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outdoor view of the nelson atkins museum


Cassidy Drury is a Kansas City based Luxury Wedding Photographer specializing in documentary and timeless work. She is an expert in her industry and available for travel.

Currently booking 2024 and 2025 weddings

All About Styled Shoots

If you're a photographer in the bustling world of weddings and events, you've likely come across the term "styled shoot." These creative endeavors are more than just opportunities to capture beautiful images; they are a way to collaborate with vendors, showcase your talents, and create stunning visual content that can elevate your portfolio. However, the world of styled shoots is not one-size-fits-all. Let's dive into the intricacies of styled shoots and how to approach them like a pro.

1. For a Specific Purpose: Tailored Excellence

Styled shoots tailored for a specific purpose are like the crown jewels of the photography world. These shoots are often commissioned for a precise reason, such as gracing the cover of a prestigious magazine or providing dazzling branding materials for select vendors like cake designers or florists. In some cases, styled shoots are crafted to meet the specific requirements of magazine submissions. What makes them even more enchanting is that the party benefiting from this purpose, whether it's the magazine or a particular vendor, often covers the hard costs. It's a win-win when your creative work gets the spotlight it deserves.

2. General Collaboration: A Symphony of Creativity

The world of general collaboration styled shoots is akin to a symphony where all the vendors come together, each playing a vital role. In these shoots, everyone collaborates and contributes their time and resources. However, this collaborative effort may come with a request from vendors for hard costs to be covered. This typically happens when the content isn't a significant benefit to them, the concept is resource-intensive, the vendor lineup lacks prominence, or they want to participate but with specific conditions. It's a delicate dance of balancing creativity and logistics.

3. Photographer Ticket Sales: Your Portfolio's Investment

In the realm of styled shoots, you may encounter a different tune—photographer ticket sales. These styled shoots often serve as workshops, educational experiences, or portfolio-building opportunities. In this scenario, the ones who benefit most from the resulting portfolio (the photographers) cover the hard costs. It can involve multiple photographers sharing the costs through ticket sales, or the lead photographer assumes all costs if it's not an open shoot. Selling tickets adds a layer of commitment, ensuring that everyone involved is invested in delivering high-quality results.

So, how do you navigate these enchanting but diverse worlds of styled shoots?

Incentivizing Vendors through Hard Cost Contributions

During peak seasons or busy times, vendors may be hesitant to engage in styled shoots due to their already bustling schedules. If you're organizing your first styled shoot, consider partnering with a seasoned wedding planner who can help present the theme and style to potential vendors. Communication is key; make sure to clearly express your budget allocation for hard costs.

Selling Tickets and Setting Expectations

When styled shoots involve selling tickets, set clear expectations for photographers. After all, your reputation is on the line. Challenges like sharing space and managing image exclusivity may arise, so meticulous planning is paramount.

Fostering Positive Collaboration

To foster positive collaboration, consider offering headshots to participants. It's a thoughtful gesture that can be appreciated. Additionally, ensure that vendors receive a generous selection of images after dedicating their time and resources. It's a way of saying thank you for their contribution to the shoot.

Reaching Out to Vendors: The Art of Persuasion

When reaching out to vendors, bolster your credibility by showcasing your portfolio and past styled shoots. Explain your approach thoroughly, including offerings like headshots, commercial image rights, and detailed mood boards. Provide vendor names, specifics such as time and location, and offer to cover hard costs. Clearly outline the purpose of the shoot, whether it's for portfolio building, branding, networking, or publication submissions.

In the world of styled shoots, opportunities abound to elevate your portfolio and build lasting relationships with vendors in the wedding industry. Remember, there's no one-size-fits-all approach to styled shoots. Choose the style that best aligns with your goals, and be prepared to communicate and collaborate effectively. May your styled shoots be filled with magic and creativity, creating a symphony of visual wonders. Happy shooting!


Hey, I'm Cassidy!

I've been doing the button clicking, people laughing, memory documenting thing for nine years now. Growing up, I wanted to be a teacher. Photography was something that I fell in love with as I gave up my dream to educate. But now, almost a decade later, I get to merge my two passions and help photographers like you get their business to be profitable and busy. Thanks for reading this blog post! If you enjoyed it, be sure to check out my other posts and reach out to learn more.

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