After all of my closest friends and family have been burnt out on photo sessions (everyone has them up to date for now), I turned to the recent phenomenon of styled shoots! Having the ability to collaborate with other creatives keeps my spark for photography burning and in return opens up way more relationships and networking possibilities than I ever imagined.
If you feel “stuck” with photography, similar to writer’s block I suggest teaming up with a group of professionals and let the creativity blossom. The more you share, post, and expose your work on social media the more your followers, fans, and family can spread the word!Here are some hints and tips to keep in mind while planning…
1) If you are the photographer and have your own ideas take the lead and ask for assistance to make your visions come to life. However, if you are interested in a designer/event planner to take the lead on details, please be prepared to shoot what unfolds. Either way is absolutely wonderful and completely a personal preference. Just keep in mind that the purpose of this shoot is to showcase what you WANT to shoot. Clear communication and expectations from the get-go are very important!
2) Select a date and stick to it. Combining over 4 calendars to select the perfect date can be very difficult. This should be top priority to get the planning started. Ideally, it’s best to shoot during the golden hour… about 2 hours before sunset would be perfect. Don’t forget that it takes time, LOTS of time for set up, makeup and hair… It wouldn’t be a bad idea to develop a timeline for your creatives.
3) Location. Location. Location. Check out local parks, venues, and even libraries! Think outside of the box for a unique look. Personally I consider anything that I can “tag”, something to gain more viewers on social media. Also, keep in mind that some locations may need permits to shoot. Sometimes we can get away with a quick family session, but it wouldn’t be worth risking the full set up for it to be taken down or fined. Consider people (photo bombers) when selecting a location, too. Sometimes having the look of a busy street is what you’re looking for, but if not do some homework to eliminate passerby’s and looky-loos. (I once hosted a mother’s day event that landed on the same day as a fundraiser walk! No parking around the neighborhood and lots and lots of people to dodge in the background. Ugh! Do some research.)
4) Having trouble booking a model? Not sure where to start? Don’t be afraid to ask! Lucky for me my cousins won the gene pool lottery so I can play dress up with them and have them model for me… But sometimes you are looking for a particular look to showcase your brand! (And it’s absolutely okay to be picky!) When I first started I created a casting call through Model Mayhem, which was a huge success. I met some really awesome, beautiful, and driven young women that I’m still connected with today in the photography/wedding industry! Although, this site can be saturated with any and all kinds of “models”, please use caution as meeting anyone online that you don’t know can be dangerous. (Insert craigslist warnings here).
5) Once you select your style/theme for the shoot make sure everything adds up. Try to avoid clashing genres, eras, or looks. I’m not talking about clashing modern and vintage, instead avoid a 1950’s theme with the bride taking a selfie with her iphone! Keep it authentic and true to the theme.
6) It would be awesome to include anything and everything wedding related: Florist, bakery, tux rental, dress designer, jewelry, hair pieces/veil, shoes, tablescapes, paper goods, furniture rentals, make up and hair stylists, even a videographer to capture the details in the making! Sometimes collecting and utilizing these creatives can help and make your shoot AMAZING! However… sometimes you just have to work with what you got. Rock it. Just make it work!
The images from this shoot took place at the Ainsley House in downtown Campbell, Ca in the middle of a rainy day! Leave it to me and our group to schedule a day (during the drought) that it rained! Sprinkles didn’t stop us from making it happen! The model just so happens to be dating one of my brother’s best friends and did her own hair (Atelier- Santana Row)! Her bestie (a professional make up artist) turned her naturally beautiful face into a bridal ready look and she even borrowed the white lace dress from a friend! The jewelry was provided by Rachel Eva Exoctic Jewels (who just so happens to be a long time family friend of mine!) The flower crown and bouquet were created by the model Daneli and can be used for another shoot someday!
Since we were all dolled up and the sun was now shining (YAY!) we piled up in our cars and took off for an adventure. Daneli did a quick change and we took advantage of our time! We were able to make a completely different look!
A dear friend and passionate photographer joined us as well! Natalie was able to get in there and capture some portfolio work, too! Really it’s a win, win for everyone!
Best of luck!
With love, Quianna Marie