How to host the perfect styled shoot

Styled shoots are all the rage in the wedding industry, and it’s easy to see why! We’ve been so honored to host talented photographers, event designers, florists, calligraphers, and more here at The White Sparrow Barn, our own Dallas styled shoot venue and wedding venue. These collaborative efforts bring together vendors from every aspect of the industry to showcase everyone’s very best work. Ultimately, styled shoots result in gorgeous photos everyone can use on their websites and social media, and can even help gain publicity on major sites and blogs. It’s a win-win-win scenario, and we love seeing how creative collaborators pull it off with a unique twist every time.

Before you jump into hosting your own styled shoot, take a look at a few things you need to know. Even though the benefits are impressive, there are a lot of moving parts involved in pulling together a successful styled shoot. Follow these basic guidelines to keep everyone on track and successfully produce a final result we can all swoon over.

  1. Decide on a theme: before you do anything else, decide on an overall feel for your styled shoot. Think of elements that speak to you—after all, this shoot should add something unique to the industry. Put a dose of your own personality into crafting a distinctive theme. Whether it’s a twist on old world charm, or a spin on an elegant garden party, decide on an overall concept from which all other details will follow. We know it’s hard to narrow down your options, but it’s better to execute one idea flawlessly. After all, you can always plan another shoot in a different style down the line.
  2. Collect Inspiration: hit the Pinterest boards! Browse away for details that inspire you and fit your theme. Search out-of-the-box terms, not just “wedding styled shoot.” Instead, let your inspirations lead you—search “antique maps” for that Old World theme, or “1920s headbands” for a Gatsby-inspired garden. Make sure you pin all your images to a board you can later share with collaborators so everyone will be on board with your vision. And don’t stop at Pinterest! Keep your eyes open for details that inspire you; you never know where they’ll pop up.
  3. Decide on a Venue: The venue is the setting for the entire shoot—it’s an important decision! Look for a venue that sets the perfect scene for the concept you have in mind. Look for a location with plenty of natural lighting, and (if desired) multiple We hope you’ll choose to host with us, but what’s most important is a venue that fits your theme. If you select a location that sets the tone for your creative vision, that’s what matters most.
  4. Contact Connections (give plenty of time): Start reaching out to vendors that can help put together your look.Think about connections whose work evokes a feel befitting theme of your shoot. Start early! Don’t take it personally if it takes awhile to gather vendors who are willing to participate—not everyone has time to devote to a styled shoot at the moment you’re seeking vendors.
  5. Details, details, details! To make your shoot stand out, think of a few specialized custom details that nobody else has done before. Maybe you have a unique place card idea, or a bold makeup color in mind. Whatever you have in mind, a couple items that are unusual will help your shoot stand out from the competition.
  6. Shot list: As you craft all those special details, be thinking about a shot list to give to your photographer. While he/she has a professional eye, there may be some details you don’t want to miss. If you want to showcase the custom calligraphy you planned or the delicate earrings adorning the model, make a note so your photographer knows what to look for.
  7. Timeline: The real trick to a perfectly planned shoot—your timeline. Communicate your schedule to participating vendors (including deadlines for them leading up to shoot day), and make a hard copy of the schedule readily available on the day of the event. With a timeline in hand, all the details are sure to look picture-perfect on the day of the shoot!
  8. Shoot: It’s the big day! Your styled shoot event will fly by, even if you’re working for hours. Remember to relax, enjoy, and let creativity flow. The best styled shoots happen when all the heavy lifting was done prior to the shoot; now, you can enjoy your collaborators’ handiwork and capture some magical photos! Don’t forget to snap a few behind-the-scenes shots on your phone for social media that will build the hype.
  9. Share: Once you’ve had a chance to ooh and ahh over all the photos, share them with participating vendors. Any time you share, credit and link to your photographer and other participating collaborators. When they’ve gotten a peek, you can start sharing away on blogs, websites, and social media. The more shares, the better!
  10. Submit: Finally, submit your shoot to a few of the top industry blogs and magazines. If you’re lucky, one of the big names (or local publications) will love your shoot and feature it in their press—ultimately driving more clients back to your own services.

Most importantly? Have fun! A styled shoot takes a lot of prep work, but collaboration and pretty details always make for a laughter-filled occasion. We can’t wait to see all your styled shoots, and we hope you’ll consider choosing The White Sparrow Barna s your Dallas styled shoot venue.