Styled Shoots are like weddings and should be taken seriously like the real deal! At least in terms of quality and design. That’s why we always make sure we are intentional from start to finish to make sure our styled shoots are impeccable! A lot of photographers search far and wide to find THE perfect styled shoot for them! And I say, that’s the right way to go! Being thorough and intentional matters!
As a certified wedding planner and designer, I’ve had my fair share of attending, and even planning and designing some myself! So it’s safe to say that I know what I’m talking about when I stress how important it is to consider the theme when attending styled shoots!
So why SHOULD themes matter when choosing styled shoots to attend to? Here are the reasons why!
1. Get Your Money’s Worth
There are sooo many amazing styled shoots out there and oh my gosh– it’s so hard to pick where to go to! But Woah! Let’s slow down. Even if you’re tempted to attend to all of them, it is important to note that not all styled shoots are for you!
There are styled shoots that are specially tailored for photographers who aim to appeal to their specific target clients! And depending on the theme, you could be the perfect photographer for them or not! The thing is, if it is a paid styled shoot, you might as well make sure that the shoot you’re joining is the right one for you and that it is worth your investment!
2. Attract Your Ideal Clients
For me, as a wedding educator and a certified wedding designer, keeping your ideal client in mind is always very important in whatever you do as a business. This is something I always say to my one-on-one mentees who want to seek improvements in their photography business.
I think we can all agree that having an impressive portfolio matters which is why we take our time to teach photographers to build their show-stopping portfolios, starting off with choosing the styled shoots with themes that speak the most to their ideal clients! Oops! I shouldn’t be sharing too much, but if you wish to know more of our trade secrets, you can be my mentee too!
Going back, while joining as many styled shoots as you can as a photographer is nice, it is important to consider how a certain theme can be on or off-brand for your business. For example, if you are a photographer specializing in light and romantic photographs, a garden-themed styled shoot like our In the Garden With You Editorial would be perfect for you! Couples who prefer your style of photography and are looking into incorporating a similar theme into their wedding are sure to have you saved in their contact list!
3. Opportunity to Step Out of the Box
For creatives like us, butterflies flutter in our bellies when we have the opportunity to stretch our potential further! Keeping your own bucket list of themes for styled shoots is a great way of furthering your capabilities as a photographer.
For example, if you’re more familiar with spring shoots with soft and pastel tones, you might want to test the waters with fall themes that are usually leaning more toward earthy and gem tones! Challenging yourself with different ranges of palettes is a great way to test your versatility!
4. Align with Publication Requirements
Publications such as Style Me Pretty, Wedding Sparrow, White Wren, and the likes, have certain requirements that photographers need to fulfill to get their work considered for a feature. In other words, there might be preferences in photography style, shots, location, and yes– THEMES!
I have encountered publications that prefer modern and glam themes and some that prefer whimsical and romantic! Our styled shoots are usually the latter; heavy with blooms, and located in outdoor settings similar to our Romance With You Editorial, which is preferred by many publications!
Just like any wedding, a lot of careful planning, time, money, and elbow grease are involved in making a styled shoot. As a photographer, your job is to take the role of the bride/groom and think of a theme that speaks to you the most. From there, assess how this certain theme will benefit you and your brand as a wedding photography business.
What I personally like to do is keep a checklist of styled shoot themes to keep track of themes that I have done or themes that I want to do. It’s been very handy for me in ensuring I both have variety and consistency in my portfolio!
If you want to keep a styled shoot theme checklist as well, you can go ahead and download this full checklist for free!
Venues: Bella Cosa Lakeside, The Wild Flower 301, Mill Pond Estate | Concept & Design: Terrie Nelson Design | Florists: Emily Rose Valentine, Clementines, Mill Pond Estate | Hair Stylist: Lavana Beauty Hair & Makeup, Hair Inspired by Ciarra | Makeup: Lavana Beauty Hair & Makeup, Beauty by Celeste, Crystal Konz | Bridal Gowns: Lillie Mae Collection | Tuxedo & Menswear: Generation Tux, Gentleman’s Guru | Accessories: The Bridal Design Group | Tabletop Rentals: Treasury Rentals, Set and Styled | Custom Candles: Jewels Candles | | Decor Rentals (candle Vases): ADR Decor | Chair Rentals: Any Event Linen & Chair Rentals | Linens: Olivia Jade Event Linen Rentals | Calligraphy: Calligraphy by Jennifer, Glory Co., Sophscript Co., Love Offering | Stationery: Hey Hunn | Cakes: Sugar Dreams by Dessy, Cake Envy | Shoes: Bella Belle Shoes | Bridal Portraits Models: Ava Elise, Emily Jo, Alexandria Chester, NEAVER’A, Sara Neal, Charley Tyre, Chennel Rose, Jana Manning, Mariah Janaè | Couples: Susie & Kieran, Isis Bennifield & Demonte Demore, Soumaya Shaw & Brandon Shaw, Spencer Herman & Marquise Willis, Cassy & Mayco, Hannah & Rodney