When we have a free weekend coming up, sometimes it's refreshing to organize a styled shoot and practice shots you've been anxious to take at a wedding! Styled shoots can be intimidating to many first-time photographers, but let us take you behind the scenes and show you how we're able to pull it off!
booking a venue
The first thing we booked, and always recommend booking first, was the wedding venue. For our styled shoot last month, we were so lucky to work at the Farmhouse in Montgomery, TX! What a dream it was to work there. Here are some tips for booking a venue:
Check out their social media accounts. Make sure this is a space that you love and is cohesive with your brand & style!
Reach out via email AND phone. Sometimes it's easiest to talk quickly over the phone and get all your questions answered.
Ask if you'll be the only ones on the property and how everything will be set up when you arrive.
Don't forget to ask what the rate is for a styled shoot!
Finding your Models
Our best recommendation is to join Facebook groups in your area! There are more out there than you realize! We joined 5-6 before finding our couple. There are two options from there. Some models will work for free in exchange for your professional photos! The term for this type of exchange in photography communities is called TFP (Time for Prints). If you don't do TFP, you will have to pay a professional model for their time. In our case, we worked with TFP models, who happened to be engaged themselves! Choosing a couple who are in a relationship in real life can help even more so with quality chemistry.
Borrowing a Gown
Naturally, the next step would be collaborating with a bridal boutique. Some may consider this the hardest part. A lot of bridal gown shops are hesitant to lend a wedding dress for a styled shoot outdoors, understandably so, due to any dirt or damage to the dress. So just keep trying! Reach out via email or direct messaging on social. We were so lucky to work with Belle Âme Bridal in Houston on this project! The gown they lent us was absolutely gorgeous and everyone on their team was super friendly. We would recommend any bride to shop at their boutique!
Finding a Florist
Florists are the fun part! Most every florist I reach out to are open to doing TFP with photographers, i.e. arranging a bouquet in exchange for photos. The only difficulty you may have is finding one who isn't booked on the day you need them for. For example, we reached out to a florist we loved on Instagram, and they were unavailable. BUT they pointed us in the direction of Holyoak Floral Designs and it was meant to be! I mean, how BEAUTIFUL is that bouquet?? It was so great working with her. Definitely beautiful work.
Hair & Makeup Artist
Like florists, we looked for a quality hair & makeup artist on Instagram! We're thankful to have found Maria because she did a fabulous job matching the inspiration photos we sent her ahead of time!
Decor & Styling
Last but certainly not least, we decided to do a tablescape at the Farmhouse! It was sort of a last minute decision, but it turned out so BEAUTIFUL! Crissy from First Day of Home was able to collaborate with us to create this beautiful design and help us with overall styling for the shoot. Her creative eye was absolutely instrumental in how well our photos turned out. Be sure to check out her beautiful blog!
Check out some more shots from our shoot below!