I had a friend once tell me that I was the styled shoot queen. I laughed because I knew I did a lot of styled shoots, but I then realized that there were a lot of wedding photographers who had never done one or even thought about doing one. I started doing multiple a year for many different reasons (that I list below) and it has helped my business tremendously. I know it can seem scary organizing a large event with different wedding vendors and a task too big to even start planning. If you're one of those wedding or aspiring to be wedding photographers who has not yet done a styled shoot, or thinks it won't be beneficial, this post is for you. Here are 4 reasons why you should do a styled shoot in your first few years of business.
Building relationships with wedding vendors
There are multiple reasons why this is beneficial. Networking with other wedding vendors can lead to actual paying clients in the end. If you create a good relationship with a wedding planner, they might be enticed to recommend you to their brides. Hosting your styled shoot at a wedding venue might get you on their preferred vendor list. Another reason is a chance to create real friendships in the industry. There’s nothing worse than feeling alone in this industry with no one to turn to for help. There’s a possibility another vendor is in the same spot in their business as you are, and you can grow your businesses together and help each other.
You have the opportunity to control your images.
On a real wedding day, you have not chosen the venue, the details or the lighting. You could be faced with a venue that isn't ideal, lighting that is harsh and details that might be the opposite of your style. You might be trying to achieve the light and airy effect, but you’re faced with nothing but dark colors all around. Planning your own styled shoot let’s you have control over the venue, setting, lighting, details, etc. With these images you have absolute control over, you know that you will be able to share these images constantly and will be able to attract the kind of brides you want for your business.
More exposure for your business.
Think about all the vendors that can go in to a styled shoot. You have hair, makeup, planner, venue, attire, jewelry, rentals, invitations, cake, etc. Now think about if each of those vendors shared your images on each of their social media pages. How many people would that reach? A lot more than you’re reaching on your social media that’s for sure. You never know who could come across your images on another vendors page. A bride? Mother of a future bride? Friend of a newly engaged bride? A girl who is yet to be engaged but falls in love with your images and starts to follow your work, then one day she gets a ring on her finger? The power of social media is strong and you never know how one person seeing your work could lead to real clients.
A chance to be published.
There are tons of wedding blogs out there, some big and some small. There are blogs that feature shoots from all over the world, and there are those that are local. Brides are looking at these wedding blogs for inspiration and to possibly hire wedding vendors. That’s even more exposure for you and potential brides in your area seeing your work! It also doesn't hurt to be able to show your followers and potential clients that your work has been published :)
I hope you found this helpful, especially if you're in your first few years of business and are looking to book more clients and go full time. I offer mentor sessions for photographers just like you with tons of information about the portrait and wedding photography world. We cover all aspects of your business, do a Q&A and take your headshots! You can find more information here.