I have put together over 100+ styled shoots, hosted content days and created workshops. These have been both locally and internationally. I have built my brand from creating content that I have wanted to shoot more of.
Styled shoots are so helpful in helping build your portfolio so that you can easily reach your dreamy clients.
Planning your initial styled shoot can seem overwhelming at first and you may not be sure where to start. Let me share my top 5 tips for planning a styled shoot with you.
Picking your date and location first will dictate whether you need to secure an indoor spot due to cold weather or if you can plan something for outdoors. This will help you begin to form inspirational ideas. If it’s winter, for example, you could incorporate the intimacy and warmth of open fireplaces and snow falling outside. In summer, the panoramic backdrop of sun-kissed beaches would provide endless inspiration. Also, make sure you pick a date that enables you adequate time to plan and contact vendors. Avoid popular dates and peak seasons or be prepared for crowds and traffic.
When planning your mood board, I recommend that you use Canva. This enables you to pull photos from Pinterest, Instagram, etc. I suggest that you try to find photos that aren’t related specifically to your photoshoot. This helps to cast a larger vision rather than sending a photo of a bouquet of flowers and saying “I want the florals to look like this.” You could say “Here’s an example mood board I put together in Canva for you.” Get creative with the layout and make it as thoughtful as possible so you can share your vision accurately with vendors. Include a colour palette and use as much imagination as you can to convey your vision.
Here’s three example mood boards that I personally put together and hosted for a content day in the past.
I would suggest that you only pull one piece of inspiration from a shoot that you really love. Whether it’s the color palette, a prop, the location, etc, make sure that you only display one of those things. We should be respecting other creatives and their art. Just like you, they’ve taken the time to plan something they love and are proud of. You would not want to be scrolling through shoots and find that someone has totally copied your hard work.
I advise you to email the vendors first. If they don’t respond, follow up with a dm on Instagram pointing them to their email inbox. Dms can get lost SO often and it shows your professionalism when you’ve sent a detailed email. In your detailed email, you should firstly, introduce yourself. Then include the date, location, times, vision, vendor list (that you have so far). Also include the mood board, and the deliverables. Feel free to send a sample gallery of your work if you don’t already know the vendor. This will help to give them a glimpse of what you can create. I have included a sample email below:
Take inspiration from the sights and sounds around you. Walk through a nearby park and watch couples interact. Watch romantic old movies such as Roman Holiday, Grease, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Gone with the Wind, Sound of Music, Singing in the Rain, etc. If you are going for a vintage, romantic feel, head to local antique stores and see what props you can find. Look around your house and see how you decorate. Go and watch people interact at the airport and how they reunite. All these things will give you excellent ideas for the shoot. Don’t forget to gather vision from within, you bring something as a photographer that no-one else does. Your personality brings out a unique styling that is authentic and personal. You do you and I’ll do me. As we learn from each other, we become the best photographers, while respecting the work of others.
Are you a photographer looking for 1:1 guidance through a bespoke learning experience? I would LOVE to support you and your photography business.