How Styled Shoots Benefit More Than Just Your Portfolio

May 4, 2020

If you’re a wedding photographer, I’m sure you’ve attended a styled shoot in the past or at least heard of them. They are an amazing way to build your portfolio when you’re new, update your content if you’re established, and fuel your creative heart if you’ve been feeling less than inspired. But I want to share all the reasons why styled shoots benefit more than just your portfolio.

Sure, let’s start with your portfolio:

Because even though I’m going to tell you all the other ways styled shoots can benefit you – we cannot forget the portfolio! Whether you’re brand new to photography and don’t have the chance to shoot high-end, gorgeous weddings – styled shoots are the perfect way to try your hand!

  • It’s no secret that you have to share what you want to shoot. This was the advice given to me from day one and although it seems simple – when you’re not getting the type of inquires you want to shoot more of, you may not have any other option than to share what you have – thus attracting MORE of the wrong inquires.
  • If you’ve been in the business for a while, I’m sure you have plenty of pretty things to share! But we all feel stuck sometimes. We scroll through galleries and can never decide what to share. Something in us says – “I need something new to share!” Styled shoots are the perfect way to update your portfolio, create new content to share, and hopefully inspire some of your current or future clients to step up their wedding game!
  • Maybe you’ve been doing photography for a long time. You have the business part down. Inquires are rolling in, bookings left and right. But maybe after a while it seems like more of a J O B than a passion. (Which if you’re anything like me, I didn’t have $$$ in my eyes when I first started teaching myself photography) Burnt out is never a good feeling. Styled shoots provide an amazing opportunity to fuel your creative heart, get back to your passion of photography, and create imaginative, unique images you probably wouldn’t be able to on a wedding day.

To sum it up, styled shoots provide photographers in any stage of their journey the opportunity to create beautiful images to freshen up their portfolio.

Get shooting experience at local wedding venues:

  • It’s no secret that clients feel more confutable hiring someone who has shooting experience at their wedding venue. This may seem silly to us photographers but it’s just the way it is. We have to try and see through our clients eyes. It may be that they think because you’ve shot there before, you know all the “photo opportunity spots” (we all know that’s simply not how it works!). Or it may be that they can connect better with your images because they can imagine themselves in your photos at their venue.
  • Like I mentioned above, you need to share what you want to shoot. That includes shooting at wedding venues that you want to book brides at!
  • Tagging the venue on social media gives the venue the option to share your images – connecting your photography with THEIR audience.
  • Sharing your location of the shoot on social media also references you back to the venue and is searchable on social media.
  • Couples will see that you have shot at their venue and reach out in confidence that you can also nail their wedding there.

Build vendor relationships:

  • This is one of my favorite parts about styled shoots! Vendor relationships are so important in this business. Referrals are everything but vendors are only going to refer you to their couples if they’ve worked with you in the past. Styled shoots put you in front of vendors of all categories – hair and makeup, planners, bakers, videography and more.
  • After the styled shoot, you will be tagging these vendors in your images. They will be so excited to see and share them! If you made a lasting impression on them at the shoot, you’ve probably already won them over and they may think of you next time their client asks for a referral.
  • Hopefully after they can start referring you, you’ll be able to work together on real weddings and continue to grow and build your relationship!

Stress-free environment:

  • If you’re a new photographer or haven’t had much experience with weddings – styled shoots are perfect because there are absolutely no expectations from anyone! You’re doing this for yourself.
  • Styled shoots are stress-free, relaxed and you can go at your own pace. No one is expecting anything from you!
  • Worried you’re not experienced enough posing a couple? Now is your chance! Try something different – play it safe. Whatever you do, you’re practicing and you know what they say! Practice makes perfect!

You can get creative:

  • We all know that wedding days go by quick. They’re usually rushed and you don’t often have the time to try new things. Double exposures have become one of my favorite things to offer my couples – but I don’t always find the time on their wedding day to create one in camera.
  • Because styled shoots aren’t rushed (and you’re couple doesn’t have a timeline to stick to like on a real wedding day), you have spare time to get creative.
  • Whether that’s trying a new pose you’ve wanting to nail, creating a double exposure, etc. Styled shoots provide you with the time to channel your inner creative!

Ready to give a styled shoot a try? We’d love to have you join us at our next Styled Shoot for Photographers! Click here for all the details.

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