Some people call me an OG of wedding business marketing, but deep down I'm just another person wearing PJ bottoms on Zoom. I swear a lot, I share my struggles, and I don't pretend to be better than anyone else.
If you’re going to take the time to put together a styled shoot, you may as well make sure you do it right. People make all sorts of mistakes when it comes to styled shoots but these are the 5 biggest ones that I have seen people make. The good news is, you don’t have to make them because I’m going to show you how to avoid them!
If your goal for the styled shoot is to get it published, you absolutely must do research before even doing your shoot. If you wait until after the shoot, you’re going to create a lot more work for yourself and reduce your chances of getting published.
Whether you want to submit photos to magazines or use your styled shoot as a wedding blog submission, do some research on the outlets you’d like to be published on and read their submission guidelines before you do the shoot. Take some time to look at the styled shoots that they have already published to see what they have in common. Do they focus on a particular style or a particular part of the wedding? This is going to be really important to know in planning your styled shoot.
If you approach someone and say something like “I’m thinking of maybe doing this styled shoot…I don’t know what the theme is yet and I don’t know where we’re going to submit it yet but do you want to be involved?” they’re probably going to just delete your email. Make sure you have your shit together before you approach other vendors.
Your theme is going to dictate the vendors you approach because all vendors have different styles and work with different types of clients. They will want to be part of something that showcases their style & appeals to their ideal client so do your research and find out who would be a perfect fit for your theme.
No one likes to take part in a shoot that doesn’t have a plan associated with it. You need to plan out how long it will take to get vendors on board when you’ll do the shoot, how long editing will take, when you’ll submit it to your chosen blog, and what vendors will do to promote it afterward. This can be a big undertaking so, inside The Wedding Business Collective, you’ll find a training about how to plan and manage a styled shoot and how to get a published on a big wedding blog.
Having a timeline is going to help you get published as well because you have to plan for the lead time that your chosen outlet has. If you’re doing a summer wedding shoot, you would probably want to do that early in the summer instead of later in the summer when the blog is focusing on autumn weddings.
One of the overlooked benefits of doing a styled shoot is networking with your fellow vendors. Take time to get to know them on the day and follow up with them afterward. Ask them what the perfect referral is for them so you know who they like to work with and can refer people to them. Follow them on social media and use the Spotlight Technique to stay top of mind with them. Couples come and go but your fellow vendors aren’t going anywhere so take the time to get to know them.
Once a vendor agrees to be part of your styled shoot, make sure you have a plan to keep them informed on what is going on. You can keep everyone on the same page via email or by using a shared Google Drive spreadsheet to plan out the logistics of the shoot. Don’t let your communication drop off after the shoot, let the vendors know when you’ve submitted the shoot and what you hear back. No one likes to feel like they’re being left in the dark.
If you want to learn exactly how to organize a great styled shoot & get it published on a big wedding blog, you’ll love the training inside The Wedding Business Collective with Alexis Accomando.
She takes you through her process that she uses to manage her styled shoots & get them published on blogs like Style Me Pretty, Wedding Chicks & Ruffled and there’s even a workbook to help you plan out your next styled shoot! Get this course and over $4000 of others on different business and marketing topics for wedding professionals for a killer price at www.theweddingbusinesscollective.com.
One of our members, Esme Krahn of Bodamaestra, has used this training to get published on Ruffled (I’m so in love with this shoot!), Borrowed & Blue, and Emmaline Bride! If you want to create gorgeous styled shoots like this and get them published, click here to start your free trial to The Wedding Business Collective!
We are in the process of planning a styled shoot for spring so this article comes at the perfect time. Thanks!
I hope it helps you with your planning Crystal!
In addition make sure that you know the lighting of the place you are shooting at, especially if it is outdoors. You want to make sure you get the shots you want while the light is right so you are not moving your furniture around. Making a story board can also help to make sure all the vendors understand your concept and are moving towards the same goal (ex: Spring Inspired Elegance create completely different images for different people)
Great point and I love the story board idea! This could easily be done on a Pinterest board.
This is such great information! I’ve done smaller shoots that encompasses only me but I am planning my first big shoot involving other vendors early next year.
Let me know how it goes!
Fantastic information – I have been a part of a styled shoot before, but I will be coordinating 2 of my own in the spring of 2015 – so great information to have handy – I bookmarked this article to come back to!
Hi there. I’d like to ask…is it really worth it to do style shoots? Do you get sales from them?
Good question Rubana. There are a few different ways to look at it. Will you get direct sales from a styled shoot? Maybe, but not super likely. Will it help you generate leads? You bet and it’s important to have a lead generation process set up (as simple as having an email opt in and marketing to them via email). Plus it helps your SEO which helps your lead generation as well.