As a new planner, I was struggling with adding photos to my website and to my wedding planner portfolio before my bookings picked up. I found that a great way to get those much-needed photos was to coordinate a styled photo shoot.
Coordinating a styled shoot can be very time consuming, so make sure you have the time to do it well. Although it is not quite as much work as a wedding, there are a lot of aspects to organize that fall on your shoulders. A styled shoot is basically a small-scale mock wedding set up; you secure the location and all the vendors and then collaborate on a theme. It is also a nice touch to have a bride and groom modeling for the shoot.
Aside from the photos you will receive from the shoot, the other benefit to a styled shoot is the chance to build relationships with vendors in your area. I have found most wedding professionals are excited to work on these shoots, so it is not hard to build a great team. All of the participating event vendors will get a chance to see how you work and decide if they would like to recommend you to their clients. As a new
All of the participating event vendors will get a chance to see how you work and decide if they would like to recommend you to their clients. As a new wedding planner, this was invaluable. Many of the people I have worked with have gone on to refer me based on the work we have done on these shoots.
If you are looking for ways to build your portfolio and your network, try a styled photo shoot. They are relatively low cost and a lot of fun! Here is a quick checklist of what I do when coordinating a shoot.
Here is a quick checklist of what I do when coordinating a shoot:
- Secure a location. Often the venue will allow you to use the facility complimentary.
- Set a date that works for you and the venue.
- Find your core team of must-have vendors; these are the people you MUST have to pull off the shoot. (Photographer, florist, rentals)
- Secure additional vendors. These are the people whose services add more depth and interest to the shoot. (Models, attire, hair, make-up, cake or desserts, printed stationery, etc.)
- Work with the vendor team to create a color scheme/theme/vision and determine what everyone will contribute to achieve that goal.
- In the weeks leading up to the shoot, create a schedule for everyone who is participating.
- The day of the shoot, you are running the show. Just like a wedding, make sure all the plans are carried out.
- After the shoot, make sure all the participating vendors receive the digital images.
- Send out thank you cards to the vendors involved
- Make sure all rental items are returned.
- Take all the amazing images and add them to your website, create blog posts, new marketing materials, etc.
- Work with the photographer to submit the photos for publication in magazines and online.
Today’s post is a guest post from Amber Peterson. Amber is the owner of Cheers Wedding & Event Planning in western Washington. She has a Masters Degree in Integrated Marketing Communications and previously worked as a marketing consultant for wedding industry professionals. Amber is also the co-founder of the Skagit Wedding Society.
The photos in this blog past are from a styled shoot held March 2014 at Maple Hall in La Conner, Washington. Photos courtesy of David Clumpner Photography and Dutta Photography.