What is a styled shoot?
Styled shoots, sometimes referred to as themed shoots or themed sessions, are a photographer’s creative vision. Every element of the session is planned in advance. Props, location, wardrobe and outfit changes, accessories, models, lighting, the vibe or theme–everything. A styled shoot serves many purposes as well. Getting out of a creative rut, showing work you’d like to have more of, submitting to blogs and magazines, and more. In my case, I chose to plan a shoot for all of the reasons, but mostly to see what I could create if I had full control. Styled shoots are often wedding related, with trendy elements like outdoor chandeliers, succulent boutonnieres, and full sleeve lace victorian dresses. But they can present in any form, like my spring styled shot for example. I’ll talk more about that below.
Planning our styled shoot
Planning for the shoot actually began in Winter. I thought it would be amazing to work with a model (for the first time), but I really wanted to do an all-white snow shoot with rose accents. I was pretty open to the model and sorted through inquiries looking for one that I found inspiring. That’s how I came across Emily Gould–a Denver model, actress, dancer, and all around classy lady.
Winter slipped away from us. The right dress for my vision never came along, and I couldn’t settle for second best. So with spring blossoms on the rise, every aspect of the shoot fell together. The iridescent red hoop skirt came from a local thrift store, and the dress from target. While I certainly appreciate designer and handcrafted items, as a budding photographer on a budget these items fit the bill just perfectly. I asked Emily to bring her favorite accessories and a cropped top, and she came prepared. I scouted everywhere in Loveland and Fort Collins for the perfect rosy pink blossoms. Benson Sculpture Garden in Loveland was the epitome of perfect. The timing could not have been more on point. This was the last week of the blossoms!
Shooting with Emily Gould
Emily has a background in a wide variety of dance genres, so every single frame she was giving me something different. Something I’ve never seen before, reading my mind. It was one of the quietest shoots I’ve ever done, because she needed no directing. Well, except for Paramore playing on Pandora, which is the music of her choice. I work with off camera flash in a medium softbox, and she felt the light, felt her angles, and felt the moments I wanted something new. I owe the success of the shoot to our chemistry as respective artists, and I have so much respect for her talent. But I don’t need to tell you that she’s talented, just take a look.
So what’s next?
- Emily and I are already excited to plan another shoot, but this time it will likely be in my new town of Colorado Springs. There are so many incredible scenic spots here, I am just beside myself with excitement to plan something new.
- I hope to submit this shoot to a blog or magazine, and see if we can spread this gallery to a larger audience. I’ve never been published before and I can’t think of a better time than right now to try for it.
- I am in touch with several small business designers and local models to plan new shoots. My soul is always hungry, and these shoots are seriously filling food for it.
- Follow my work here on my blog, but be sure to follow me on instagram and facebook for daily updates as well. I love hearing feedback on my work and getting to know those who appreciate what I’m putting out there, and I love to support you right back.