Top Tips for a Styled Shoot
1. It is great to collaborate with others in your area
A huge bonus of setting up a styled shoot is that you get to meet other small businesses in your local area – this can range from local wedding suppliers through to other venues and is just a really good way to network, meet people and work together. My first decision would be if I wanted to be the only photographer or if I wanted to work with another photographer and pull the whole shoot together between you. I have worked both ways, I have had an idea and grew the idea organically individually as it was simple and only really involved sourcing the items and then taking a model out on location. For this it was a simple 1960’s wedding dress combined with the Lincolnshire landscape, bunches of loose flowers, daffodil fields and lots of eyeliner! However the images from the 1940’s shoot, I worked with another photographer, Emma Walker from Emma Joy Photography as then we could share the organising and the sourcing.
2. Work out the story for your styled shoot
The first stage is to sit down and think through how you would like your styled shoot to visually look – is it a theme? an era? a style? inspired by an individual or a current tv programme? Once you have this, you can start to build where would be great locations, what props you need and who else would you like to be involved in your shoot. Therefore Emma and I sat down with coffee and made a list answering questions around what would the finished images look like and worked backwards from there. We knew we wanted to use a 1940’s tea shop near Peterborough as it was authentic and had all the memorabilia in one place. We initially started off with the idea of a 1940’s Wedding theme and the first stage was sourcing the models and approaching a wedding shop. A morning was set up at the Wedding Shop with our models. However Emma and I left feeling like it wasn’t quite what we were looking for and somehow couldn’t quite envisage these expensive and amazing dresses in a little tea shop – back to the drawing board. We needed a story.
After thought we decided to continue with the 1940’s theme but to create characters with our models and a story behind them.
We started with Louise who was a wannabe actress, a starlet, a lover of all things glamour, was confident and strong and knew that one day she would be famous.
We then had Nikki who was a lady who lunched, a kept woman while her husband would often work away, a woman who liked to buy the finer things in life and read beauty magazines.
Then finally Louise and Gary, a young and sweet couple who are in love. Gary is heading off to the war and Louise will wait for him, writing everyday. Their goodbye takes place at their favourite tea shop.
Maybe a little stereotypical and cliché but it really helped to have these stories to share with the suppliers and also the models themselves so they knew the character they were going to portray.
3. Gather your suppliers
The bonus of working with another photographer was that we could share this task. As a relatively simple styled shoot we didn’t need an elaborate team or long list of suppliers but we needed some of the key suppliers, like venue, make-up, hair, wardrobe and a car. We talked to the models about their characters and established what they already had and after that spoke with suppliers about the looks and what would be involved. One of the important steps as part of the shoot was to be explicit with the suppliers about what will happen with the images, what credit is required and how the images can be used. Before the day of the styled shoot we gathered all the contact names and website details for each supplier and shared this list on the day so that when anybody used the images they could give the necessary credit.
All suppliers listed at the foot of this Blog Post.
4. Be Prepared
When I share that I wrote a timeline for the day, I am not kidding you! I literally wrote the times and what would be happening next to each part of the day. That way it didn’t end up feeling like chaos as make up, hair and wardrobe all knew which models to work on next and Emma and I each got allocated time with each model and photographed the getting ready stages between us as well. We ensured there was allocated time to photograph the venue and take pictures for the suppliers in addition to for ourselves.
5. Have a great day!
Simply, have fun on the day. Try new things, experiment, follow your instinct but also ask the suppliers and the models if there is anything in particular they would like from the day. At the end of the day, you should feel excited, like you cant wait to get home and edit a handful and share them with the world.
The team working around us for the day were fantastic and I would completely recommend all of them – it was so much fun getting lots of creative’s together for the day. Thank You so much to everybody involved. xx
Wardrobe … www.classiccountryrose.wor
Make-Up … www.dolly-roger.com
and last but not least – my partner in crime for the day – Emma Walker from Emma Joy Photography.