Big Bend Styled Shoot
Epic Landscapes, Beautiful Couple, Bright Florals
One of my favorite things about being a photographer is putting together and going to styled shoots. They can be such a breath of fresh air, fuel your creativity, give you a space to try new things and learn. However, often creatives are asking, “How do I host a styled shoot? What should I start with?”
I’m here to encourage you that a styled shoot can be put together with some hard work and willingness to take a leap of faith! A few things I would encourage you to think about before putting together a shoot of your own are-
- What is the goal? Publication? Creativity? Learning?
- Are you making money from hosting or is it a true collaboration?
- Do you have relationships with vendors that may want to participate?
- Are you hoping/willing to share content with other vendors?
- Do you have a budget?
This particular styled shoot at Big Bend was a learning workshop with the ridiculously talented Benjamin Clifford of Ben and Joy. Nine photographers gathered in Big Bend to scout together, chat business, and have a time of community with each other. While publication is great, it wasn’t the main goal, so that influenced how much set up we did and how many vendors we included. This particular shoot was also our vision, not necessarily the vendors vision, so due to that, it was not a free collaboration.
That leads me to a point that I really want photographers especially to think about. I think it’s easy to feel frustrated when vendors cannot participate in shoots for free. I know you’ll give them beautiful content, but sometimes they’re busy! They have costs too. And time is money. Styled shoots take A LOT of time from the planner (whether that is a photographer or actual planner)! Please don’t be offended if a vendor says they would like to work with you, but due to their workload or “xyz” they have to charge for their services. You have a few choices-find someone else who can collaborate for free, or get on their schedule for the next time they’re available to collaborate without a fee!
Some other things to consider when planning a styled shoot are timelines, plan B’s and post production goals and sharing. Depending on the size of your shoot there will be various options for all of these! I absolutely recommend having a tech guy on board (that’s my Steven Neaves Photography) to sort out the backend details!
Friends, I KNOW it’s scary to put yourself out there and try to pull these things together, but you can absolutely do it! Start small, find a florist that needs new shots of bouquets she’s making, or a baker that would like extra product shoots. Get a thrift store dress and an engaged friend. Then, go find a beautiful location that will let you shoot on their property. Sometimes the answer will be no. And that’s disappointing for sure.
But, you’d be shocked how many times you’ll hear “Sure, we’d love to have you”.
Above all, have fun and create some beautiful images you’re proud to share!
Workshop Host- Anna Kay Photography
Teaching- Benjamin Clifford
Planning- Social Planner Events
Florals- Kara Pyle Floral Design
Venue- Big Bend State Park
Models- Chris and Tara
Earrings- La Casa Frida