Styled Shoots – When To Say Yes and When To Say No
As a wedding planner, styled shoots seem to be a dime a dozen and as I’ve learned over the years, it’s best to take them on when it’s right for you. Styled shoots can be a great way to showcase your work, push your creativity to the next level, meet other vendors or build current connections and get your work published. BUT, they are also a lot of work. Sometimes, they can be as much work as planning another event and they can be costly if you’re not getting things for trade or discounted.
Now, whenever I’m approached about doing a styled shoot or thinking of doing one myself, I ask myself 4 main questions. I ask myself these things because I know as the planner a lot of the logistics and heavy planning can fall on me and it can be time consuming, so I want to make sure it’s worth it!
Top 4 Questions To Ask Myself Before Doing A Styled Shoot
Will it add value to my portfolio?
- There needs to be unique ideas and fresh creativity stemming from the shoot, otherwise, don’t waste your time re-creating looks that have already been created and published. Styled shoots should be meant for pushing our creative limits and creating new and fresh content for your portfolio. Sometimes when you’re first starting, it is key to do a shoot or two just to get your portfolio started. I believe that the work should push your creative boundaries. Better yet, if it pushes your boundaries and lands a publication. Which leads me to my next point.
What’s the end goal?
- Whether you’re planning or are approached to collaborate, ask for a clear end goal. Are there specific blogs to aim for getting it published on? Is this to up your portfolio game, or just for fun? Any of these are great, but be sure you know what you really want out of it (maybe it’s all 3)! If there are no publications in mind, create a list of them that that would align with your creative ideas that you’re dreaming up. It’s beneficial to get the work published or showcased on another platform so it can reach a bigger audience. Even if that end goal is all of your vendors sharing on their platforms and tagging those involved.
How much is this going to cost?
- Be clear on who is covering costs! Decide if you’re splitting things equally or if things are being done on a trade. Some vendors end up overspending because they didn’t realize the amount of product and/or work required. Be clear with vendors if costs are being split evenly or if there is a budget for the shoot. Talking about this up front helps avoid those awkward money conversations, because everyone is on the same page.
Who are the other vendors and can I build new connections?
- If you’re approached to do the shoot, see who the other vendors are. Are they new vendors that would be beneficial to work with? Or people you’ve been dreaming of collaborating with for awhile? Not that you can’t do a styled shoot with vendors you already know but also try and branch out and bring some new vendors on board whose work you admire or someone that you don’t know but want to collaborate on a shoot with first before working with at a client event. Regardless, it’s a great way to collaborate, network and build relationships with people in the industry.
So there you have it! My top 4 questions to ask yourself before jumping into a styled shoot. Enjoy bringing your most creative ideas to life with some amazingly talented vendors. Because sometimes, it’s fun to just create!