What is a Styled Shoot?

A styled shoot is a collaborative effort of multiple creatives who put their talents and resources together to create a stunning visual concept to be photographed. Wedding pros do this often to create new wedding trend inspiration.

Investing in ourselves is the most important thing we can do as photographers. and investing in ourselves is a continuing process. One of the best investments we can make as a photographer if we shoot weddings is to participate in a styled photography shoot. The benefits of participating in a styled photo shoot can reap rewards that are everlasting.

In a styled bridal photography shoot, several industries come together outside the realm of an actual wedding to create a series of images. Those industries could include bridal vendors (gowns and accessories), gown designers, hair and makeup artists, jewelers, cake vendors, wedding venues, photographers, and videographers.

There was a lot of collaboration that went on in photographing and the success of this styled shoot. This LGBT Dark Valentine shoot was directed by Maryel Lugo and was a collaboration for Kelsey Smith of Natural Flash Photography, who resides in Orlando, Florida. Kelsey had a vision and Maryel and with her amazing group of collaborative vendors brought the vision to life.

The collaboration did not stop there, though. The HMUA's, Sara Ray Stylist, collaborated with the models, Ivy Les Vixens and Bri, to make the models look their best. Kelsey worked with the models to create the best images. Alfredo Gonzalez of Gonzalez Lugo Photography, collaborated with Kelsey in choosing photo spots, assistance in lighting and gear. Having a willingness to collaborate leads to the success of the styled shoot.

It goes without saying in photography that if you want to get paid to shoot a certain genre of photography, you should have a portfolio of images from that genre. That portfolio educates potential clients on the quality of work you can produce.

Even though there are opportunities out there for photographers to start from scratch, when it comes to something like weddings; those opportunities are rare. We have been lucky enough that we were able to break into weddings with a portfolio already at hand, but we are always wanting to learn and improve ourselves, Education is Key. A styled shoot allows us to do work at a higher standard. The big benefit of working on a portfolio at a styled shoot is the stress level is a lot lower than at an actual wedding.

Styled Shoot typically have a set schedule, but it is looser than an actual wedding. Instead of having just a short few minutes with the rings, you will have time to create several different shots. Instead of having to rush the bride to create that special bridal portrait, you will have time to work with a model in several different settings and poses.

If the styled photography shoot is created by photographers and has several different photographers attending, it will be time to go to school. Even though Kelsey has shot weddings, we went into the event with the goal of educating her and teaching her the ropes of a collaboration and our goal was for her to use what she learned to lead her own styled shoots in the future.

It was an absolute honor to sit back and watch Kelsey work. She asked the right questions. She took direction well and in the end this will all help her grow as a photographer, that was the goal. She edited the images beautifully and pushed the boundaries with her vision for this shoot. It truly was an honor to bring bring her vision to light and we are beyond grateful for all of the amazing vendors that gave their all to make this happen.

 Networking between photographers will occur at a styled photography shoot. You might be like Kelsey she didn't really have a strong sense of community between vendors where she lived. Granted, we do not live Orlando, but by allwing her to network with vendors in Polk County, she will now have the opportunity to add to her network of vendors for collaborations and referrals in the future. That's the magic of Styled Shoots.

If the styled photography shoot is local to you, you might end up meeting a photographer who is willing to help you out. This new and expanded network can help you out in the future. Those other photographers could be a future assistant, second photographer, or someone that becomes a friend. You might even get recommended for future jobs from those you meet at the styled shoot.

If you are aspiring photographer and are interested in putting together a styled shoot to collaborate and add to your portfolio, feel free to reach out to Maryel Lugo at maryel.lugones@yahoo.com for a free Styled Shoot Consultation.

Planner and Coordinator: Maryel Lugo | Venue: The Williams Estate | Photography: Natural Flash Photography | Second Shooter: Gonzalez Lugo Photography | Paper Goods: Paper Majik Designs & Events | Formalwear: All Brides 2 Be Tuxedo, Formalwear & Fashion Styling | Linens and Chair Cushions: Any event Linen & Chair Rental | Chairs: Premier Party Rentals | Stemwear and Desert Stands: Premier Party Rentals | Cake: Got Candy & More | Florals, Arbor and Floral Design: The Twisted Tulip FLA | Smoke Machine: Next Level Entertainment | Hair, Make-Up, Jewelry and Hairpieces: Sara Ray Stylist | Models: Ivy Les Vixens & Bri