The styled shoot… A lot of wedding professionals do style shoots – some to get published, others for portfolio building and some for fun. Due to larger wedding blogs influence in recent years, styled shoots have seem to have been given a bad name. In this post I will be touching on a few points about style shoots that I feel bride’s/couples should hear from a photographer’s perspective.
What is a styled shoot?
Firstly, let’s talk about what a styled shoot is: A planned gathering of a select group of vendors and/or creatives that have put together a mock event with a pre-determined design aesthetic for the purpose of adding professional photos to their portfolio, and/or submitting the photo shoot to a magazine or blog publication.
Styled shoots vs. workshops?
This is a point I feel is VERY important to educate couples on. There is a huge difference between the styled shoot and a workshop.
So what is a workshop? It is a meticulously prepared shoot held by a renowned artist with knowledge and experience. These are retreat like – where creatives spend thousands of dollars to show up and photograph fully prepared shoots while simultaneously learn from talented and successful industry leaders. There is nothing wrong with workshops as education is very important, however, these are the type of shoots that actually fool clients. Anyone can show up to a perfectly prepared shoot and be guided on how to capture stunning imagery.
Why participate in a styled shoot?
As mentioned above, the design aesthetic and/or portfolio building is the typical reason for participation in a styled shoot. For growth in an oversaturated market, photographers need to create specific content for potential clients to see. Building a portfolio and finding a client with similar aesthetic preferences can be hard.
Styled shoots are work too.
Styled shoots are more like weddings than many think. They take quite a bit of planning, time and money. Most of the time there are a lot of different wedding vendors involved, meaning logistically, things need to run smooth just as a real wedding day would. With that being said, it is great practice, but for that reason we only create and/or accept a few styled shoots per year. Styled shoots can take up so much time and effort it can feel like your planning your own wedding!
See one of our styled shoot moodbaords HERE.
All in all, couples should still do their homework. Ask photographers about their styled shoots or workshops. Ask them for wedding galleries. Have a conversation about a specific shoot that caught your eye. I bet the photographer would love to chat!