Initially, my idea was to simply find a good looking couple and take them out into nature somewhere, maybe buy a bouquet, and an inexpensive dress. At some point I got the idea to start reaching out to vendors and asking them if they’d like to be a part of the shoot. I created a proposal in Canva and started reaching out.
Surprisingly, I started getting positive responses from vendors almost immediately. I was able to find a boutique to supply the dress, a jeweler to supply the rings, a florist to supply the flowers, a makeup artist, and a venue to host the whole thing. I was so excited. I had found models at this point, and one of the models was friends with a photographer. The photographer I had for the shoot decided to go MIA for some reason leading up to the shoot, and I still have no idea what that was about. So, I was very happy when Angel, our photographer joined the team.
The first time we had to postpone the shoot was because of a lockdown and the second time was because I came down with a really serious flu. Two days before the shoot I became bedridden and feverish. I had to call it off for everyone else’s safety. It turned out I didn’t have COVID, but that flu meant I had to postpone the shoot another month.
Eventually a date was organised and we were able to shoot. We lost our makeup artist, because they were worried about working during the pandemic, but other than that everything went off without a hitch. Pulling the shoot together was a lot of back and forth and staying in touch with vendors. It gave me a whole new perspective on the work involved to put one of these shoots together and made me appreciate the work planners do even more.
I will say that I did a great job of organising and keeping in contact with everyone during the lead up and after the shoot. I’m no wedding planner, but I feel I learned a lot about how to pull a wedding styled shoot off. I do hope to work with a wedding planner for my next styled wedding shoot though. I need to be able to focus on shooting and not on scheduling.
Our photographer, Angel is simply amazing. She does a lot of behind the scenes shoots for independent films, as well as commercial, and portrait work here in Vancouver. She brought the shoot to another level for all of the vendors involved.
I learned so much from organising and shooting this project, and I think for the most part my plan going into this shoot worked quite well. I was able to get some great shots and create a film I’m proud of. I was also able to showcase all of the vendors and turn the film around in a reasonably short period of time. In the end everyone was happy and that’s the most important thing.
I need to spend the time to set up a great angle and light it just right and then go to town getting all of the coverage I need instead of trying to get as much coverage as possible. It’s not a wedding!
While I felt a little rushed during this shoot, I realised hindsight that I had a lot more time to set up shots than I do at a wedding. At a wedding the monopod is king, because you can be mobile and steady enough. On a styled shoot I don’t have to be mobile, so I can take advantage of the extra control other tools can afford me.
My shot list for the next styled shoot will be a list of the various items on loan from the vendors. If I can simply concentrate on those individual elements, future films will be improved.
What would you have done differently on this shoot, and where do you think I could improve in future films? Let me know in the comments section below. If you enjoyed this self critique please subscribe and hit the bell icon for more content like this in the future.