I began my business on the heels of obtaining my BFA in Photography. Like most Photographers, Weddings started out as becoming a way of supporting myself, but it grew to become something that would be so much more. What used to be a love for Fashion, became a love affair with a bride in a gorgeous gown celebrating the best day of her life and the change in focus felt like it happened overnight. Suddenly my photographic journey had purpose, and I had to think fast if I was ever going to make a name for myself.
Before I began styled shoots I realized very quickly that reaching your target bride is REALLY hard when you are shooting low budget weddings. Rather than Brides wanting you for your work, they want you for how cheap you will document their day. As much as I wanted to pat myself on the back for how someone (anyone) found my work I came to find out It was probably because I was advertising photographing a wedding for $500, and just like that budget, all the other details were pulled together with a shoestring budget. Whenever I posted these photos from the wedding day, showing "Yes! I do weddings! I can do your wedding too!" the response was very lack luster, to none at all. From my experience, I have found Brides want to be charmed. Brides want to see beautiful things to compliment their beautiful vision of their day. Knowing a small town in Idaho was only going to keep bringing low ball budget weddings, I know something had to be changed.
1: Styled shoots allowed me to produce the images I wanted to show my clients.
Too often have I met photographers that say "I don't shoot for free". Why not? It allows you to produce the work you don't get a lot of time to do otherwise. On a wedding day you may not get the gorgeous sunset glow shots because they will be dancing, or they will be doing their toasts. I can discuss many things with a bride and groom before hand, and even offer suggestions, but sometimes I don't get much say at the end of the day.
Styled shoots allowed me the creative control of EVERYTHING. Lighting, Location and a style that I want my Brand to be associated with.
2: Styled Shoots allowed me to get connected in the industry, FAST.
I know a thing or two about starting over and relocating your business. Over the last 5 years we have lived in Connecticut, California, Georgia, Tennessee, Idaho and more recently, Oregon. Honestly, nothing was scarier than picking up every few months and starting from scratch knowing you will have to drum up new business. What was worse, was knowing that my existing client base never knew where I was. Styled shoots allowed me the freedom to connect with vendors such as florist, dress designers etc, who would eventually allow me to get referral inquiries, and they could use my images to blow up their social media to allow their business to flourish. Trust me, when you get interconnected and treat other vendors with kindness, it goes a long way!
3: Styled Shoots improved our web presence through publishing
This could be said for real weddings as well. But anytime you submit to a popular wedding blog, it does wonders for your SEO (Search engine optimization). A good styled shoot that is well executed with a strong theme could have the potential to be picked up by multiple. On top of that you will get massive traffic from Pinterest through the Re-pins from that blog. Publications for one styled shoot jumped up my google search fundability 6 whole pages! So, it definitely can make a huge difference!
Want more Photography Tips and Tricks? Stay tuned as we will be adding a education portion to our site! :)