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Styled Shoots
  
 
mb126
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Styled Shoots


Has anyone on here participated in a styled shoot before? If so, are you likely to do it again and how would you rate your overall experience? These are pretty popular in my market but I haven't heard it discussed here before.
In the past I've shrugged it off something that people without enough clients participate in.

I did my first one recently, slightly out of curiosity and to help a friend starting out in a new place.

Somewhat to my surprise.... it was awesome. I had one of my favorite couples volunteer as models and I got to experiment in a ton of ways I'd never have time to at a wedding. We made some good vendor relationships in the process and things were overall very smooth. The cost was pretty minimal-- a gift card to a nice restaurant for the couple, some photos for the other vendors, and some linen/chair rentals.

Am I crazy for thinking about doing this a couple times a year to flex some creative muscle?



Sep 20, 2017 at 07:49 PM
tgillespie
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Styled Shoots


This is a tricky subject for me. While styled shoots are great for the things you pointed out, I feel they create a false representation of the beast that weddings can be. In our market, photographers will shoot elaborate styled shoots, and then market the images as if they are wedding photos. In my opinion, a wedding photographer needs to be able to shine when the timeline is blown, the light sucks and everyone is running around with their heads cut off. Styled shoots can sometimes mask your ability to handle these situations.


Sep 21, 2017 at 03:45 PM
BSPhotog
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Styled Shoots


tgillespie wrote:
This is a tricky subject for me. While styled shoots are great for the things you pointed out, I feel they create a false representation of the beast that weddings can be. In our market, photographers will shoot elaborate styled shoots, and then market the images as if they are wedding photos. In my opinion, a wedding photographer needs to be able to shine when the timeline is blown, the light sucks and everyone is running around with their heads cut off. Styled shoots can sometimes mask your ability to handle these situations.


It'd be like shooting cars in a studio in order to advertise yourself as a race photographer. That said, it might be worthwhile as a networking exercise for you to get exposure and make friendly with other vendors.



Sep 21, 2017 at 03:50 PM
glort
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Styled Shoots



I have done them many times. Still do for glam work regularly.

To me they are a chance to practice new things. On a test shoot I can fk around with this or that setting or idea to see what works. not a good idea to do that on a real shoot, especialy a wedding.
Playing with live ones is generally not a good idea but having a couple you can spend even a couple of minutes with on one shot and try different things and then make a note of what you did, walk somewhere else and repeat it to make sure you have it right to me is valuable.

Yeah, there are the shooters that do setup and market the hell out of them. It became so bad when I was in the local photographers association they brought in a rule at the competitions that it had to be a real wedding which was the only sensible thing to do. Still, many shooters set up over the top shoots and promote the images. I always used to tell people coming in to check me out, when trying to choose a shooter, ask to see entire albums. Anyone can fluke a couple of killer shots at a wedding but what you want to see is what they do start to finish.

While true enough I also knew this was a great counter against competitors that did these amazing looking set up shoots because they never had the bride at home getting ready or reception shots with family and guests.

I have used set up shots for promo but I haven't made all my promo shots that I did on setup rather than real shoots and people do get to see real weddings start to finish when they come check me out.
Most of the setup shoots I have done with reception places, dressmakers, florists etc to give them some advertising material which builds rapport and gets referals. Still a great way to try new things and get new ideas in a much calmer and less time sensitive environment.

I have a test glam shoot lined up right now and I'm only after 2 shots. Model knows that and is fine but I'll shoot some head shots and things she ants anyway but what I really want to do is play around with these to setting and check out angles, lighting and ideas before I take any clients there.
I'll definitely use some of the setup shots I do for promo but they won't be anything I can't do just as well or better for the paying customer.



Sep 21, 2017 at 10:45 PM
Jefzor
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Styled Shoots


What happens with the photos? Are they an assignment for a magazine or a vendor? Do you sell them on stock sites? Or is it just for practice/portfolio?


Sep 23, 2017 at 09:20 AM
ZachOly
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Styled Shoots


Jefzor wrote:
What happens with the photos? Are they an assignment for a magazine or a vendor? Do you sell them on stock sites? Or is it just for practice/portfolio?


It's one big circle jerk on social media.



Sep 23, 2017 at 10:35 AM
BSPhotog
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Styled Shoots




ZachOly wrote:
It's one big circle jerk on social media.



I take it you're not into that?



Sep 23, 2017 at 02:36 PM
mb126
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Styled Shoots


This part is true, but then again if you team with vendors working in a similar part of the market then this just means your work getting in front of more potential clients.

You certainly can submit to a magazine, use for portfolio, provide for the venue, etc. The odds of taking something portfolio worthy are much higher when you have time to set up your shots.

As for other vendors, I'm not going to spend 10 hours photoshopping anything for the hair person but I'll gladly give her 4 batch processed edits.

ZachOly wrote:
It's one big circle jerk on social media.




Sep 23, 2017 at 03:25 PM
JacobsLadder
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Styled Shoots


I know a photographer that recently did a fairytale themed styled shoot. It clearly was a styled shoot, and not an actual wedding. The images went viral (picked up by all the major wedding blogs as well as mainstream sites like Huffington) and ended up leading to her booking several weddings from it. You admitted to having a great time with your style shoot, made new vendor connections and relationships, and learned quite a bit from it. To me you answered your own question. If I were you I would take responses and advice here (yes, including mine) with a hefty grain of salt.


Sep 23, 2017 at 06:42 PM
Depth of Feel
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Styled Shoots


I wouldnt want any client that would book me from seeing work from a styled shoot. Ive had too many delusional brides show me their photo requests from styled shoots. Few understand they're wedding will never resemble that at all.


Sep 23, 2017 at 09:54 PM
 

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JacobsLadder
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Styled Shoots


Depth of Feel wrote:
I wouldnt want any client that would book me from seeing work from a styled shoot. Ive had too many delusional brides show me their photo requests from styled shoots. Few understand they're wedding will never resemble that at all.


This post isn't about how another photographers' styled shoot might impact your business. The question is whether it is something worthwhile for you to do for your own business. Or are you saying your own styled shoot would not be representative of your actual work?



Sep 23, 2017 at 10:22 PM
Depth of Feel
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Styled Shoots


JacobsLadder wrote:
This post isn't about how another photographers' styled shoot might impact your business. The question is whether it is something worthwhile for you to do for your own business. Or are you saying your own styled shoot would not be representative of your actual work?



I'm saying styled shoots are lies for the naive to bite onto. If they like your styled shoot more than your regular work there's going to be a problem. Expectations won't be met.

Now granted there's a lot of naive people out there, I mean drump still has a 38% approval. So it will be profitable. I just I can't do it.




Sep 25, 2017 at 08:04 AM
InSanE
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Styled Shoots


WTF? Sales and marketing is about showing people what they want to see, not the worst case scenario!


Sep 25, 2017 at 09:40 AM
JacobsLadder
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Styled Shoots



Depth of Feel wrote:
I'm saying styled shoots are lies for the naive to bite onto. If they like your styled shoot more than your regular work there's going to be a problem. Expectations won't be met.


So you ARE saying you wouldn't be able to match your own styled shoot quality during the wedding day. Interesting.



Sep 25, 2017 at 11:18 AM
ZachOly
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Styled Shoots


JacobsLadder wrote:
So you ARE saying you wouldn't be able to match your own styled shoot quality during the wedding day. Interesting.


I wouldn't be able to. And the reasons why should be obvious to anyone who has shot a "real" wedding.

It's like the difference between hitting golf balls at the driving range and playing in a tournament.



Sep 25, 2017 at 11:54 AM
JacobsLadder
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Styled Shoots


ZachOly wrote:
I wouldn't be able to. And the reasons why should be obvious to anyone who has shot a "real" wedding.

It's like the difference between hitting golf balls at the driving range and playing in a tournament.

Love your condescending attitude - something that makes FM really special. I've shot over a two hundred "real" weddings over the past 6years and trust me, the reasons are NOT obvious. At least to those with an open mind. But the adage you can't teach a dog new tricks (or get them to change their thinking) definitely applies here on F'n M. Hire two stunning models and shoot them in your usual style, in the most gorgeous location you can find, supported by top tier vendors. There is nothing misleading about that, especially if you build in suitable time for bridals during the wedding day. It shows what is possible with YOUR photography and quality venues and vendors.



Sep 25, 2017 at 12:22 PM
ZachOly
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Styled Shoots


After 200 weddings, you think you would have figured out:

Paid models != awkward couples
Portraits at golden hour != portraits at 2p in July
Professional stylists != Assembly line hair and makeup
Unlimited time with the couple != 45min to do family formals, bridal party and B&G
Tailored suit != ill fitting rental tux
Everyone working WITH you != Mother of the bride chirping away
Perfect weather != kinda cold and windy and people have to pee

Do I need to go on?



Sep 25, 2017 at 01:23 PM
LeeSimms
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Styled Shoots


We've done them for new venues.


Sep 25, 2017 at 02:06 PM
JacobsLadder
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Styled Shoots


ZachOly wrote:
After 200 weddings, you think you would have figured out:

Paid models != awkward couples
Portraits at golden hour != portraits at 2p in July
Professional stylists != Assembly line hair and makeup
Unlimited time with the couple != 45min to do family formals, bridal party and B&G
Tailored suit != ill fitting rental tux
Everyone working WITH you != Mother of the bride chirping away
Perfect weather != kinda cold and windy and people have to pee

Do I need to go on?


Perfect example of a photographer creating road blocks for themselves. I haven't seen your work, but I know exactly what your work looks like (hint - like 90% of the other shooters slagging away in the low to middle segment). When (more like 'if')) you reach the next level you'll find that clients book you for YOUR vision and allow you the time to create that vision. That's when YOU take control of scheduling and stop making excuses. That's when it becomes fun. Enough said... enjoy your day.



Sep 25, 2017 at 05:41 PM
ZachOly
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Styled Shoots


JacobsLadder wrote:
Perfect example of a photographer creating road blocks for themselves. I haven't seen your work, but I know exactly what your work looks like (hint - like 90% of the other shooters slagging away in the low to middle segment). When (more like 'if')) you reach the next level you'll find that clients book you for YOUR vision and allow you the time to create that vision. That's when YOU take control of scheduling and stop making excuses. That's when it becomes fun. Enough said... enjoy your day.


Not sure if serious



Sep 25, 2017 at 05:58 PM
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