When I first dove into the wedding industry (literally head first, eyes blinded by the lights), I thought I would just be playing my role by providing cakes and desserts, and that was that. But then I realized how crucial it is to network to be successful out there- and here I learned about Styled Shoots.
A styled shoot is a photo shoot put together by a group of wedding vendors, in order to network, showcase their talents, land the pictures on a swanky wedding related blog or magazine, and hopefully get some clients. It can be a wedding shoot, or an engagement, something to do with love. Someone comes up with an idea and then begins reaching out to other vendors to see if they are willing to offer their time and services for FREE. The florist provides real flowers- bridal bouquets, centerpieces, large arrangements; the stationery company composes fake wedding invitations, programs, and placeholders; the caterer provides real food; the wedding coordinator (or creative mind) provides props, organization, a venue, models, a timeline, and structure; hair and make-up offer their services; wardrobe are to be found; the pastry chef makes a wedding cake, and so on. Sometimes there are months that go into planning a styled shoot that is over in mere hours.
So it’s day-of a shoot and everyone is getting ready, setting up a fake wedding ceremony, a fake reception, while a fake bride and groom are getting their hair and make up done. The photographer has been given a list of shots to be captured and is peaking around the venue for ideas, and the coordinator is zig-zagging around, keeping everything in line and on schedule. There are boxes of props and wardrobe everywhere, the chef is plating appetizers. Then all of the sudden, out of the chaos of the morning, everything comes together, and it’s beautiful.
The shoot goes for a few hours, then it’s clean up for the crew. Everyone is exhausted! But it doesn’t end there- the photographer spends the next week editing all the photos, then the coordinator checks them out and prepares them for blog submission.
Then, we wait.
The submission process is painfully long. At protocol, you can only submit your styled shoot to one blog at a time, and they can take up to a month to let you know if you’ve made the cut- or not. If your shoot gets picked up, thats great! If the blog feels your shoot wasn’t the right match for their audience, they politely decline and you must start over and submit somewhere else.
Great, you got picked up by the blog you submitted to! Now you must wait 6 weeks for the blog to be featured. It is so hard not to share your work ahead of time, because it is exciting and you feel proud of it!
The day your shoot is featured on a blog is like Christmas! It is exciting, and you get to share it with all of your social media followings. Pin it, tweet it, hashtag it, whatever you do. It’s a great feeling of accomplishment. To anyone who gets their shoot picked up by a blog, my hats off to you- well deserved! Now the public will see your work- and hopefully will spark interest of prospective clients!
So here, you all can get a better understanding of what goes into a styled shoot in the wedding industry, and WHY we professionals put all this effort into something.
Thanks for reading!