This past weekend I had the opportunity to present at PhotoLush, an annual workshop that takes place in Bellingham, Washington and always features a plethora of SO many of my very favorite artists near and far. I was asked to chat a little bit about STYLED SHOOTS- Only one of my very favorite things to talk about :) I decided to run with the theme of 'Under the Sea' and had a great team of local vendors involved.
This was the first time I had ever really taken some time to think about the process I have developed for planning and executing a styled shoot and how to share it all in a logical way. This is my fourth year of organizing styled shoots and I can wholeheartedly say that the learning curve has been a big one. From our Feather shoot to my latest Winter Styled shoot back in January, the difference is drastic. I've taken it from a total of 60 or so hours planning, shooting and post processing to about 25 and the final product is much more in line with what I envision from the beginning.
Many people think that styled shoots are all about the details and how 'pretty' they are. While that is all very true and, for the most part, that is very much what the blogs and magazines are most interested in, those are not the only pieces of a styled session. They aren't even the biggest KEY pieces. There are MANY, many moving pieces in a styled shoot and as the organizer, you have to be able to keep track of them all. Generally speaking, this is how I have broken it down:
1. Decide on a theme. What do you want your shoot to feature?
2. Decide on a time of year. When is the best time for that theme to take place?
3. From there, start PINNING! Pinterest rules and you all know it. Utilize that tool like crazy and really hone in on what your vision truly entails.
4. Once you have a fully developed vision, start sourcing for vendors. You want vendors you love, vendors you can trust and vendors that are going to appreciate you as much as you appreciate them. Find them. They are out there.
5. Create contracts and set expectations. Everyone involved should know what they can expect from you and YOU should know what you can expect from them. A healthy and strong relationship starts with communication, right!? :)
6. MAKE IT HAPPEN! It may be scary and you may be nervous- BUT YOU GOT THIS and you are going to be so proud of yourself for doing it. Just. Do. It.
We pulled this session together rather quickly and I am forever grateful for a community of vendors that are willing to jump in on wild and crazy ideas like this at a moment's notice. 'Under the Sea' was brought to you as a workshop theme to be photographed by many different photographs and to inspire and encourage creativity. I hope it did just that.
Shout out to ALL of my FANTASTIC vendors that made this happen. I love you all more than I can say.
Flowers: Pozie by Natalie
Makeup & Hair: Susan of Salon Tryst
Event Rentals: Rustic Event Rentals
Stationery: Noteworthy Ink
Dress: Gown and Glove
Cupcakes: Cupcakes Like it Sweet
Coordinator: MOMAD Productions
Stamped Flatware: For Such A Time Designs
If any of you are ever thinking of creating your own styled session or have been playing with the idea and just can't seem to bring it together, please feel free to reach out to me any time. I am happy to share my experiences and help make your dreams a reality!
For now, a few I was able to snap from our session at the workshop: