do them IF I want to. Remember this is your business and you get to choose!
Lastly, if there is something you’ve been wanting to get photographed don’t be afraid to ask! Recently I did a Styled Shoot where I asked if I could bring one of my seating chart rentals because I wanted to get photographs of it - the Planner and Photographer had no problem with it and now I have beautiful photos of my new seating chart for my website and social media!
I purposely didn’t mention etiquette for Styled Shoots in this blog as I am going to go over that in my next blog!
I hope this blog sheds a little light on Styled Shoots. If you have any further questions please feel free to leave a comment!