Talk about a dreamy mood board for a coastal styled shoot! The bride’s tulle dress with an ocean blue tint instantly grabbed my attention! The detailed fondant cake and ocean inspired calligraphed oyster shells were also stunning, but to be honest, the circular floral arch practically floating on the water is what sealed the deal for me! I bought a ticket and was so excited to capture some fresh new content!
I may have been new to styled shoots, but I quickly learned that I could curate a few details for myself to better reflect my brand. So that’s just what I did for my upcoming trip to the coast! After reaching out to some friends and spending a little bit of time on Pinterest and Etsy, I was set to have everything I envisioned for a fabulous invitation shot alongside all of the other elements from the shoot.
How about I arrive, and there were no vendors! No oysters, table settings, florals and, you guessed it, no arch. There we stood. Four models and a dozen confused photographers. After living in my emotions for a few minutes, I decided to get to work. Just because things weren’t how I expected didn’t change the fact that I had already invested time and money into this, and I was determined to come back with something I could use. While I wish I could say this is rare, I’m not the first or last photographer who will run into this situation. I want to share my experience in hopes that it can help someone looking to elevate their brand through a styled shoot or acquire content during the off-season.
1. Plan Ahead. Do your research before committing to a styled shoot. Reach out to the organizer and find out the names of the vendors that are contributing to the shoot. Also, check out images from their past styled shoots.
2. Curate styling details that you can use for the shoot and your current portfolio. Keep in mind, your styled shoot may have everything you need and more, but it’s always a good idea to have a backup!
3. Capture what reflects your brand. Spend your time on what you know you will share. That will take the pressure off of shooting everything.
4. Embrace the unexpected. Yes, this situation was way off from my expectations. But thanks to a little planning, and some grit I learned from my dad, I was able to come home with images I’m proud of!
Kelly with Lettered Grace created these custom Sand Dollar place cards and destination invitations. Keep scrolling to see the menu she also created. She may be a calligrapher, but she’s definitely a foodie at heart! And that cute starfish? My photog friend Ann lent it to me along with some of her family’s seashell treasures to add the perfect touch to these photos!
This hand-dyed silk ribbon from Frou Frou Chic is almost as delicious as the menu!
One of the photographers, Jett, brought along an extra dress just in case one of the models wanted to take a dip in the ocean! How could we not take advantage?!
Thank you SO MUCH to the fabulous models, Cameo and Ryan, who are so both so bomb!!! You guys were the silver lining throughout the whole experience!