Get Your Work Noticed: How to Style A Photo Shoot

Posted by on Jun 27, 2014 in Photography | Comments


Wouldn’t you love to have your photography work published? Many wedding blogs and publications are looking for creative ideas to feature both online and in print. One of the ways to get photos you want published is to create a stylized shoot. Creating a styled shoot gives you more control over the photographs and allows your creative vision to take shape. Here are some tips on how to style a photo shoot successfully.

Learn how to style a unique & creative product photo shoot for work worthy of publication.

Table with styled food for bridal shower

Photos via Red Shoes Photography

1. Create a vision for what you’d like to achieve.

Knowing the theme or look for your shoot is the imperative to making sure your shoot is successful. You will need to create something that has not been done before, or a new twist on something the editors see all the time. Being able to articulate your vision to the other vendors involved is so important for creating a cohesive look and strong image content.

plate of powdered donuts

2. Work with vendors you know and trust.

Building a team of capable, talented vendors is the best thing you can do to make sure your shoot goes the way you want it to. Manage expectations in advance of what you need from them to ensure a successful shoot. And, let them know how they will benefit from the shoot. When the vendors are not being paid to participate, I always offer them photographs from the shoot in the hope that the pictures will be picked up by a publication for maximum exposure.

bridal shower invitations

3. Take your time to plan the exact shots you need.

Since this is a contrived shoot, you are able to decide the location, timing and arrangement. This allows you to take advantage of unusual locations or an ideal time of day — it’s your chance to take a perfect cake shot or to have a perfectly backlit bouquet. You get to decide all of the details, so use them to your advantage.

Styled shoot for bridal shower

4. Details, details, details!

Make sure to take close up and detailed shots of all the beautiful features that the other vendors have come up with. I usually start in super close and then zoom out for context.

For example, if you have a table full of desserts, start with one piece of one dessert, zoom out for the plate, then zoom out more for the full table. You will want a wide variety of perspectives and angles to make your images interesting, which is what publications ultimately are looking for.

plated desserts: fruit kabobs

5. Join a publishing service.

It may benefit you to join a service such as Two Bright Lights, which allows you to upload photos into one of their galleries and then submit them to a wide variety of publications. For more information on getting your work published, check out my article “How to get your wedding photography published.”

To get more information on photographing details and products, check out Craftsy’s class Shoot It: A Product Photography Primer. If you’re more interested in learning how to create unique and stylized portraiture, then check out the class Behind the Scenes of a Creative Portrait Shoot

What’s your best tip for a successful styled photo shoot?