What I learned after 15 styled shoots in 3 months.

Yep, styled shoot floral design was my thing this past winter and spring in locations around Virginia and North Carolina. Being asked to be a part of so many shoots was an amazing feeling and I said yes to every request. 15 total up to now. Am I crazy? Probably. Was it stressful? Um, very. Worth it? YES! And I'll tell you why. 

Weddings are of course priority for all of us. Our brides will always come first as they are our means of income, but brides come and go. We hope that they will refer us to their friends, but the truth is they aren't around forever. You know who will be around? Other vendors. The relationships that you create with others in the industry whether they are photographers, graphic designers, calligraphers, or planners are priceless. Finding those that you click with both personally and creatively? Even better. And one way to curate those partnerships? Styled Shoots. The connections I have made networking with other vendors through Styled shoots has really made One Sweet Day in May become what it is. Sure, I've gotten beautiful images of my work and have been featured on multiple wedding blogs, but my main reason for doing shoots is to work with and cultivate those oh so important relationships. 

 Photo By Shalese Daniels Photography

Photo By Shalese Daniels Photography

I collected some thoughts and advice on styled shoots that I thought I'd share with you, things that if you're planning your first one, may help you. For the most part I've been the one creatives have been coming to, but I have also put on 2 of my own and I was the one reaching out to others. So for starters...

JUST ASK.

Asking vendors to be involved in your styled shoot is scary. So scary, but just ask. Something I've found in this industry is that when you put yourself out there, most of the time you'll be pleasantly surprised at the outcome. You'll of course hear the word no sometimes, but when you do, just know that it's not a no to you and don't take it personally. Most likely the person you've reached out to is super busy and their schedule just won't allow it. The way you present yourself initially is important. Always be professional and let them know why you are interested in them being on board. Maybe you saw a wedding they just shot and love their photography style, maybe they're a planner and you love how creative they are. Tell them. If you get a no, they will still be flattered and will remember your sweet Email. Be sure to include your idea, other creatives that are on board, and any other important details. Which leads me to my next point...

HAVE A THEME.

When you reach out to fellow vendors, be sure to have your thoughts collected. You should have a theme and a date, an inspiration board, and ideally a venue. Those should be set so when you meet with your other "styled shoot teammates" you can give them a really good idea of the direction you want to take the shoot. You don't need to have every detail figured out as shoots evolve the further you get into planning (similar to a wedding) but nothing is more frustrating when you meet with someone who wants to do a shoot and they really don't have any concrete ideas or anything planned. We love styled shoots because it really gets our creative juices flowing, so once you've got your theme down, let your team do what they do best. There's nothing better than collaborating with fellow creatives who build off of each other's ideas and bring fresh new perspectives to really take your ideas to next level. Teamwork makes the dreamwork. 

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IT'S HARD TO BE ORIGINAL.

The best advice I can give here is to have a theme and make it your own. Everything has been done, but that doesn't mean it's off limits. Just think if no one ever did beach shoots because one already existed. We'd be missing out on some incredible inspiration that's for sure! You can do whatever you wish! That's what's so great about shoots. There is no limit. So take a not so original idea and put your own twist on it. It's so refreshing to see new takes on things and it's a surefire way to get featured. Another great tip? If you are just starting out and this is maybe your first shoot, create a shoot that speaks to your ideal client. These images will undoubtably be on your website so produce something that relates to your brand. Think of location you'd really like to coordinate a wedding in, or choose colors that are your brand specific. You're putting this out there for the world to see, you want it to reflect who you are as a business. 

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CREATE A STORY.

Sometimes it's not enough to just have pretty images and gorgeous details. Those things are super important, but it helps to create a story through them so that when a blog editor or a bride is looking through the post, they feel connected to it and gain inspiration for their own wedding. Styled Shoots should be something different and unique, but they also have to be attainable for brides. It takes a lot of planning to create a story within your theme, but it's so worth it. One of my favorite shoots that does this perfectly is Kat of Dear Sweetheart Events' With You I'm Home. It tells a story of a bride wishing she were with her groom for Christmas. It's simple yet relatable. Put yourself in a bride's shoes. If you were a bride looking through the gallery of your shoot what would you want it to look like? Maybe your doing a backyard wedding inspiration shoot. Think of what would be involved in making a backyard wedding happen in real life. I'm thinking adorable DIY details and a bride getting ready in the home she grew up in. Use your vendors to give you ideas and through some brainstorming and creativity, you'll get your story. 

 Behind the scenes of a styled shoot last month with Natalie Jayne Photograpy.

Behind the scenes of a styled shoot last month with Natalie Jayne Photograpy.

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I hope this helps in some small way! Happy Wednesday my friends! It's rainy and gloomy here today, but I'm off to run some errands with my rain boots on and looking forward to date night with the hubs tonight. Rainy dates are a fave of mine, so I'm secretly hoping the weather stays like this all day. And congratulations to Jordan Troublefield who won the launch giveaway! Yay!

Love,

Michelle

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