5 Tips for Planning a Styled Shoot + Week Recap

Hey, hi, hello!It's FINALLY the weekend! Well, almost. . .As excited as I am for it to be the weekend, this week was really a great one! Let me start by saying, when an opportunity presents itself, go for it!Don't hesitate, or second guess yourself, or think that you shouldn't bother. Just go for it. Why am I saying this? Last week, I was notified by the amazing charity Wish Upon a Wedding, that I had won a contest which included two tickets to their annual Noir Et Blanc Gala at the Park Hyatt Hotel in NYC, this past Monday night. I was super excited and wanted to go, but I thought to myself that I would never be able to go. Telling myself, "it's on a Monday. I have things to do, and I have to work the next day." I came up with every excuse, and I had it in my head that I wouldn't be going. Come Monday night, Chris kept saying "You should go! Why aren't you going? This could be an amazing opportunity, and you will regret not going." Knowing he was right, (he's so supportive), I decided I would go, at 5 pm (keep in mind the event started at 7 pm). I took a friend of mine, and we hopped on the train and headed to NYC! That in itself, was an adventure, but we won't get into that!I was super excited, and extremely nervous. This isn't me. Being an introvert, the idea of walking into a party full of people I don't know, not knowing what to expect, at a high-end hotel in Manhattan, is terrifying, but is also something I've only dreamed about for years. Never did I ever think it would become reality.When we finally arrived, I can tell you it was like nothing I've ever experienced in my life, and this event met every expectation of what I thought that type of party would be like. I was in awe. The guests were dressed like they were at the Oscars. The hotel was beautiful, and a girl I met, who was the epitemy of a high-energy New Yorker, began introducing me to all kinds of people, and I was in heaven. After getting home well after midnight, I had a city hangover the following day, (though I didn't have a sip of alcohol). And was left with memories of an experience I'm so happy to have had. And that was only the beginning of my week.The next exciting part was hosting my FIRST EVER styled wedding shoot!! And it went AMAZING! I'm super excited to share it, and I was lucky enough to have worked with an awesome team, and can't wait to see the gorgeous photos from the talented Megan, at MV Photography. I will be doing a full post on the entire shoot, but it was held at a lovely B&B, Elmrock Inn, which is quaintly nestled in Stone Ridge NY, up in Ulster County. I wanted to take it back to the natural beauty of the area, including Pantones color of the year, GREENERY, and lots of neutrals! Overall, it was an excellent day and a successful first shoot, and I can't wait to plan my next one. But onto the purpose of this post. I wanted to share 5 tips for hosting your own styled shoots. Everyone says it. These are a great way to get amazing photos to use for marketing and your website and social media, as well as working with, and getting to know local wedding pros and venues in your area. And having hopes of getting published, is always the exciting part!Tip 1:Get to know your venue. Do a tour. Meet the owners/site manager. Know what will be available for your use that day, and what they require or have limitations on. And be sure to ask the venue what they hope to receive from your shoot. Specific images they hope to see? Etc. Tip 2: Have a clear vision. Having your theme as "vintage" isn't enough. Dig deeper. Tell a story. Pretend it's a real wedding. Don't be afraid to get very detailed. This will help with your chances of being published too! Make sure everything you include aligns perfectly with your theme.Tip 3: Stay in contact with all participating creatives, and make sure everyone is on the same page. Create a timeline, shot list, etc and give a copy to everyone, prior to shoot day. This will help keep everyone on track, and just like a real wedding, help everyone to know what to expect and what is expected of them.Tip 4: Don't be afraid to ask. The worst that can happen is you get told no. Don't be afraid to ask whoever you want to be involved. And make sure everyone you ask is aligned with your theme and style of your shoot.Tip 5: VERY IMPORTANT: Prior to the shoot, research every blog/magazine you hope to submit the images to, and understand their guidelines, timeline for submissions, and due dates for submissions for the season you hope to be published in. You do not want to shoot a summer theme, only to submit it AFTER the summer due date. {Hint: from my research, I've noticed a few of the well known blogs/mags, seem to have their due dates for submittions at the end of March for their summer editions.}I hope this helps get you started! I'm no expert, that's for sure. But I've learned a lot just from my first one! Feel free to share your tips, lessons, and inspiration boards for your shoots!Xo C