The first thing you want to do is come up with your purpose. Why do a styled shoot? Is it to build your portfolio? To get a chance to shoot at a certain venue or work with certain vendors? Is it to get published?
Stylized commercial shoots offer a great way to collaborate with vendors to create something over the top for your portfolio, as well as theirs. You earn goodwill and build relationships that become mutually beneficial over time. We like to put together two or three of these shoots every year to keep images fresh and relationships alive. The planning process can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you’re thinking you can do it alone. Here are the key elements of planning and executing a stylized commercial shoot.
When I started moving from wedding photography to studio work, one of the appealing aspects was expanding my creativity. As a wedding photographer you’re creative, but you’re limited to the wedding world. As much as you may want to go outside the box, you’re still photographing a wedding. Once I moved to studio photography as my main source of income, I realized I was still in the same boat, just in a different-themed boat. Instead of being boxed into weddings, I was boxed into headshots and standard commercial shoots. In order to exercise creativity, which is so important to any photographer’s career, I had to arrange shoots of my own.