So what are these mystical, much talked about, highly Facebooked and Instagramed styled shoots every second person keeps saying they are part of?
I shall reveal all…But first I need to explain what is meant by this label.
My definition of a styled shoot is:
“A photo shoot conducted in a controlled and though out manner in which the creatives involved produce props, dress people (or objects) in a particular way and place them into scenery or against a back drop that creates their imagined and desired look and feel. This allows for very intentional emotions to be portrayed and very specific images to be captured.”
There are fundamentally two types of styled shoots in the wedding industry, the supplier focused styled shoot and the client focused styled shoot.
1- The supplier focused styled shoot is probably the one that gets the most buzz in the wedding industry.
Here suppliers from different facets of the industry come together to create and showcase their skill. As a supplier this is a great chance to stretch your imagination, produce something that is 100% in line with your own style and to meet and work with people you may not have worked with before (or often industry friends you don’t get to work with often enough)
Most times suppliers all donate their time or product to the shoot and use the images and experience gained to add to their portfolio, social media or as pieces to be featured on other “cool kid” industry blogs.
It is a way to experiment, practice and grow with minimal risk. (Here we get to do touch ups and retakes, unlike on a real wedding when moments are literally once in a life time) Models are usually used, although I have never personally used models in my shoots for my own crazy reasons.
2 – The client focused styled shoot is not a new concept but has definitely grown in popularity within the wedding industry being used more and more as an opportunity to ‘test drive’ your photographer and stylist. (or most probably called your planner)
Here the same thought and creativity goes into setting up the creative ‘stage’ but it’s to your imagined outcome (and budget).
The biggest difference here can come in with which suppliers you work with.
Some will create beautiful backdrops, tell you what to wear give you the props and go as far as to tell you how to stand or look – Tyra says ‘smize’. You both decide on what outcome you want and they run it in a way that gets you that look.
This is a slightly more staged way of running a styled shoot. Depending on your personality and the skill of the suppliers you are working with this can create gorgeous images but can lose that special spark that captures your essence.
On the other hand (and the way I like do my all my styled shoots, supplier or client focused) is that you create that same beautiful backdrop, add the props and planned clothing but then you, the couple, are left to do your own thing.
The stage is set but how you choose to act or play out within that beauty is up to you. I find this allows true emotions and personalities to be captured and makes the final images ones you can look at and think ‘that’s exactly the way he looks at me when no one else is looking and shit he looks hot’ VS. just ‘shit he looks hot’.
No matter which type of styled shoot you are part of or how your stylist chooses to run it, they are a great ways to celebrate and mark a special occasion, dress up, be made to feel beautiful and elegant and capture some great moments with your other half.
As always I love your opinions so tell me which kind of styled shoot would you LOVE to be a part of? Leave a comment below and who knows next time I’m looking for a real life couple to feature in my supplier focused styled shoot it may be you!