With such a strange start to 2020, what should have been a busy year for the wedding industry, new decade, etc, turned into a year of creativity instead.
With all weddings postponed or cancelled many smart, savvy wedding business owners have been turning their skills into producing styled shoots. Creating new branding and images for their websites, social media and planning their content to be featured in blogs and magazines. It was a year of time, time to create something extraordinary and revisit your businesses.
If you wish to plan a styled wedding shoot but really don't know where to start, here are a few tips and shortly I will be publishing an updated Styled Shoot Guide on my resources page, you can sign up to be notified when this is online.
Firstly let's take a look at the statistics, 24% of couples will book their wedding in the next three months, 26% will book within the next six months. This leaves around another 50% who are looking to book within the year. Your business needs to be out in front of them and looking fabulous.
CREATING STYLED SHOOTS DURING THE PANDEMIC
It has been a challenge creating styled shoots during the pandemic, I started with one clients shoot, a Luxury Destination Indian Wedding Planner, in February 2020 at the Anantara Villa Padierna hotel here in Marbella. Little did we know what was about to hit us 3 weeks later.
I have since helped wedding business owners both virtually and in person on quite a few styled shoots in 2020 when we could see windows of opportunity during the summer months.
EIGHT TIPS TO CREATING A STYLED WEDDING SHOOT
Styled Shoot Tip No 1, What is your Wedding Shoot for?
Is it for your website, social media, or to be featured in a wedding blog, magazine, or an e-book to gain more exposure for your business?
When planning your shoot do make sure you know what your end goal is, this will help you define your look, attract your ideal clients, or be aligned to a wedding blog you wish to be featured in.
Styled Shoot Tip No 2, Decide on your Shoot Style
Create your inspiration boards. It is important to create these to send to potential collaborators, showing them your vision and the exact look you wish to achieve.
Use Pinterest to gather your ideas but do create boards to share as this is much more professional and something you can keep coming back to if you get side tracked, which of course often we do on Pinterest! Use an app like Canva to create your inspiration boards, we share many tutorials and templates in our Business of Weddings Membership Club.
Styled Shoot Tip No 3, Location, Location, Location
This is massively important when you are searching for your shoot location. The venue needs to align with your brand, it should be a venue or location you wish to create weddings at. For example if you do a beach shoot then this must be something you will be featuring as a location for your planning business. If you hate beaches and wish to work in stately homes or luxury hotels, then choose this style for your location. It sounds so simple but I see so many get this wrong.
Styled Shoot Tip No 4, Choosing your Collaborators
Once you have planned your shoot make a list of every supplier you would love to be involved. Wedding dress, shoes, jewellery, flowers, furniture hire, stationery, accessories, photographer, cake, etc. Instagram is a good source to finding fabulous suppliers local to you, or joining local business Facebook groups, if you haven't built up your network yet.
Make sure the suppliers brand aesthetics align with yours, reach out to them and ask them if they wish to collaborate with you. Send them your inspiration boards along with a bio about your shoot. This will be a description of what is involved, who is collaborating so far and tell how much visibility they will gain from being involved. This could be just on Instagram and social media or explain if you are planning to submit to one of the wedding blogs or magazines. A collaborator will want to see the value for their business before they agree to become involved.
Styled Shoot Tip No 5, Find Good Models
If you don't have great models then your shoot could look stilted, find people who are in love already or who know how to work their stuff in front of a camera.
Styled Shoot Tip No 6, Planning the Shoot Day
It is important to have the shoot planned, timings, what time you expect each supplier to turn up, organising it so there is enough time to set up table displays, get hair and makeup done and making sure you are not wasting suppliers time. Do make sure the photographer has a list of all the details you wish to be shot and a time that piece of content will be ready for them.
If you are planning to get sunset shots work backwards from the sunset time. Send all suppliers a copy of the timings and what they are expected to do on the day. Do also make sure you detail out collection times of items.
Styled Shoot Tip No 7, Agreements with Collaborators
It is important to detail out either in an email or a contract what will happen with the images after the shoot and what you expect of everyone involved.
Do make sure the suppliers all receive relevant fabulous images of their work and all or a selection of images of the overall shoot to spread the love. It maybe the dress designer would like a few and a general portfolio of the shoot but not necessarily all the floral images or stationery.
If you are distributing images out do make sure everyone involved has a list of the suppliers that worked on that shoot and ask them to tag them. It is social etiquette.
Create an Instagram group for your shoot, if anyone posts notify the group so everyone can go over and like and comment on your post.
If you are planning to submit your shoot, ideally wedding blogs wish to be exclusive, this doesn't mean you can't share any on social media or personally blog about it, but what it does mean is don't submit the photos to a few blogs, do one at a time until you are accepted.
Styled Shoot Tip No 8, The Devil is in the Details
Do make sure when you are creating your shoot you have lots of details to photograph. This doesn't need to be complicated but adding in things like cocktails, accessories such as jewellery, stationery, flat lays, etc, all help to add more content to your shoot and means more fab images to share on your social media.
Always make sure your collaborators get plenty of images of their work too so set aside time to work on that gorgeous cake, take time to do different set up with the stationery, flat lays, shoes, jewellery all add details you will be pleased you took the time to think about and create.
Finally do make sure your shoot is insured. Make sure all the suppliers have their own insurance should something get damaged or lost. For example a dress getting damaged, lost by a courier company, a piece of furniture being damaged during the shoot.
If you have loved the tips in this post I am updating my Create your Dream Styled Shoot with an Ebook packed full of information about creating Styled Shoots plus a bonus of How to Submit your Styled Shoot to publications and wedding blogs. To be informed when it goes lives you can sign up for our newsletter here.
If you would love to be part of my wedding business community you can come and join us at the Business of Weddings Lounge on Facebook