Ever just wished you had a blueprint to help you get started on planning a styled shoot?

Whether you're lost on how to get started and just need a basic blueprint, or you’re looking for a few tweaks to revamp your current process for connecting with your dream vendors, I’m here for you.  I’m going to teach you how to plan a successful styled shoot—one so great that the images will get your work published and get more clients to book with you—and share all my swipe files to get you started.

If you’re new to my blog, I’m LaTonya Turnage, makeup artist and entrepreneur, who can now add author, educator, and business mentor to my belt. For more than ten years, I've worked in the makeup industry, and I've done it all from editorial and runway to stage and bridal (Bridal is my favorite!). I’ve been featured in Munaluchi Bridal, Baltimore Sun and FOX-TV to name a few.

To stay top of mind for brides, I had to add styled shoots to my marketing strategy. It’s a lot of work, but a genius way to do the work I love and attract my target audience.

If you’re scratching your head wondering “is a styled shoot right for me,” that’s ok! Here are 4 benefits of planning one.

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Styled shoots allow you to do it your way

If I had to guess, I would bet that you started this business because you love it. Yet, I know that clients don’t always want what you want to create. Styled shoots can offer the outlet you need to spread your creative wings and work on your dream projects. You can get as over-the-top or as minimalist as you want because you are not limited to your clients’ demands.

Styled shoots can connect you with your vendor crush

Networking and collaborating with your vendor crush—you know that one creative that you've been dying to work with since the beginning of your career—is a major plus for styled shoots.

When planning the collaboration, plot out time for networking on the day of the shoot. Most importantly, follow up afterward and make sure you stay in touch.

Challenge yourself to learn more about them, their business, the type of clients they want they want to serve, so you know who to refer to them. Referrals are a two-way street, and if you can start by sending someone to them, they will remember and be inclined to return the favor!

Styled shoots can help get your work published

If you haven’t noticed, blogs and magazines LOVE styled shoots, especially in the wedding category. And, who could blame the editors? Styled shoots are representative of the creatives best work and (sometimes) the most imaginative. 

Styled shoots can help you score new clients

If your styled shoot is featured on a wedding blog, couples will soon start to visit your website to learn more about you. We can almost always trace some of our clients directly back to a styled shoot we had published.

Even if your goal isn’t to get your shoot featured, the images will enhance your site and social media channels so that your ideal client identifies with you and takes that next steps to move deeper into your sales funnel.

So how do you plan for success?  Here’s a quick way to get started.

Be Clear on the Concept

Before you start emailing or reaching out to vendors, make sure you have a clear vision of the shoot’s concept.  Have an idea of all the players and props needs. A mood board can be beneficial and offer you a way to communicate your vision to the team and venue succinctly. Having your ideas thought out and on paper will save tons of time and the vendor will be assured because of your preparedness.

Send Out an Invite

Soliciting vendors can be intimidating, I’ll admit. There’s no guarantee that they will respond favorably. I encourage you to move past the fears and just go for it!  Honestly, there were a few vendors who had to turn me down due to scheduling conflicts, but almost every vendor was more than happy to get involved! Despite the uncertainty and fear that comes with contacting others about your styled shoot vision, feel the fear and leap regardless. The worst thing they can say is, “No.”

Compile A Shoot List

I’ve found that the best way to ensure your expectations for a shoot are met is simply by making them known. Before meeting with the vendors, we think through all the images we want to walk away with once the shoot ends.  Compiling a list of “must have” images and sharing them with the group before production day is crucial to the shoot’s success.

If you’re working with a photographer you trust, you can work together on your shoot wish list.

Show Your Partners Love

From start to finish, it’s important that the vendors know just how much you appreciate their contributions. Make it clear in the beginning what sort of exposure they’d receive at the end of the project.

It’s important to keep in mind that these vendors are donating their time, services, or products to bring your vision to life, so it’s critical to make sure they feel valued and appreciated for their contributions.

Set a process and rules for sharing images, both physically and online. Each vendor should walk away with positive memories of working with you and eager to collaborate again.

Click below to grab your FREE Swipe Files to get started planning your next styled shoot!