Styling a Shoot – 3 Tips & Tricks

Vendors choose to style a shoot for a lot of reasons: they want to be published, they want to expand their portfolio, they want to push their creativity.  The most important part about styled shoots, however, is making sure that you abide by etiquette.

Photo by Dragon Studio, styled shoot for Snapqube, branding, Misty Saves the Day Lesner Inn

Photo by Dragon Studio, styled shoot for Snapqube

Tip 1: Try something new.

Don’t replicate what you’ve found on Pinterest.  Use other’s ideas as inspiration, but find a way to make it your own.  Want to showcase a beautiful venue?  See what’s been done there, and push the envelope.  Take it a step further.  Love a unique color scheme? Find a way to implement florals or a gown in a way that you haven’t seen to make it pop.  Just because you see burlap and lace in a ton of photo shoots doesn’t mean you have to do it, too.  You’re far more likely to get published, get attention, and do more with a photoshoot when you can give it life beyond your circle.  You do that by creating fun, original ideas.  I promise they still exist.

Sea Siren Mermaid Inspiration Virginia Beach Erika Mills Palette of Petals Misty Saves the Day

Photo by Erika Mills Photography. Featured in VOW Magazine.

Tip 2: Have a budget.

Some vendors will be 100% behind your idea, excited to have it in their portfolio, and donate their services.  It’s super important that you remember, though, that some things cost vendors money – like florals, cakes, and more.  While it’s great when vendors want to donate their time and services, don’t expect to receive anything for free.  Vendors may love your idea, but not have the means or resources available to donate the cost of the items that you want to use.  The polite thing to do is to have a budget prepared and ready to offer those vendors.  If you don’t have to use it, that’s awesome, but if you do, you won’t compromise your shoot because of it.

Tip 3: Credit your vendors appropriately.

Regardless of whether or not you spent money on your shoot, it’s important to remember, no matter the destination of your photos, that you credit all vendors involved appropriately – business name, website and more are important.  Think of it this way: if you’d contributed to a fantastic idea, you’d want to make sure that you were credited appropriately.  Keep a running list (I have a notebook just for styled shoots), and be sure to confirm that you have their business name correct.  You’re building relationships with this shoot- bringing people together.  Make sure that you’re giving all the love that you can to everyone involved!

This is just a starting point.  There are a TON of other things to know – but that’s for another blog post.

  1. David Abel says:

    Yes! I love these tips especially the last one, It’s so important to credit your vendors! Everyone works so hard on the wedding day and also when you credit you gain more eyes than you might not otherwise!

  2. Awesome tips! Love the photos! 🙂

  3. Thank you for sharing this!! I just did my first ever styled shoot yesterday and there are definitely things I learned for the next one!!!

  4. Emily says:

    Your work is beautiful! And thank you for the tips!!!

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