How do you plan a styled shoot?

I have alway gotten inspiration for my shoots from Pinterest or following other photographers I love. 


Many photographers and wedding coordinators create these “stylized” spaces for fellow photographers to capture amazing moments with their cameras and to showcase the services of other businesses. However, as I looked into attending one of these stylized shoots, I had no idea how pricey they would be.


A little frustrated, I told my husband, “It is so easy to get discouraged, because attending one of these shoots can cost anywhere from $400-$600, or even more.”


One day while I was thinking in the car, I said to myself, “What if I could pull off a stylized shoot and collab with other people?”


This thought sounded like a crazy idea, but I went for it! And as always, my husband encouraged me every step of the way. 


After having a successful shoot, I wanted to share what I learned and the thought process I went through to help others do the same. 


Here are some tips and tricks I learned as I put this shoot together. I hope it helps you on your journey! 


Step 1. Select a Theme

I have been dying to do something with pampas grass. There are so many ideas I saw on Pinterest! I literally could spend hours and hours scrolling through different setups and ideas. When getting inspiration, it’s easy to feel like you have to re-do a shoot. I am here to tell you, “You don’t!” 


In this case, I wanted to do a boho theme, but I also wanted to add some balloons to give my shoot a different style. 


Create a mood board to help you nail down the look you are going for.


Step 2. Collab with other folks

One of my favorite things about being a photographer is meeting other people and getting to know them. So, I started reaching out to different vendors that I thought would like to work with me. This might be a tricky one, but just push through the awkwardness and rejection. There ARE people out there that are starting their business and would love to collab with you!


Step 3. Select a Location

Know, that you know, that you know your theme, and already have confirmed partnership with other vendors before selecting a location. Many times the vendors you are working with have ideas that may help you as you pick a location for your shoot. 

Select a time. Once you nail down a location, think through the time you will have your shoot. Ask yourself, “What goes with my theme?” 


The time you shoot is very very important, because it will make a huge difference in your photos.


Step 4. Hire Some Models

You don't need to have any professional models, you need some good looking, fun, authentic people that are comfortable with each other. Since I adore couples, I search for a local couple that are not shy in front of the camera. 


Step 5. Make it happen (Shoot Day)

I had all kinds of feelings and butterflies in my stomach on the day of my styled shoot. I was nervous and excited! 


Luckily, I had another photographer friend that I had invited to my shoot. She is definitely a character, and made me feel so good about my idea and how great things were looking. (Shout out to Jansine your so amazing!)


I personally like to have fun. To help with this, I put on some music. Why? Two reasons:

1) It helps me get into my grove  

2) It helps the couple feel comfortable, get rid of any jitters, and help them get into the mood you are creating.


Make sure you have some ideas on your phone or smartwatch if you have one. I have used a list in the past to keep me on track with certain things I want to shoot. Sometimes things go even better, and you don't even need to look at your mood board or list.


I hope these few tips help you to be courageous and create something amazing. Here are a few more photos of my woodland styled shoot.