5 Tips For Planning Your First Styled Shoot

This was my first styled shoot I coordinated! I charged $25 per ticket for photographers that wanted to attend. I wanted to make it super cheap but valuable since this was my first one and I knew I would learn a lot! I planned it around styling details since that was an area I wanted to improve on and what better way than collaborating with other photographers. I provided styling boards that each photographer could take home. Just simple white boards with pretty fabric or wallpaper glued onto it. Overall I think it went well, I was very relieved afterwards that’s for sure! It almost didn’t happen because we couldn’t find a model but then the venue coordinator volunteered her and her boyfriend phew!

Here are 5 tips for photographers that are looking to host their own styled shoot:

  1. Plan in advance, 6-8 weeks would be ideal. Maybe longer or shorter depending on how many vendors you will have involved and elaborate the shoot it.
  2. Create a mood board and a couple variations of it. This will let the vendors know what kind of vibe you are going for so they can provide the right service/products for it. Make sure to include the color palette then a few images that show the jist of the shoot such as a type of dress you want to use, details, etc.  Then also create a square version for sharing on instagram dm or in your feed. Then if you are allowing other photographers, also create one with text with the details on how to join. I used canva.com=super easy!Pink Peach Blossom Styled Shoot at Schnepf Farms Mood Board
  3. Find models and backup models first. There is a shoot I have had to cancel twice (no joke) because the models got sick or had a death in the family AND I even had backup models. If you can go for 3-4 models (or sets of models if you are photographing couples)-you will have more to shoot and you have extra backup in case someone doesn’t show. Everybody’s favorite thing to shoot are the models! Where can I find these models you ask? I mainly use my past clients, friends, family, ask on social media or my email list. I have worked NIYA models before but for my shoots I wanted real couples so there is more joyful, loving chemistry and not an editorial feel. You can also look into Facebook groups of models, model mayhem etc and offer trade for photos or if you can for pay for model’s time.How to get models for your first styled shoot
  4. Vendors-this is the main reason I love styled shoots so you can network with other people in the industry. For people you want to work with you should already be following, liking, and commenting on all of their social media so they at least have seen your name before. Contact them with the intention of giving them value, not selfishness .Keep track of who you have reached out to, follow up with them, remind them the day before the shoot, thank them, make sure you get images of just their product to give to them. Flatlay wedding styled shoot
  5. Have a timeline. I had different stations but thought it would be neat to let different people work together and roam around so they were not tied to a spot. That made it disorganized. So if you have other photographers shooting as well, have a plan for who will be where and when. The most organized styled shoot I have been to was by The Amburgeys, she had 4 people in each group and each group had a leader that was not shooting. That made sure we stayed on time and everyone got the same amount of time shooting. She also made everyone lanyards with their name and the timeline on the back! My next one I still don’t really want “stations” so I have created a plan on how we will rotate from various angles so we can all be shooting at the same time.

I hope this helps. I would love to hear anymore tips you have or how your shoot goes in the comments below!


Check out our vendors from this shoot on instagram:

Coordinator: https://instagram.com/kacilouphotography
Venue: https://instagram.com/weddingatschnepffarms
Bridal dress and tux: https://instagram.com/modestweddingprom
Models: https://instagram.com/brijarvis3 https://instagram.com/schnepfconnor
Desserts: https://instagram.com/decadentmacaron
Makeup: https://instagram.com/glambymelanieann
Calligraphy invites: https://instagram.com/lovelylettercollection
Ombre linen invites: https://instagram.com/madisonstationery
Eco friendly invites: https://instagram.com/paperculture 

Shiny invites: https://instagram.com/basicinvites
Video: https://instagram.com/ashlyarts

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Kaci Lou


5 Tips For Planning Your First Styled Shoot