Styled Shoots: Goal, Theme and Story
Just to clarify from the last section always and foremost I never want there to be any type of misnomer my priority always on a wedding day is with my bright one hundred percent if I don't have a single second to shoot details I won't shoot them or to make a time on that wedding day to shoot them in a way that is most beneficial given the parameters that I'm given I don't want anybody to think that oh this is how it should be done no no no brides are always first having communication with them and with them in advance to get the time that you need is great too also yeah that's just it sorry sometimes I see also made me realize I don't have a second point so this particular section we are going to get into a styled shoot three ways I want to talk about things from a different perspective and dissect what I did in three recent styled shoes I want to explain the perspective from which I was coming the perspective from which the team was coming we're going to dissect the goal the theme and...
the story for all of them I will actually if you guys okay so we're actually gonna move right on into them so please forget thiss particular section are this person particular shoot this is jesse hacked designs done by jesse hack again I'm talking about editorial stipe style photography this isn't for everybody, nor is that everybody's cup of tea. However, I hope that we could take a certain elements and everybody could apply it to their own businesses. What we wanted to get for the shoot was to do something completely different, something that hadn't been done before in a traditional sense, and I understood that the goal gooding in to the shoot with that it was going to make people feel a certain way that was the goal well, that was a good thing or a bad thing was irrelevant to the and part of the decisions that we made rubbed people the wrong way, and that was fine. We knew that this was for a non traditional bride, but we wanted to show what could be done to maybe push people you think differently about their wedding and again, we wanted to have people love it or absolutely hated, and that was fine, and the goal was yes for submission because we knew that we were gonna attract a very specific type of blogger. This was done, I left all because you will be if you purchase, of course, you'll be able to download the pdf with all this information so that the metadata is included for these photos, I shot this with one hundred one hundred millimeter macro f three point two, one, five hundred second and two hundred s o you'll be seeing them in the lower left hand corner, so I'm not going to have to go through them all, but it'll be there as your reference point. We focused for fifties, a nineteen fifties model, so the idea was to use a lot of poochie prints, orange yellows, bright colors that would make people feel something again we use. I worked with christa from jail designs, the girl who incorporated the artichokes also incorporated come quartz there's, this appeal to what she does, and I absolutely love it because it's so different? I've never had a bride who wanted come clots in her arrangements, but either way, it's making people think differently, that it doesn't always have to be a bouquet of red roses. We also include what we try to include would be a drink missing of that particular era, and at this particular time we did a station for drinks, so we wanted to have sign ege for each of those drinks we wanted to have. How they drink was done as well is different colors of the drinks to incorporate the color from the shoot. Also, I had the luxury of working with melody, brian and the girl who designed the cake from our very first shoot, now we understand that this cake is for one very selective bride, but the idea was merely to show what could be done in a cake and have it reinterpreted by a different style of bride. We were totally ok with that we knew were giving people an opinion toe absolutely love or hate it. Now what we're going to be talking about tomorrow is giving actions for our couples and models to take during a shoot, because if we want to raise the bar for styled shoots and we want to become stylists, since we don't need to also become the art directors for that shoots, we wear many hats in the wedding industry, and we have to just oh that's when talk a little bit more about how to give them stuff to do in this particular picture, obviously somebody's pouring the drink, but what I wanted to focus on was the glassware that it's being used and the particular, um, drink container canister to can't know it wasn't a decanter. I don't know, whatever the drink has cut the bottle in which the drink resides was being poured on and again making sure that it was referenced to that particular time frame. One thing you want to do is also given action. Without being without making it look like it's completely forced and the way that you could do that is to put something in the foreground and have the subject's behind it so clearly looks like what's happening is that there's a toast being given or they're being roasted or toasted her over the case may be and they happen to be kissing at that particular moment, so making sure that we're getting two perspectives because j t is also shooting with me during this time that actually works quite well when it comes to editorial and telling a story at a later point in time, this, uh, shoot was featured on green wedding shoes and some people liked it and some people hated it and part of the reason why some people hated like who would ever wear a big a bow on their head on their wedding day or the eyelashes that we put the model and they said we're absolutely ridiculous we dramatic ties did it and here's the thing at the end of the day there was a threat on the not forum where some people said I can't believe that that she was done it's absolutely ridiculous either way it made people feel a certain way about my work and I was just is happy because they sent traffic to my site that what otherwise would not have happened if the shoot had already been there done that pleasant shot moving on if something I feel x about this and then I go and post it they take enough time to post it somewhere else and send traffic to where I wanted to go and they could look at the rest my portfolio and know that it's not one hundred percent you know, bows in their hairs and like this a shimmery dress that's totally fine that was the goal I feel like we accomplished it was it totally different absolutely did I use it a lot my portfolio not necessarily but the goal was to make people feel a certain way about it. The next shoot was in collaboration with amanda hour of in the now weddings how this you came to happen was that I mentioned before that for some reason I really not asked to shoot particular shoots and I've become ok with that so I was thinking about what I wanted to do, how to approach my next style shoot and I realized I can't just do a salad shoot for the sake of doing a stealth shoot so I wanted to rethink the style shoot so I was in the shower and I got this idea and I quickly e mailed a wedding designer and he said this is my idea what if we take this idea of these brides who are doing a lot of d I y events but I don't attract the d I y right I took the bride who is in a financial state where she can hire somebody to design it, but what I'm seeing is a lot of brides want tio do a d I y element to say that they did a d I y element not necessary that they need two so I was like, can we give a certain d I y element to make them feel like they're a part of their day but reconfigure it so that it's done by a professional and yet you put your thumbprint in some of the pieces she says I absolutely can run with this idea so that then became the idea the chute creating and hiring a professional but incorporating d I y element to that story. So what transpired was in the in the creating a whole idea around bright color palette that will make somebody feel a certain way and incorporating that little cross like emblem to imp including their day is like the plus sign between sarah and stephen. What you'll see here is to take particular notice is what amanda created in the background was a silver type of edifice and what she could be able to put flowers in it and she went to home depot and she scoured the aisles and she put it together herself little did we realize that would come and actually play very well tio what we were trying to do later if you take notice of the utensils, this then became the d I y element as she was at home depot, she noticed that you dip your own utensils, teo, the particular color that you want. So she found the linen that she wanted and was able to find, like it's. I think it's called deputy do, and you could dip your utensils and make your own utensils. It's actually really easy, and you could do it probably in an afternoon, and that then became our d I y element in addition to her creating the center the centerpiece to it, her making it herself but says but she said, leave that portion to professional and leave this portion of the dea element to yourselves. We incorporated a brightly colored cake, we understand that this probably wouldn't be a cake for a lot of brides, but again, we're making people have an idea of what to think about that type of thing. This is a picture that he took because we needed to take pictures of the d I y elements and then actually happening. So remember, I came up with the idea, and then amanda said, I can take care of it, and then from a photographer's perspective, I said, amanda. What you need to bring our x y and z this is how I need to shoot somebody actually doing it and we set it up in good light and somebody did it in front of me I took pictures of it so included steps one through five of how somebody could do it at home then after we got all the pictures and we felt good with it I pitched it then to abby that's tell me pretty abby ended up featuring the shoot from the style of details that we wanted in addition to a lower portion of the block post dedicated to how a bride can do a d I y element for her own utensils the reason why we chose tell me pretty because abby attracts the bride who is who does die white elements but who also has the resources to pay a professional to do a lot of d I y elements and do you want on her own is a very strategic choice for us what we didn't anticipate happening with the ability for other people on the web to see what was happening with the shoot. So what happened was we were able to get featured on the home depot blawg so home depot came across the post and then they gave me photography credit gave abby credit and then they said, look what you can do he looked you could still your wedding at home depot so all of a sudden became a win win win, so it was crazy. It was really, really, really good, and they actually wanted it worked very well because they were trying to market more towards women as buyers and having women think differently as they roam the aisles of home depot, which is very cool. Our photos got featured in a very different capacity, which wasn't a benefit to begin with, but later manifested itself as such. Ok, am I going too fast? Okay, I probably would have slowed down anyway. I just tried tio like, so this is a recent shoot that he did with thirty one bits jewelry. Now, how this happened and part of the reason why I'm bringing this particular shoot up is because I feel like the connections that we make outside of the industry are just as important as the connections we make in the industry and being aware of your surroundings. I just randomly happened to be at a church bible study, and I met a couple girls we all hung out, and then people start asking, like, as a introduction of what we all did, I say, I'm a photographer and then jessie said I am with thirty one bits and I had never heard of it, so she described what she did and I was like, oh, that's, great and at the end, somebody had told her that I was a wedding photographer, so she approached me at the end of the night. It was like, hey, thirty one bits is designing a wedding jewelry line. Do you think that you would be interested in shooting the jewelry for us? And I and I said, yeah, that sounds great, I think that we could collaborate and do something really cool with it. Well, what ended up happening was they needed a commercial photographer to shoot their jewelry, and I wasn't I'm not a commercial photographer, and I know my limitations and they ended up going with another photographer who did a phenomenal job and was so well fit for what they needed, but of course it stung, you know, it's like man alive, I really wanted to shoot something like that. It wasn't my time about almost about it. Almost a year later, jessi emailed me out of blue and said, what we want to do is we're coming out with a new line, but how we want to pitch the new line is to make it to put it in front of brides because what happened was they created the line but all of a sudden that he didn't know how to get it in front of their target audience and I said I think I can I think I know how to do that and so we kind of came up with ideas about what we could do with issue we created the shoot around getting it pitched in front of a green wedding shoes we knew we know that jen is really into organic weddings and she's really socially conscious so we get the idea really good fit so we style the shoot around what we thought jen would like with the hopes of general feature but we didn't tell her this this is just what we had anticipated so we hired summer we I mean the most my pocket thirty one this hired summer to style the shoot and what we what transpired was images that ended up getting produced the idea was to one be aware of your surroundings too but people know what you do three be competent and knowing what you can and cannot do and for know that if you're supposed to be shooting things it will eventually happen for you um this is just a photograph that I got of the necklace the details at the bottom fifty millimeter one point eight one one thousands of the second and one sixty s o yes that she actually inspired a lot of our new brand because it's just well, I like the look of it was really cool and like exactly feel so you definitely hit it was awesome thank you that that was that was really, really, really good because a lot of work went into it and I like to say I was much less hands on I was more hands off for this particular project because they are a business they know their brand, they know their styling I didn't have to step in I was more a little bit as brought on as a vendor in this particular situation which was justice fine but they depended on me because what was happening was the photographs they got from the commercial photographer who did a freaking phenomenal job perfect job was that they were almost too perfect and almost unrelated well because your average bright isn't five ten and ninety five pounds and gorgeously done in the perfect setting all day right? We work with a myriad of shapes and sizes. So what they said is we want to create like more of a girl next door appeal and be able to create a shoot around approachable brides to get in front of our target audio so I simply shot it the only way I know how, which is like I did on a wedding day so this particular photo thie details are also at the bottom it did end up getting featured thankfully on green wedding shoes, which was a very cool thing and social media is a very crazy thing it actually makes the world a lot smaller. So after we shared the chute on thirty one bits, I shared a sneak peek out on twitter and editor of an online wedding magazine entitled utterly engaged saw and she asked if she would be able to feature the weddings from the shoot and so I contacted thirty one bits and they were just like this would be awesome because their goal the thing about thirty one bits is they went to uganda and they found a team of women who actually make their jewelry from pieces of bits of paper and what they're doing with the profits of the of the money is to reinvest in the women's lives to free them from financial oppression they do age treatment to do education that was something I wanted to get behind and so I wanted to get more in front of an audience so utterly engaged featured it. However, now we go back to being polite with bloggers because jen wants exclusivity. We had to email jen and sajjan utterly engaged wants to feature it would he mind? And she says, I don't mind as long as the photos that I have chosen for my feature are duplicated and utterly engaged with photos that chose were they on your blogged also because that is on of this yes, they're on my book. Ok? Yes. So, as the photographer, I have a different set. I have a different set of parameters in which I can work. However, I refrained from poet from take up from posting these photos. I had these photos for sitting in these photos were about three weeks, because when we submitted them to jen, she says, I'll be featuring it, but she has a an editorial calendar, which we'll get into tomorrow. I will be able to get in and for another two weeks, not a problem. Great, I'm gonna hold off on this post until you get it. So I gave her first, right? And then we coincided our block post to happen on the same day to do like a blitzkrieg push towards thirty one bits, so being strategic in how you approach your work, so two of this, like same image would be on green wedding shoes and your personal and it's crazy because I photographed, I photographed the shoot, and then that the following day, I sent over a sneak peak, which is what really talking about tomorrow, said the sneak peek to the creative team on I posted a pic, a few of my favorite and and when I saw what actually the editors wanted for their further editorial look book from thirty one fits they were so different, and I was just like, oh, my goodness, and the photos that they chose were right on for what they wanted to accomplish, just having somebody else look at your work from an editorial perspective is so powerful, and then the photos of they chose, I just I saw it, like I see what you guys are doing, I get it. Good job, that mean, awesome at what you're doing, I'm just going to continue her top, her this's, the last final sheet will get in. Um, no, we're gonna go into q and a, but home. Great, we have a ten minutes if that's ok to get into q and a high powered through that section, I know I went really fast, the pds, they're going to be made available later on tonight, and all the meditated, however, I can't get into questions now. Yes, john. So you made contact with people that are very influential in the wedding industry as faras they're blogging and and what they're able to publish and cut out, and something that we've kind of talked about so far already is building a relationship with someone from on one in a professional standpoint, but how do you navigate between your relationships with people that you count his friends versus those that are also in this industry so glad you asked that question I'm so by because I've been feeling remember that voice of authority by talking about I'm feeling like maybe I have the voice of friendship okay? I don't ever want it to come across like I'm b f eppes with any of these editors and probably a little bit closer to summer just by proximity of where we live and social circles and just random events that we have to be a and hurt sister in law brother in law having to go to the same church that we go to occasionally so there's these just weird connections other than that these connections that I've been able to make with bloggers happened through one mistakes that I have made and then they have been so willingly ready to correct two constants emissions three being ok with denial them saying hey, this is not a good fit and me not being well all should you denial you know it's just being like you know what? Ok, you're right it's not a good fit I'm sorry but thank you for it. Whatever the case may be and handling and navigating it, I I don't really know abby on a really personal level I have met her a few times I have met jen from green wedding shoes but it's not like I'm just like a girl when goshi shopping not at all remotely I think that constants emissions I think that supporting them via their like facebook pages talking to them on twitter doing anything you can to genuinely care about the person as opposed to what they could possibly do for your business well always be beneficial that is probably the only way that I could speak into it from that perspective yes, jasmine so first I want to know we have a special friend ashley goodwin way happens to be in this chatroom so actually been one for those who don't know was on our last creative live session for the wedding photography business and she's just like she's like a party in a box and not only that but she was also on twitter with yes for the fix yes and so ashley said to me in the chat room just when I thought I have heard everything jasmine could possibly share she shares this great course so again from somebody who spent time with you on the road has learned from you already so much saying it is I just love in which he's learning that's really cool thank you, actually and she has a question okay eso actually question she just buttered you up so she could be seen weii dio all right, so the question is, hey, I would love to know how jasmine would suggest that you verbalized to a vendor that you have never worked with that you are interested in doing a style shoot with them ok one thing teo I tried to really not and nothing and I could say this because it's actually and she'll know that it's nothing personal I'm actually trying to stay away from the word vendor because I don't know I think it kind of degradation like what we do as great professionals I think that a florist is an inventor is a person believe if she's really good at what she does she's an artist and I think that a makeup artist is an artist you know we see girls about making it all the sunni turnout like whoa boot up and so you know and it's totally joking but the for the creative team how do you approach somebody from a creative team you haven't worked with? Well, I think that from that perspective they're going to be expecting that you're looking to them for something obviously how then could they trust you? I think the first approach for me would be to not email and ask for anything I would do an introduction and I would also tell them that I'm following them on facebook and twitter because I'm interested to see what they're doing I may or may not get a response either way that is not important nor should it dissuade what I'm trying to accomplish what I'm trying to accomplish is simply established communication and visibility with that particular vendor any other time that that if because I'm following them on social media, I may know what they're doing. Every so often I might drop a line like I just saw your you just saw the photo shoot that was featured on sound, pretty great job or in a personal status update. Like really loved the flowers from. And I know she's in hawaii, like I really bought the flowers from how come in and make a china at this wedding featured on stormy pretty, I would highlight both that vendor and sammy pretty because what it's doing is extending visibility on both those networks to ensure that you're just saying, I really like what you're doing, period. And then it actually had the opportunity to go to some sort of industry mixer to make a personal introduction. I can't help but feel that the importance of creating a personal introduction really does change the dynamic, and somebody is asking you for something. So if she had the opportunity to go out of her way send a box of like, what do they call them? Academia nets, which is probably really cheesy, and I'm clearly a tourist, whatever hawaiian coffee, kona coffee to her and just say I moved to hawaii and I'm really looking forward to working with you. At some point. The fostering of that relationship will probably take more time then maybe her making that introduction in person. So if she can make the introduction in person, the favor could be asked sooner. If she has a record that person from a distance, it will probably be longer either way, invest in that person personally before you ever ask for a favor professionally, it will take a bit of time. But that's totally fine. You established goodwill with that person. And even if it's of that person's being like oh, my baby sitter just flaked on me. What a bummer if ashley's free that night actually twitter on up and say like I know I'm a stranger but I moved the island more than willing to watch your kids listen that's totally unprofessional what's called the hustle I did that I babysat other for talking us kids no like anything, tio. Get and show that person that I just don't want something for me I'm not asking for handouts and really here to work and show who I am as a person that was a long winded sorry I give a long winded answers got a lord we need to change that ok, excellent answers you answer every thing alright, rick star one photography is wondering it depends on the goal I realized, but can you list the common pieces of the creative team waken do it with as little as a florist slash designer the very first shoot that I did was a florist slash designer I don't think it's enough to give the floors the responsibility of designing if that's not hurt skills his or her skill set in this particular case. In my particular case, it wass in summer's particular case it wass and can be so maybe that's advantageous if, say you can get a designer and a florist and a baker those three elements you'll be fine if you do and one two double as multiples that you feel confident with it for the sake of saying being like eleven floors and yeah, sure I can design and they don't really have design experience that's not really what you're looking for, you're looking for somebody who is confident saying I can do both and I have done so so two to three other teammates excellent and a question from leaves of grass is I live in okay walt whitman really I like this person already really okay leaves of grass in the analyst question really smartly really smartly wow. Watch that already. Okay, okay, here we go. Sirio okay I live in a rural area in a low income in low income pinkham there aren't a lot of high end vendors and the majority of my bride's idea what does this put me at a disadvantage for getting published? No, I don't think so. I just think that you have bet this that leaves of grass has to start shooting details even if their d I y in an editorial fashion and we've already talked summer already got into how leaves of grass can do this and also to submit to blog's that really cater to d I y then it would be advantageous because even if say leaves of grass was able to submit to a block that didn't cater to d I y and cared to ballroom weddings and for some reason it got featured there it was a bad fit it's not even necessarily that the blog's readership would even appreciate what that photographer can do so first focus on the audience of the blogger and see how you could leverage it from that so do I think socioeconomic status has anything to do with submissions? No, not necessarily it's just finding the right fit for it. That would be the main, the main component. Thank you. Do you before we get into any of the ones we have, maybe one or two questions left. You guys, anything for the day? No. Ok, I'm thinking maybe could take one or two. Okay, um, angel are con photography is wondering how many blog's should we focus on and be loyal to those blog's? Because there's so many out there, and you can spend a lot of time doing that? Well, I'll answer from two different perspectives. When I first started, there was just a few, and it feels almost as if I've grown up with those blog's, so essentially by default, became sort of allegiance to them because they helped me in the beginning, and it was like a mutually beneficial relationship, so I'm kind of stuck with them. However, when you're first starting, I think it's difficult to submit your wedding to a highly competitive blawg and not feel discouraged if it didn't get featured. So, do your research on probably mohr blog's than those use fired two, and then create a pyramid of sorts. So searching types of weddings, kid, maybe be pushed into a higher form of the pyramid, and kind of know where you're submitting to, so that you're not always getting no no no no no start you know where you think is a good fit for that particular wedding and then move from there so for me I'm pretty much or follow allegiant to three or four wedding blocks because I feel they have been the most beneficial for marketing purposes post what they push towards my poor towards me. John, can you recommend a resource for investigating and researching different yes, I will actually posted I'm gonna post it either on my block or on facebook but I'm going to do that tomorrow and all this because it's actually a long link that I was like, well, I could probably shorten it so I'll do that tomorrow it's a great question list that because it's literally a dizzy all this state of all these winning but it's probably one hundred twenty resource is for photographers to get into with a small description of what they cater to modern wedding sleek weddings country wedding city wedding southern weddings so you have a very good idea of where you should be targeting great so the last question that's ok, how do you keep reinventing? Where do you look for new ideas? Are there other photographers who you follow? I think it's a great question to end on because I think that in our industry we have a tendency to look perhaps horizontally what how didn't reinvent ourselves and I think it's somewhat beneficial toe look vertically, so to look outside of our industry and in two different components so what, you what can you apply from walking into? Certainly table, you know, if you walk in there you like, oh, I really like this how can I employ it? Sometimes I have a really great customer service experience at a store, and I'm like, I really want to duplicate this in my business how can I copy what they're doing? How unique recreate this syrians also, clearly I'm inspired by fashion magazines, so I'm constantly looking to that, and I actually love the way that musicians rien event themselves, not necessarily saying that, like in the wedding industry, it could be duplicated, but I really haven't appreciation for how somebody can come out with a new record and say, this is who I am at this particular moment, it's reflected who I've been in the what have traversed over the past year. I absolutely love that I think a reinvention of a brand is really cool when you could do it as a photographer. So that's a good question to end on