Inside Tips from a Styled Shoot

Inside Tips from a Styled Shoot

Styled shoots are a fabulous way to create buzz for every vendor involved, and to increase the diversity of your business’ portfolio, but they can take a LOT of work. Blue Linden has done a few styled shoots over the years, each one very different, and we wanted to share a little about what we’ve learned.

The Venue of your Dreams

Seriously guys, this is step number one. Not only is a styled shoot a great opportunity to showcase the types of venues you want to be hired for, it’s a great way to get familiar with the staff of your dream venue. Our most recent shoot was an elopement styled shoot for Bouquets and Bowties, and what better backdrop than Garden of the Gods. We had worked with the Garden of the Gods Club at a wedding earlier this year, and fell. In. love. The club came to mind immediately when brainstorming shoot ideas. The venue was also versatile, which is a must in styled shoots. Having just one backdrop limits what you are able to accomplish with a styled shoot, so pick a venue with a multitude of possibilities.

Vendors, Vendors, and More Vendors

The perfect venue doesn’t equate to the perfect styled shoot, so forming collaborations with the other vendors involved is at the top of your priority list. If you have people you know, love, and work well with, bring them in! They’re more likely to agree to do the shoot (and love doing it) if they know and trust your work. However, don’t be afraid to bring in vendors you haven’t yet worked with but would like to get familiar with. Be sure to do a little research on all of your chosen vendors though. You don’t want to spoil a styled shoot with a vendor who is lacking professionalism or know-how.

Plan Like You’ve Never Planned Before

From the outfits to the photographer’s shot list, planning is IMPERATIVE for a successful and seamless styled shoot. As wedding planners by trade, this was a no biggy for Blue Linden, but whatever your specialty make sure you know what you are doing, when you are doing it, and how you want it done far in advance. I happened to be modeling for this shoot, so part my job included picking the perfect dress (with Wanda’s help, and the other models in tow) weeks ahead of time to ensure the “perfect look.”

Communication is Key

As the planner, this is especially true, but every vendor should make sure they are in contact with all other parties multiple times leading up to the shoot. Communication is key to make sure everyone gets what they want from the shoot and that the photos benefit everyone’s business. Communication is also a great opportunity to brainstorm, share pinterest boards, build on ideas etc. All of these people are donating their time and hard work to the extravaganza that is a styled shoot, and they should all feel that it was worthwhile at the end of the day.

Get a Little Crazy

You may be thinking “rustic chic is popular in Colorado, should we stick with that theme?” You can if you want, but why add shots into your collection that you already have from real weddings? You may have a particular bride or client you attract, but you don’t have to market to that exact demographic. Styled shoots are your best opportunity to showcase wedding styles you want to bring into your portfolio, or ideas you’ve had that no bride has vibed with…yet. You can use all of your rustic chic (which we love, don’t get me wrong) wedding photos on your website, but why not throw in a garden party, or steampunk, or enchanted forest shot?

Don’t Take it TOO Seriously

Styled shoots are hard work, but if the vendors you vetted are as fabulous as you anticipated, and the venue turns out just as you all pictured it, REVEL IN IT. This is your creative project, these are your industry friends, and styled shoots are FUN. Whatever your role, take it seriously and bring your A game. Here are a few of our favorite shots from Garden of the Gods, enjoy!


Stationery: Designs by Sarah Meyer

Photography: Silver Sparrow Photography

Venue: Garden of the Gods Club

Hair and Makeup: Rachael Peffer of Your Glam Team

Dresses: Compleat Couture

Flowers: Fairytale Floral

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About the Author


Design has been Kaitlin’s passion since first grade, eventually deciding to major in art and art history in college. After getting engaged, she realized she loved every part of wedding planning and put those artistic skills to great use. She interned with Blue Linden, took courses through ‘Planner’s Lounge,’ and consulted at Felice Bridal. Now that she’s graduated from the University of Colorado in Boulder, she’s Wanda’s full-time assistant. When she’s not turning bride's dreams into reality, she lives with her husband and two dogs, bakes (and sometimes burns) sweet treats, and reads murder mysteries.