What is a styled photoshoot?
A styled photoshoot is when a group of people (usually wedding vendors) come together to create a setup with a specific vision in mind. This is a great networking opportunity since it allows for you to work with other vendor in your industry.
What couple planning their wedding wouldn't want to hear, "Oh, you hired [so-and-so] as your florist? I love them! Their work is amazing and they're so much fun to work with. We've worked many weddings together and they always outdo themselves every single time." Showing that relationship and sense of community with other wedding vendors says a lot about who you are.
While most of the styled photoshoots I do are wedding-related, you can do a styled photoshoot for any style! Whether you want to do sports, athletic wear, high fashion, maternity, etc. You can literally do whatever you want! This is not only a great opportunity for you to network and build up your creative community, but it's also a great way to build up your portfolio as well.
I've gotten a lot of questions after posting the TikTok "Tip on How To Grow Your Photography Business." Click the link to view that right now if you haven't already! Many of you wrote in asking how to find these opportunities after watching that TikTok. So here are a few ways to do so!
Find Local Photography Groups
You can search on Facebook for local photography groups in your area. This is super helpful if you're just starting out and trying to find a creative community near you that can encourage and teach you some tips and tricks. Facebook is a great place to find community and help. There are many groups out there focused on helping one another and working together to learn and grow.
Community-Focused Instagram Accounts
Be sure to follow and interact with any community-focused instagram accounts within your area. Especially after 2020 caused so much difficulty for small businesses, there's been a rise in rallying behind local businesses to support our communities. Follow these accounts and be sure to follow and support your local community. You may also find other creatives in your area that you can connect and work with.
Follow Your Favorite Photogs
Many photographers will actually post "model calls" in their stories/feeds when they are trying to setup a styled photoshoot. If you're not interested in modeling but would like to shoot, you could always reach out and ask if the styled photoshoot they're doing has any openings for assistants or if there's space for another photographer. Normally there is a charge for participating in these shoots and cost can be anywhere from $50-$150+ depending on how much is offered at the styled shoot.
Find a Mentor
A lot of photographers offer mentorship programs. Now, these programs are not free! They do have a price and if you're wanting to learn and grow from a seasoned professional, then it's well worth the investment. Often times, mentors will provide styled shoots for their mentees to help them grow in their skillset. If you do this, be sure to also network with the individual vendors yourself too! Always be focused on broadening your network.
Search For Educational Experiences
There are a number of companies out there with the soul purpose of creating an educational experience to teach you how to grow in photography as well as provide a styled photoshoot as part of the package. There are many of these that are held all over the world. They might be on hold right now due to the current state of the world, but definitely do some research to see what's out there.
Set One Up Yourself
Most personal and professional growth comes from going beyond our comfort zones. So if you're having trouble finding a styled photoshoot, create one yourself! Reach out to local vendors in your area and see if they would like to work with you. The most intimidating to me was reaching out to a bridal shop so I had my makeup artist friend do it since she had a relationship with her already. I was shocked when she jumped at the opportunity! You can always use last season's dresses too. Ask for the try-on dresses! Remember, your styled photoshoot doesn't have to be some grand to-do, it can as simple as one wedding gown and a bouquet or a suit with a beautiful setting.
Whatever you do...
Remember to always tag your vendors! This is a collaboration which means that all vendors should be getting something out of this experience. If you'd like to grow your relationships with those vendors, tag them in your posts! Give credit where credit is due! Nobody wants to be out here doing free work, so be sure to highlight those who made your styled shoot happen.
I hope you enjoyed my two cents and these shots from one of my favorite styled photoshoots of 2020! Speaking of, here are the vendors who participated in this photoshoot that you should definitely go follow and support.
Creative Direction & Head Photographer: @heatherkpurdy
Photo Credit: @jelau_photography
Setup & Rentals: @foragevintagerental.co
Car Rental: @montereytouringvehicles