I have an internal struggle when it comes to styled shoots. At the beginning of my business, they were very helpful in getting established and showing off my style and what I can do. But after a while, I had established my worth and had a strong portfolio. I no longer needed to prove myself. So, if you’ve followed me on social media for a while, then you may know that some time ago I declared them wasteful and swore them off all together. I thought that was the end of the story.
But as I stepped away from doing them I learned something. There was a void created in my creative life. While real weddings are absolutely beautiful and filled with sentimental moments that I like to think of as “the real deal”, there are some limitations placed on designers during these occasions. I certainly don’t want it to come across as though I don’t love my brides or that I don’t want the focus of my business to be real weddings, however there are so many flowers to be created in such a small amount of time. The designs need to be very functional and fall within certain budgets and various other perimeters. The brides have color palettes, flower favorites and other desires of their own. There’s nothing wrong with any of those things but they’re not always 100% my vision or what I want to be creating, it’s about making someone else happy.
I went two years without creating a styled shoot. I cranked out weddings and enjoyed a couple of really beautiful wedding seasons. But I never did anything for myself. I didn’t create a bouquet just for creations’ sake. I stop dreaming about new color palettes. I stayed within a safety net, refusing to gamble with new flower choices or design styles because if they didn’t pan out, there was a real bride out there whose day I would be ruining.
I am thinking that perhaps this is true of others in the wedding industry – photographers, pastry chefs, stationary designers, etc. We’re creative, we all like to try something new, am I right?
This spring I have put together a couple styled shoots and suddenly I was reminded of how much work they are! So much work. But so rewarding. I feel refreshed. I’m going to jump on my soapbox at this point and remind you of an event that I have coming up with Emilee Mae Photography. She’s hosting Shoot Simply, a one day styled shoot photography workshop. Registration ends today. Today! This event is so perfect for photographers who also need to rejuvenate their creative juices. It will give you the opportunity to photograph editorial worthy details and revamp your portfolio, without all the work and expense of organizing your own styled shoot. Plus an opportunity to network with others in the industry, ask questions of a floral designer/wedding planner (me!) and a really fabulous lunch will be served.
While I don’t plan on doing styled shoot in excess, I do believe they have a time and place and purpose. Here’s a link to the inspiration board that Emilee Mae and I have been putting together for her workshop. If you feel like this is something that you’d like to add to your portfolio, then I highly recommend you register for this event before it’s too late. This is open to photographers of all skill levels and all photography styles.
To register, click here. Can’t wait to see you there!