A photo shoot is a mock setup of a wedding. It typically includes a guest table with linen, stationery pieces, place settings, a centerpiece, and guest chairs. Sometimes photo shoots also include a model bride, a cake or dessert display, and a place card display. They can be simple or very elaborate.
A photo shoot gives you the opportunity to show your creativity and teaches you how to work with vendors. The cost of the photo shoot is minimal since each vendor typically provides complimentary details or services for the photo shoot.
Once you determine the location and date, confirm your photographer who will take professional photos of the setup. Then you can work on securing vendors for the tables, chairs, linens, flowers, cake or dessert, and stationery. After the shoot, the photographer will provide digital images from the shoot that you and the vendor team can use on websites, on social media, and in portfolios.
Here are four pro tips for your next styled shoot:
1) Don’t Make It Too Complicated
Keep your first photo shoot simple – one table design and maybe a dessert/cake table. When you get into adding models with gowns, accessories, shoes, and hair/makeup, it becomes much more complicated which can be overwhelming for your first styled shoot.
2) Choose the Best Vendor Team
If you are already well connected to a lot of vendors, choose wisely who you want to partner with on the shoot. Ask vendors who work with the types of clients you want to work with. Ideally, they should have a style you love.
It is helpful if the photographer has had weddings or styled shoots published before. This isn’t a “must” but it can be helpful if you hope to have your styled shoot published.
Consider online resources for your shoot as well. For example, many linen companies will send you table linens to use for a styled shoot and stationery designers can ship samples to you.
If you are just starting out, look for other event professionals who are also just starting their wedding businesses. They will need images for their portfolios and might be more willing to participate than someone who has been established for years.
3) Allow Enough Time
When planning the timing for the shoot, allow extra time to set up and for the photos. It always seems to take longer than planned. With input from the photographer, create a timeline for the day of the shoot and share it with the venue and with the vendor team.
During the shoot, it can be fun to share a few behind-the-scenes photos on your social media accounts. You don’t want to give away all the details but photos of setting up and in-action are great for social media. This can also take extra time during the shoot if all the vendors are snapping pics with their phones.
4) Have a Contract With Your Styled Shoot Vendors
It is important to have a signed agreement with the styled shoot vendors that confirms what they are providing with the date of the shoot and any other relevant details. You don’t want to be surprised by a bill from a vendor or that the photographer is only giving you 10 images from the shoot instead of sharing all of them.
Photo shoots can be a great way to work with new-to-you vendors, build your portfolio, and flex your design muscles.
For more how-to’s on photo shoots, read our tips on coordinating a styled photo shoot.