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Push Your Boundaries Through Styled Shoots

Lesson 36 from: Becoming a Travel Photographer

Laura Grier

Push Your Boundaries Through Styled Shoots

Lesson 36 from: Becoming a Travel Photographer

Laura Grier

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Lesson Info

36. Push Your Boundaries Through Styled Shoots


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


How to Break Into Travel & Destination Wedding Photography


How Are You Perceived as a Photographer?


Brand Yourself Before Others Brand You


Activity: What Are Your Photography Goals?


Owning Your Own Style


Preparing for a Photoshoot


The Importance of Research


Lesson Info

Push Your Boundaries Through Styled Shoots

so pushing your boundaries, the strategy is styled shoots. This is the photo I was telling you guys about from the India trip where I got dressed up with my other photographers in saris and we called it hashtag. Sorry. Not sorry. And we did a whole shoot all around in the blue city of Jodhpur. And I talked in the beginning yesterday a lot about styled shoes and believe it or not, that kind of that theme sort of goes into the rest of my work. Even as a travel photographer, I still find myself doing styled shoots while on location, even if they're, like, very minimal. Now that I'm thinking in terms of travel brands and I'm thinking about stock, I'm gonna get in the stock here, too. I basically like I find myself doing styled shoots, even for editor for non editorial pieces, because they're always you always want of a catchy image, something that sells it. It's also just fun. And it's a way to be creative and, like, push your boundaries. So I love doing south shoots. Don't be afraid to do...

something a little more set up while you're on location. I think you're just talking about how your dream is to do. Maybe you do family portrait. It's and and she wants to destination family portrait it's. And how cool would that be if you took a family while they're, you know, traveling India and you met up with them and did like an amazing styled shoot with them on location that they're gonna live forever. Like, that's a whole inish that hasn't really been tapped, that you could start and create a trend and do that. And I love that idea. And I think that, you know, being able to offer something different and unique is is such a good thing to do and have but style chooses away for you. Like you should start this trend by doing a style shoot about this idea, writing about it, getting it out there and just start researching friends that you know that are going on vacation to be like, I'd like to meet you over there and do it styled, shoot and like, start just making it happen. Um, so I'm gonna go a little deeper into South shoots how I use Styled shoots. Um, this image is actually in my roommate in Peru in the sand dunes, high standing in the world, which is randomly in walking. Tina, Peru. And we were not cute getting up to the sandy, and we were like sweaty and workout clothes and on a dune buggy and sand boarding and doing all this stuff. But I always loved the brain, long flowy, very colorful things with me, like roll it up, put it in a backpack. So we had rolled up some really pretty flowy clothes and decided to do. I was doing a whole piece for an adventure like Dune buggy Peruvian Travel Company. So I was out there, and we're like having an adventure full day, and we're doing a lot of images for the dune buggy company. But while I was out there, why can't I do a couple of really cool styled images like the image of her walking away in the sand, which is the opening image for this course? I have used those for stock like you can see it's her back. She's not recognizable. This image has been posted a few times in different instagram accounts for Dame Traveler and other places, and it's like just taking a second to do something different. Even though you're there for a different purpose. Try something new, create an image that's striking that you could use for promotional purposes. So how you styled shoots are traveling to places that I want to go right? It gives you a really awesome reason to go somewhere. Everything. All those videos I showed you, me going to the petrified Sand dune or going to Finland thermal heated Eagle Hotel are going to India. All these places we're based on ideas of just I just wanted to go. Let's be honest, I really just wanted to visit these places so I would create styled shoot or photo opportunities or stories so I could go to these places. I would pitch to these people so I could go there. I you know, these air my bucket list. No one's like happens to be calling me like, um telling me the top five places they want to send me to because that's where I was, like, I'm the one initiating this and wanting to go to the places that I'm choosing. So you have a lot more control over where you're going and what you want to dio because you're initiating it. So I love to do styled shoots. And when I'm doing styled shoots in places in travel places, it's a great way to build a relationship with people when you're there. So I'll is a great way to offer something instead of asking again. So I'll take the idea of a styled shoot. I'll reach out to a hotel, for instance, and say, I'd love to do a style shooting your hotel. This is my idea. Here's example of my work, and they'll usually say, Yes, we'd love to do it. Please, we welcome you at our hotel. Stay here and you know they'll give you access. You can use them now like, can you help me? Source. This can help me. Source that. And so I used that as something where I'm giving you these images. I'm going to be doing this for you, and then they're usually welcoming. Want to do it back? So I'm always kind of strategically choosing places and hotels that I want to go Teoh and then creating a shoot there also the great way to create new marketing material for future work. Again, if you want to get work in Sri Lanka, then you need to probably show work industry alone. Good to get it. Obviously, if you're traveling to a lot of places, you can use those places toe leverage those jobs. But Sri Lanka's a really extreme example. But like if you really want to work in Mexico, you probably should buy yourself a ticket down to Mexico and set up a really pretty shoot there. Get to know local Mexican vendors, work with them and create relationships down there. And then use those images to promote yourself for future Mexican work. And it's a great way to connect with vendors and florists and coordinators and hotel people in tour guides and all this stuff. It's a great way to connect with them and you're offering something, All of them. You're giving them photos that our prices that are gonna be beautiful, that are gonna help them promote themselves so they're willing to do anything to help you. And then they're also spreading the word and putting it on their websites and their instagram and all this we like. Not only are you creating more press, you're creating Mexican press for yourself, and all of a sudden, you're Mexican photographer, right? And you just created that entire, you know, interest in that whole buzz about yourself by just traveling there and creating a style shoot. So sometimes their hair brained ideas can really be a great marketing tool for you to get future jobs there. And that goes into approaching vendors and venues that you want to work with. Also trying new photography ideas for me as the biggest thing. The whole idea with James Bond was awesome, and that was like a new idea. Never tried but what I had never tried before with compositing images. I'd never really photo shopped images before. And I wanted to try something new and to see what it was like and see how far I could push it. And maybe I could use that to enhance my travel brand and making a little more sexy and a little more polished. And why not like, Why do you have to stay doing the exact same thing? I love trying new things and ideas, so I wanted to do a shoot where I tried a new photography style and I composited the images and and didn't know where there was a little bit more like HDR looking that I normally at it my stuff. But it was a fun way for me to test out a new style that had never done before. And so that's one of my favorite reasons why you styled shoots and, of course, increasing your outreach. So the more you create buzz about yourself and the more people you involved in your project, that more outreach and you're going to get Who says that you can't reaching travel brand and asked them like, Hey, wanted to South shoot on one of your trips? I can use it to promote. I'll give you the images that promote you. Can you help pull together this amazing tour and we'll give you the images like there's so many ways that you can leverage were powerful as photographers, and I think that's what we're forgetting. Is that yes, we have to do all this writing to maybe get seen, But our photography ultimately is really valuable, and it's what stands apart. What makes you different? Because everyone has their own style and everyone needs images like I don't care how far in the future, you know, everyone's like three D imagery is the next whatever, and I just think no matter what images, still, images are always gonna be needed by everyone. Like it's just that's all there is who we're never going to go out of out of demand as photographers. So that's how I use my styled shoots.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with RSVP

Travel Gear List

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Art, Life, and Business Discount Code
Writing & SEO Guide for Travel Magazines
Sammy's Photo School Discount Code
Novica Discount Code

Ratings and Reviews


I've been listening for, like, two hours. OMG. Like, I could, like, you know, get more from this if, like, she stopped jibbering and get to, like, you know, the topic? She sounds more like a rambling stream-of-thought teenager than a mature adult giving a succinct organized presentation. In two hours, I have, like, learned about two or three things I can, like, use. Like, Ehhhh...? It's like, bor-ing! Like, whutttt? Is she, like, 15 or what? Sheesh.

a Creativelive Student

I have to start by saying that I was lucky enough to be part of the live audience in this class! What Laura has shared this 2 days, is something that will have taken me a few years to learn. Thank you for remanding me that we create our own opportunities and we have to go for what we want instead of waiting for it to happened and will these tips your share in this class, will make it a lot easier to approach editors or potential clients to be able to conquer my goals! Thanks you very much Laura and Creative Live for making all these possible for the photo community all around the world. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Student Work