Firstly, what is a styled shoot?
It is a collection of suppliers coming together to work for free to showcase their products/services. It can be organised by anyone and everyone benefits from the images captured and then the marketing, usually from posting to social media, magazines and well-known industry blogs.
As someone new to the industry styled shoots have been how I have begun to create my own material to use on my website and social platforms. It also allows me to showcase my style and vibe and appeal to my target audience.
I wanted to write a piece about styled shoots and although they are full on and a lot to organise (for free!) there is value in them. I also wanted to write about the ethos behind all my styled shoots and why I think they are important to produce to reach my client.
1. You develop conversations with other suppliers in the industry and build on your network and working relationships. This gives me first hand experience of working with a supplier. I am more likely to recommend you if I’ve met you, seen your products and worked with you through the process. And of course if you’re good….!
2. You learn- TONNES. I’ve done 2 now and assisted on 1 and nothing has ever gone to plan. I mean, when does anything. Even the most planned to perfection wedding doesn’t go 100% to plan (sorry everyone but it doesn’t – no BS here! ) so it challenges me and teaches me how to problem solve in the moment and not let it compromise the day. This gives me a better arsenal for all my future weddings should there be any problems – I’ve probably been there, solved it and even got the t-shirt….!
3. They enable me to challenge myself. I’m an ideas person and if I could be up til 3am sketching, looking through interior blogs, trawling Pinterest to create concepts and mood boards then I totes would..! I have so many ideas popping around my head that I just love to create and to push my creative boundaries. That’s how we learn and develop. It would be a very boring industry if we just copied each other…. I also want to challenge the industry as I’m not a huge fan of the ‘cookie-cutter package’ wedding. I want to inspire couples to create from their stories so this is what I aim to do with my styled shoots.
4. I want to show my range and versatility. I have done 2 very different concepts but all still with my natural style and what I want Blonde Army to be known for. Contemporary and chic. Simple and stripped back. Design and fashion-led. However more than my style, I want to be known for my ability to be able to understand a couple enough that I convey their story through my design and execution.
5. My main aim is to produce work that is attainable and affordable for my target market. Some styled shoots look incredible, almost too good to be true and that’s it – they probably aren’t achievable and wouldn’t be affordable to most. When I plan a styled shoot I literally make up a couple- names, jobs, location etc And I treat it like a consultation considering budget and likes/dislikes. This enables me to build a totally believable and achievable concept around them and I hope this is conveyed. Wedding planning and choice is at an all time high with Instagram, Pinterest, blogs and magazines – I don’t want to confuse couples any further !
I explain a little more about my process in my latest Behind The Scenes video. This shoot took place at Rascals in Shoreditch with a killer team. The couple I imagined are Zoe and Miles born east Londoners who love the city life. The both work in media or fashion or marketing and enjoy living their life. They don’t care for fuss or frills just good food, good company and a good time.
I must mention my incredible and bad-ass cinematographer, Jack from Paper Planes Media who has nailed this video. I highly recommend him so do check out his portfolio of work here.
I will be doing more to bring you behind the scenes so you understand what I do as a planner and stylist, and if you are in the early stages of planning a wedding, then it’s good to see just how much work it takes. Either you will embrace it or you will reach out for help. I’m here. I got you. I have a range of services to suit all types of weddings and couples. So get in touch or click here for more info.
I Am Your Army.
I hope you like the video.
Photos by Samie Lee Photography