As a creative, there are many benefits of styled shoots – regardless of whether they’re staged as a wedding, general lifestyle, a party, or another type of event.
Build Your Portfolio
Getting photos of your work is usually the main reason creatives participate in styled shoots. Styled shoots are a great way to get content for social media, your website, brochures, ads, mailers… anything, really!
Exposure doesn’t pay the bills, but getting your work in front of the right people can get you more bookings! When you know what couples you want to work with, and what your/their desired aesthetic is, you can find (or plan!) styled shoots that fit into that area.
Talk about exposure: I combined two videos from a styled shoot and posted them on TikTok, which got over 300,000 views in one week!
There are also websites set up for you and other vendors to submit the shoot for publication. Blogs, magazines, websites, etc. are always looking for content. Getting published is a fantastic way to get your name out there!
If you aren’t sure who your couples are or what style is “yours,” go for a few different photo shoots and, as mentioned before, use them to explore what meshes well with an audience and your own style.
Which leads me to…
Explore or Change Your Niche
Maybe you don’t know what niche you’d like to go into yet, or maybe you want to change paths. For example, if you’ve only done weddings that have traditional color schemes and styles, but you want to do more whimsical items, look for styled shoots that can show off your whimsical abilities.
Alternatively, if you’ve only done weddings, but you want to get into other events, look for styled shoots that aren’t weddings… and vice versa!
I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but show your audience the kinds of things you want to do.
Meeting vendors, especially ones in your area, will prove to be invaluable. As soon as you sign on to do a styled shoot, ask whoever is planning it for the vendor list & go follow everyone on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, etc.
Comment on everyone’s posts to create true connections. Refer them to anyone who asks for recommendations for their services.
It’s nearly impossible to get couples to book you without having any sort of portfolio to show them. Also, having some experience to build upon will help you improve your skills, and over time, you’ll likely be able to create things quicker.
Behind-the-Scenes Pics & Videos
I strongly recommend bringing along an assistant. Not only to help you load/unload and setup/breakdown, but to take pictures and videos of you working!
Some ideas for pics & videos for an assistant to take of you:
- Packing everything into your car
- Unloading & unpacking boxes
- Setting items up – both wide shots and close up details
- Fixing flowers while a model is holding them
If you can’t find someone to go with you as an assistant, that’s ok! You can still capture plenty of behind-the-scenes content on your own.
Some ideas for pics & videos you can take yourself:
- BTS pics of the photographers!
- Everything packed into your car
- Boxes halfway unpacked
- Setting items up
- Before, midway, after
- Set up items
- Wide shots of everything
- Individual items
- Close up details
- Photographers working with models
- Models while pictures are being done
I hope these benefits of styled shoots have given you a lot to think about!