We consider ourselves old pros at styled shoots, so it makes sense that we share some of our lessons learned and tips for success with our fellow creatives. An on brand styled shoot can win you clients and connect you to likeminded vendors, while a poorly executed shoot may alienate clients and vendors alike. We’re not ashamed to admit that we’ve taken in part in both! There are certainly styled shoots we’ve done in years past that we hope never see the light of day again. Here are our tips for creating a styled shoot that you’ll be proud of!
Choose a theme that’s reflective of your brand and appeals to your ideal client. Don’t get so caught up trying to be unique that you choose a theme that doesn’t truly match your style or that’s too difficult for you to execute. Start with one piece of inspiration and grow from there. Whether it’s a color, a flower, or a cool piece of furniture, trust your gut (not Pinterest!) and put together a cohesive idea.
A successful styled shoot is the sum of the vendors involved. When you’re selecting your vendor team, consider what the vendors will get out of participating in the shoot. For example, invite a florist who you know wants to try out a new arch that matches your shoot, or reach out to a bridal store you know is launching a new line. When you reach out to vendors for their work in particular, they’re more likely to consider accepting the invitation because they’ll know you’re not just inviting everyone in a vendor category and hoping someone says yes.
Acknowledge that different types of vendors have different costs, so cultivate your ask accordingly. If you’re asking a florist to deck out a staircase for a styled shoot, you should offer to cover at least a portion of the cost. If you’re asking a venue to use their location, consider setting up in one room and be sure to clean up after yourself. The way your treat your vendor team at a styled shoot will determine if they’ll want to work with you again.
Make shoot days fun by being organized, thoughtful and on time. Send all the vendors involved a timeline and floorplan so they have a clear expectation of the day. Provide water and/or snacks. Thank you notes and sweet treats go a long way too! Stick to your timeline and be respectful of everyone’s day.
Is there more that goes into planning the perfect styled shoot? Of course, but these are the most important things to remember: choose a theme you genuinely love, be intentional with your vendor list and acknowledge their contribution, keep shoot day organized and on time. You do all that and we promise you and your vendor team will be delighted!
Shout out to: Alex Gotawala Photography, The Chaos Coordinator, + In Bloom Florist for creating this whimsical shoot at Cypress Grove Estate House.