At the beginning of March, I attended a styled wedding shoot in a bid to hone my skills as a photographer. Now, I’ll let you be the judge of how I went, however I learnt a lot about me and the type of photographer I am and that I want to be.
I made some fundamental errors in my haste of signing up to this styled wedding shoot and I wanted to talk about those before I showed you the photos. If I have learnt anything, I hope that I can pass this onto you and that this blog can be of some benefit to others.
Before signing up and attending, you need to identify and analyse your reasons. What are you outcomes? What will you achieve? If it is just to meet your photography hero and icon then you probably won’t be disappointed however if you have ulterior desired objectives you should be working out whether this is the right purchase for you.
I was so excited to attend a style shoot that I neglected to ask any questions. For example, I didn’t check what the theme was or where the venue was etc. In my defence however, many of the details had not been finalised and/or the information hadn’t been released. Now, had I known that this shoot was themed on “Industrial glam”, I would have taken very different equipment; a second camera, different lenses, gel pouches for the flash and maybe even strobe lights. Because I didn’t check these details, I was left with the wrong equipment and thus had to spend a significant amount of time editing the photos.
When choosing a styled shoot of any kind you should check how many other people will be attending. If the venue is too small and the people too great, you will be left jostling for position and with people walking in front of your shots, it can make for a frustrating time. You might also want to check out the other attendees. You’ll be spending at least 4-7 hours with them, so see who has signed up and whether they appeal to you. They might not be suitable for you or your photography style and this needs to be balanced with your outcomes and what you hope to gain from the shoot. You might also want to consider whether they are a rival to your business plan and whether it is of any benefit to you attending with that person/those people!?
A little while ago I signed up to some blog videos designed to help me learn how to edit. The first video was free as she wanted me, the purchasee, to work out whether I liked her. I thought this was really strange, I’d never heard of this before, I mean, what wouldn’t I like? However, she talked about whether I would like her voice, her accent, her style, her sense of humour and then it made sense to me! I would be spending the next 10 hours listening to her, so it makes sense to be on her wave length, right!? The exact same should be said of your host/organiser. Do you like that person Vs can you tolerate that person? You’d hope that the host of the styled shoot would be an icon, however if you haven’t got thousands to spend, you might be working with another local photographer who you’ve never really heard of. It is always a good idea to look at the host’s portfolio, if s/he has one. The host will probably choose a style that represents her/him but that might not sit with your style. What does that host bring to you? Will that person help you achieve your outcomes? If you’re going to learn how to use your camera better, does the host have that technical capability? Is their teaching style personalised and even patient?
Ask lots of questions. What is the theme? What is the colour scheme? Who are the contributors? Who are the models? What type of lighting is available? Does this venue reflect my style of photography? It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of booking a styled shoot but these are fundamental questions that you need to be asking in order to maximise the opportunity. It makes little sense to spend hundreds of dollars on something that will not benefit your brand in the long run. You don’t want to be left with photos that don’t enhance your portfolio, after all.
So, onto the details. The venue we used was the Transcontinental Hotel right in the heart of Roma, Brisbane. It is easy to get to, has recently been renovated and is just waiting for a couple to adorn its balconies and polished floors. Downstairs walls are lined with green industrial tiles and give the venue a bit of an edge! The florist and stylist spent ages spray painting the flowers gold. Don’t they look great!? Just goes to show what can be achieved with a little spray can. The cake, made by Hansel and Gretel was hexagon in shape – how unique! I have never seen a hexagonal cake before and it had been finished with gold leaf. It was very interesting. The invitation design was created by Bespoke Letterpress whilst the dress was created by Karen Willis Holmes and the suit by Wil Valor. All of the links are below.
Let me know what you think? Leave me comment or send me a message 🙂
Venue – The Transcontinental Hotel
Florist & Stylist – Adorn Event Hire
Dress – Karen Willis Holmes
Headpiece – Ivie White
Suit – Wil Valor
Hair & Make Up – Ashley Rose
Cake – Hansel & Gretel Cake
Invitation – Bespoke Letterpress