Did you know that most of the wedding inspiration on the internet isn’t from actual weddings? Styled shoots make up about 75% of the wedding pins on Pinterest, and many wedding blogs feature them, too. I have to say, one of my favorite parts of being a Philadelphia wedding photographer is collaborating with other vendors! Plus, there’s something so gratifying about seeing my work get pinned and repinned.
Here are a few aspects of how a styled shoot is planned and put together. Consider this a behind-the-scenes sneak peek!
How do styled shoots make such good inspiration? I think it’s because they have a sharper focus than most real weddings.
Some weddings have a unifying theme, but most are a mashup of ideas. For instance, a few of my couples last year had a special connection to Pixar’s Up. The bride might pin a “Grape Soda” bottlecap to her bouquet, or they might have a balloon guestbook, but they probably have lots of other things that signify their relationship. Dedicating your wedding day to only one of your interests can be limiting, and you only get one wedding day!
A styled shoot is usually arranged by a planner, since that’s what they do: plan! More often than not, a planner or another vendor will contact me and we’ll bounce ideas off each other until we come up with the perfect shoot theme. This will inform our choice of venue–usually some place I or another of the vendors involved have worked at before. They’re always more than happy to strengthen a business relationship!
Other vendors typically involved in a styled shoot include, but are by no means limited to:
- Stationery designer
- Hair and makeup artist
- Dress shop
Not all styled shoots use models, but many do. On one hand, not having a “bride” and “groom” allows the viewers to picture themselves as the lucky couple. On the other, style inspiration gets a lot of attention. I’m a bit of a fashion enthusiast, so I always want a bride model to dress up. I share a studio with one of the best hair and makeup artists in Philadelphia: Aleksandra Ambrozy. I enlist her talents whenever I can!
Putting It All Together
The day of the shoot is always crazy–although not as crazy as a wedding day, of course! We try to start as early as possible, because setup always takes longer than you think it will.
Still, there are a lot more options for shortcuts than with a real wedding day! The only thing that matters is the finished product: beautiful pictures that a wedding blog would die to publish.
My work has been featured on Burnett’s Boards (twice), Munaluchi Bride, and on the cover of Wedding Planner Magazine! I can’t wait to collaborate on more styled shoots with talented vendors. If you or anyone you know is looking for a photographer to work with, contact me and we can start planning our next shoot!