How to plan a styled bridal shoot

Trying to break into the wedding photography industry can be difficult. How exactly do you book the clients and weddings that you want? I had zero ideas.

I have tried the wedding shows, online marketing, flyers, etc. I just wasn’t seeing much coming back from that. Then I started to hear about styled bridal shoots. It is a shoot that is curated for the sole purpose of increasing your portfolio and media presence. SIGN ME UP!!

And that is exactly what I did. A local photographer whom I definitely look up to was styling a bridal shoot. I signed up, with not much expectations, I was blown away with how awesome the set up was and the photos I was able to get from the shoot. Some of the advantages I learned from doing a shoot like this was:

  • I get beautiful shots of beautifully laid out details. Seriously, the stuff of photographers’ dreams!
  • When posting the photos on social media, the deal is that you tag all of the vendors. No biggy. But the best part is that when you share your photos with the vendors, they have to tag and give credit to you for the image. This definitely increases your online presence.
  • You get to meet other professionals in the industry that are hustling just as hard as you are.
  • You can ask as many questions as you want, I tried to learn as much as I could.

So after this awesome experience, I wanted more. Being the hustler that I am, I decided that I can do that, I can cultivate my own styled shoot. And that is exactly what I did.

Ok, so now I wanted to create my own styled shoot. Where do I start?

Well, first I went to Pinterest.  I created a board of the colour scheme and feel that I was going for in the shoot. This way I had something to show others of what I was thinking of. Then, I called a studio space and put a date and time on hold (I had no idea if this was going to work).


Next, I posted on Facebook and Instagram groups calling for local vendors that would be willing to collaborate on a shoot, using the styled inspiration to attract the right vendors. The deal was, collaborate on the shoot and receive digital images to be used for advertising (but, of course I would need to be tagged in all photos posted. Again gaining more exposure).

To my surprise, I had an overwhelming amount of responses. Local vendors really wanted to be a part of what I was creating. And that felt great!

I was looking for a hairstylist, makeup artist, florist, invitations, décor, and anything else that vendors were offering. I had such a large response that I could actually choose the vendors that I wanted to work with.

Ok, so now I have a ton of vendors, called and told the studio to book the space and was ready to go.

But, I also needed some models. So I called up my friend and cousin to dress up as a bridesmaid and bride. The deal for them is simple. Free hair, makeup and a chance to play dress up. What girl wouldn’t be down for that? Also, when choosing your model making sure that they are comfortable in front of the camera is key.

Once I had the styled shoot planned to my surprise there were other local photographers that were interested in joining!! So I invited 4 other photographers to be a part of the shoot. Again, allowing them to develop their brand as well as expanding my social media presence.