As wedding PR professionals and venue owners, we are constantly eyeballs deep in styled shoots and real weddings. No matter how many online galleries I have combed through to compose the perfect submission, and no matter how many wedding magazines have made their way across my desk, I can always recall the photos that struck me – for better or for worse.
I remember one editorial shoot that featured a bride with a painted veil (as in white paint in her hair in place of a veil). Innovative? Sure, but I don’t think many brides who saw that photo thought, “I can pull off this wedding look!” The idea simply wasn’t practical. Vendors, I’m sure you can recall a similar styled shoot that made you feel the same way.
I think we can all agree that because weddings are (as they should be) centered around the bride’s vision and inspiration, styled shoots are the perfect way to express your creativity, your style and your unique ideas as a wedding professional. But, there comes a time when innovation can go too far. We once saw a flower crown made out of long stemmed flowers, rooted in dirt, on a bride’s head. It looked like a flower pot arrangement without the pot, stuck on top of her head!
Our question to you is this: When the purpose of a styled shoot is ultimately to enhance your portfolio, get featured for your stellar work, and also reach more potential clients in the process, shouldn’t wedding vendors be more mindful of what brides are actually looking to see? This is why we always tell our brides that styled shoots are meant for inspiration, not necessarily duplication.
To strike the perfect balance between being seen as innovative, as well as being known for cultivating beautiful wedding inspiration your clients will love, consider following these tips:
Using styled shoots to showcase your creativity and make brides fall in love with you
- Avoid gimmicks! I hate to say it, but you don’t need a live giraffe to bring your safari wedding inspiration to fruition. As avant-garde as that big idea is that you’re planning a styled shoot around, consider instead focusing on the smaller, realistic details that together create your big idea. Remember this: brides are no longer satisfied with cookie-cutter weddings. Instead, they are going to take bits and pieces of different shoots and weddings they love and splice them together to create something unique!
- Focus on practicality, as well as creativity. A bride might love that towering, beautiful centerpiece used in a styled shoot… until you later tell her that it’s actually impractical for her wedding because her guests won’t be able to see or talk to each other at the dinner table. It’s sort of like over promising and under-delivering. Don’t let her get her hopes up on something that, in reality, you can’t feasibly offer her for her wedding day.
- Play with unique color combinations. One of our wedding magazine editor friends posted on Facebook today, saying, “I am one blush and gold wedding away from jumping off a bridge. Seriously people, a little creativity goes a long way.” We couldn’t agree more! Inspire brides to think outside the box, creating a wedding that is unique to them, not one that is just like everyone else’s.
- Choose your models carefully. Chemistry and symmetry are important. Don’t just use your best friend’s boyfriend because he is available! Some of the best shoots capture an undeniable chemistry that resonates through the camera lens and makes couples see themselves on their wedding day. You won’t be able to pull it off and tell the story of your vision if you have an oddly paired and uncomfortable couple.
Something New for I Do would love to hear your ideas and tips for fellow wedding professionals in the comments!