Shooting with style

A couple of months ago I was invited to take part in a styled shoot. With real weddings few and far between at present I was keen to get involved.

But what is a ‘styled shoot’?

Basically it’s a coming together of talented wedding suppliers, usually on location somewhere a little different or maybe a wedding venue.

The idea behind a styled shoot is simple – to photograph staged wedding scenes. These normally have a theme, in a way that showcases the suppliers. They highlight the dresses, the hair & makeup and the props with everyone involved going away with some great promo shots for their websites and social media.

Sometimes the photos are featured by magazines and this in turn is great publicity for all involved. I’m pleased to say that this particular styled shoot was published by Bride Magazine last week.

In my ten years of photographing weddings, I had never taken part in a styled shoot, so I was really excited at the opportunity.

Styled shoots vary depending on the number of contributors. You can have stylists dressing the models, designers building and decorating the ‘set’ right through to shoot directors who have the vision for the shoot and direct the whole photoshoot.

From a photographer’s point of view, it’s a chance to have a play! Real weddings are usually against the clock and to a tight schedule. There isn’t always time to experiment with different poses, lighting techniques or get quite as creative as you may want to. 

Anyone who tells you that being a photographer isn’t a continuous learning curve, or that they don’t need the practice that a styled shoot gives you obviously hasn’t tried one!

Good Vs Evil

This shoot was located in a ruined church in South Norfolk on a lovely sunny day. It was brought together by Hayley Keenes from Hayley’s Hair. Her vision was good vs evil, snow white and the gothic influence coming face to face with two models. 

I was given full autonomy on the direction of the shoot, being a wedding photographer this comes quite naturally. The location provided us with numerous different photo opportunities and the low summer sun allowed for some creative lighting.

This really was a great collaboration of a small team that worked fantastically well and I was really proud of the resulting photos .