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Opal & Onyx Photography

How to Plan a Styled Shoot | Modern Light Weavers

June 19, 2019

Filed in: Educational

Welcome friends! We’re glad you’re here! Below, you will find some tips that we discussed in Modern Light Weavers Episode #3 and information on how to plan a styled shoot. Styled shoots are a great way to express creativity, make connections with vendors in the industry and get your work published and in front of potential clients.

Here are a few things to consider when you are planning your styled shoot:



Nothing gets vendors and editors more excited about a shoot than a unique theme with gorgeous details! Figure out what color scheme, details and vibes you envision for your shoot and create a mood board on Pinterest. Research publications that fit your editing style and target audience and make a list for after the shoot. If you want to do a styled shoot but aren’t sure where to start, ask yourself “who’s my ideal client and what would their wedding look like?” and work from there.



You’re all set! You have a plan and now you need a dream team to execute it. First, you’ll want to choose a date for the styled shoot and find a potential venue before reaching out to other vendors. Once you have both of those things, start emailing and connecting with vendors whose work you enjoy and you feel would fit into the vibe of your shoot. For a styled shoot, we recommend including models, a dress boutique, HMUA, florist, rentals, stationary and cake. You can also include vendors like videographers, jewelry companies and other unique details. The more the better! If a vendor turns you down, don’t take it personally! Some vendors do not have the time nor the extra supply costs to participate. Be gracious and genuine. Set expectations up front (ie. paid or TFP, image delivery time, etc). Forming connections with others is an essential part of running a photography business and who knows, maybe you’ll find your next best friend!



The day has arrived and you are ready to rock this thing! Use this opportunity to try out new poses and get inspiration for new shots you can incorporate into your wedding portfolio. Have fun with it! Do the extra weird stuff your creative soul dreams of. Take time to talk to the vendors you’re working with and ask them if they need anything specific photography-wise. Make sure to get many different angles and perspectives and depending on which publications you have in mind, focus on getting plenty of detail shots. Make sure to let your vendor team know when they can expect to receive images. Enjoy experiencing your vision come together but make sure you only post sneak peeks in your Instagram stories and not your feed. You’ll want to keep the images under wraps for publication!



Back up your images, cull twice and edit. Most publications require 100-200 images to choose from so you’ll want to choose the best ones! You can find submission requirements on most publications “submit” pages or you can use Two Bright Lights, an awesome service that matches you with publications that fit your style. You can choose to submit to an exclusive publication (meaning you cannot submit anywhere else) or multiple non-exclusive publications. Include a few paragraphs about why you believe your styled shoot is a good fit, what vendors you included and be sure to tell them all about your vision! Make sure you meet all of the requested requirements and be patient. If you are turned down, don’t worry! You may just not be a fit for their current editorial schedule. Keep submitting and soon enough you’ll receive that acceptance email!



Now’s the time to share! Send your vendor team the link and appropriate tags and celebrate on social media. Make sure you credit each vendor that participated and follow through with delivery of images. This is such an exciting moment and showing off everyone’s hard work is the best feeling ever! Most publications will provide you with a badge for your website, which is pretty cool too. Oh and we totally get it, you’re already planning your next styled shoot already. 😉


Thanks for tuning into our show and we can’t wait for you to hear the next episode – we will be covering posing and we will even have a downloadable posing guide! If you found this post and episode helpful, please leave us a review on Itunes!

XO – Bailey + Shelby


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