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How to be a Responsible Styled Shoot Host and Photographer.

Updated: Jul 30, 2023

As styled shoots grow increasingly popular, more people are wanting to capitalize on this opportunity. Here's how you can be a responsible styled shoot host and a responsible photographer wanting to purchase a ticket. Firstly, My name is Brittany and I have been hosting styled shoots for over 5 years! Well... a ton longer if you consider having one of my girlfriends throw on a white dress and prance around in front of my camera for content... then 13 years!! I have hosted over 10 styled shoots with other photographers, and been apart or attended many as a photographer, florist, or venue owner: ! Most of my shoots have been in the US but have been lucky enough to recently shoot in Thailand! Happy to say we are going back for a Thailand wedding styled photo retreat in February of 2024 to the island of Koh Suami, come with!!

If you want to be in the loop of any upcoming styled shoots we host join our Facebook Group!

You can also visit our Styled Shoot page on our website here.

PRACTICE Hosting a Styled Shoot First

As an amateur host, you should not sell tickets to your first 1-3 styled shoots. Your first shoot should just be you and the models. This will be a learning experience

in itself. It teaches you to find vendors and how to fully execute a shoot. You will learn a ton: how to find a bridal gown, (and how to deal with cleaning it!), getting galleries back to vendors, putting together a timeline, figuring out location for not only the shoot but hair, makeup, and getting ready, and SO much more!! After your first styled shoot with you and the models, invite your close photographer friends and give them a free ticket. Treat it just like you would a styled shoot: you as the host, photog rotations, etc. At this point you can implement a contract, client management system. Then get feedback from your photog friends, make changes. NOW you might be ready to start selling tickets - This experience will teach you how to be a host and how to handle your clients (photographers) How to ask vendors to be apart of your styled shoot Is simple as it sounds, you just do it! You ask! You can call them or send them an email. Here is a good script:

"Hello there! I hope you are having an amazing summer so far! My name is _______ and I am the owner of __________. I have been swooning over your (venue, work, floral design, dresses) for quite some time. Your way of (insert compliment) makes me dream of working with you!

styled shoot mood board
Example of a Mood board for a styled shoot that we hosted last year in Phoenix

I am reaching out today because I am putting together a styled shoot with a wonderful team of vendors and was wondering if you wanted to be apart of it? For the date we were thinking __________ / in the month/season of __________ but we are flexible if that means working with you! The vibe of the shoot is going to be a mixture of _____________. I have attached a mood board for you to check out and for you to agree that your ______ would be a perfect collaboration! Excited to hear back from you about out shootout! "

If you have anything booked already like date, venue, other vendors, add those details!!

DO NOT ask anyone else until you have heard back! * Very Important!

How to be ORGANIZED as a Styled Shoot Host

I am telling you from experience: get a plan in place for how to get galleries back to vendors!!! Try to automate this with a group chat or CMS. It's incredible unfair if your in-organization leads to vendors not getting their galleries, and it's SO easy to lose track of galleries, emails, etc in the shuffle of dealing with multiple photographers and vendors! Think about it - you are the point of contact for ALL the photographers, hair and makeup, venues, decor, etc.

I use Honeybook for my CMS. It's a way for me to collect payment, email, have a group collaboration space for galleries and discussions, send updates to everyone, provide a timeline, post vendor tag information, directions, parking details, etc!!

Checklist of what you need a place to be a successful and responsible styled shoot host:

  • Mood board - with credit to all the photographs you use

  • Backup plan for inclement weather

  • Cancelation policy

  • Contract: for photographers AND vendors

  • Client management system / email list: a system to stay organized, group communication, and way to client ticket sales.

What vendors get paid at a styled shoot?

Remember, there is no hand book for styled shoots, therefore it completely depends on how you want to run it and the entire dynamics of your shoot. For my shoots the following vendors get paid:

  • HOST

  • Models

  • Hair

  • Makeup

  • Florist

  • ?Venue

Venue is question marked because Typically, I do not pay a venue and we work on a collaboration basis. I find that venues typically do not charge because their fees are incredible higher compared to another vendor such as a makeup artist. Nonetheless these venues get to set the stage and make a lot of first hand decisions (shoot vibe, date, time, etc) I put Host in all Capps because this is a controversial opinion. I fully and completely believe the host should be profiting off this production! It is a vast amount of responsibility, work, effort, and pure passion that goes into our styled shoots! Even if every vendor was on a collaboration basic, host should still turn a profit!

How to be a responsible Photographer - BEFORE the shoot Anyone can put together an eye-catching mood board with photos they find on Pinterest. These photos are reflection of OTHER people's work, not theirs. Ask the host to see galleries from pervious styled shoots. Do your research on the host insurance, backup plan for inclement weather, cancelation policy, do they have a contract, does the host have a client management system to stay organized, communicate with everyone, and conveniently get galleries back to all vendors. Know what you are getting into - styled shoots are usually a collaboration effect with many vendors donating their services. Be prepared to give galleries back in a timely manner and tag / credit all parties and vendors involved.

Have more questions about hosting a styled shoot?? Well I have my teaching degree!!! Seriously I do ᵕ̈ THERE IS SO MUCH MORE I want to type but can't. I go on and on! I can teach you everything I know about styled shoots, give you my contract for vendors and photographers, Canva templates for mood boards, bundles of advice, an answer for any question you have! Just reach out and we can set something up for what you need!

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