Congratulations, you’ve made the decision to invest in an educational opportunity for yourself and your business! Styled shoots are a great opportunity to work on photography and posing techniques that you otherwise wouldn’t have the chance to experiment with and you will likely get to do it while surrounded by a group of excited and motivated photographers who are also looking to grow in a certain area.
Of course, you may be nervous to attend your first styled shoot! That’s normal! It’s always a little nerve-wracking to go into a new situation but it’s great that you’re not letting it stop you! I’ve been to my share of styled shoots, so today I wanted to share a few tips with you.
Tip #1: Join the community created by the shoot organizers. This is usually done in a Facebook or Instagram group. Introduce yourself and try to connect with everyone, and make a deeper connection with at least one person. This way, you can agree to meet up beforehand or even drive in together. Having a buddy will certainly take away some of the nerves you may feel on the day of the shoot. It’s also a good idea to connect with the vendors!
Tip #2: Prepare the day before by making sure you have the directions handy and all your gear is clean and ready. You don’t want to arrive frazzled to the shoot because you forgot a lens cloth, ha! Make sure you have enough memory cards.
Tip #3: Go into it with a positive attitude and know that everyone there is learning something! Yes, some photographers may be more experienced than you, but you’ll also be more experienced than someone else. Know that this will be a learning experience for everyone and what’s the worse that can happen, right?!
Tip #4: Don’t compare your gear to everyone else’s gear. Just because a photographer has the latest camera or most expensive lenses, that doesn’t mean their images will be better than yours. Focus on knowing how to use your own gear as best you can and creating beautiful images with whatever you have.
Tip #5: Ask questions! Don’t be afraid to ask the organizers or other participants any questions that may come up. Styled shoot attendees are always so eager to share their experiences and help lesser experienced photographers.
Tip #6: Use this as a marketing opportunity and go in with a few ideas on how you can use this shoot to promote your work and your investment on social media. The first thing you can do is have a list handy with all the vendor tags. This way, you can share an Instastory about the shoot and tag the vendors involved. Your followers love seeing what you’re up to!
Tip #7: Shoot strategically. This one is hard because oftentimes, space is limited in the shooting area and you feel like it’s impossible to get the shot you want. Therefore, go in with a plan to get what you need so that worst case scenario, you focus on the must-haves and at least walk away with those. To download my list of must-haves fill out the form below:
Once I have each of those items then I know I have what I need and anything else I get is a bonus!
Tip #8: Let other photographers get their chance at their camera-aware shots but make sure you get a chance, too! You don’t need a ton – but even 2 or 3 are great to have so that if you choose to submit the shoot for publication or use it in your portfolio, it doesn’t end up looking like you second shot the entire time.
Tip #9: Have posing and prompt ideas on hand! Once it’s your turn to pose the couple, you don’t want to blank out. Shoot VERY strategically when it’s your turn to take the lead. If you haven’t gotten your wide shots yet, then get those. If you’re in need of more intimate shots at that point, then focus on that. Have a plan for making the most of your time as lead.
Tip #10: After the shoot, back up your images right away and cull them. Post a sneak peek on social media and tag all the vendors.
Tip #11: Once all your favorites are edited (I would recommend 30-40 favorites), be sure to have a marketing plan in place. Here are some ideas:
View this post on Instagram
Tip #12: Know that the best growth happens when you step out of your comfort zone! So enjoy the experience and know that you’re going to feel amazing afterwards!
When you’re ready to plan your own styled shoot, check out this post: How to Plan a Styled Shoot
For vendor credits, please click on the Instagram images /credits above. I included the vendor credits in the image caption. Credits for feature image and behind-the-scenes image are from the same as Ironworks (3rd IG image).
Hello there! I'm Alex! I teach hobbyist photographers how to take better photos and professional photographers how to build a thriving business. Here I share tips and resources to help you grow. Thank you so much for visiting my blog!