How to style your own shoot - Details.

I see a lot of (especially newer) photographers signing up for every styled shoot or content day they can find. As I said in my last post, this is great if that's what you want to spend your time and money doing. There are hosted days that have a lot of time and effort put into them, and it makes way more sense to buy a spot for the day then it ever would to put it altogether yourself. There are also days where organizers charge hundreds for the simplest model call under the guise of "lifestyle" photography. Those are the ones I'm hoping to save you from and show you how easily you can quickly and affordably stage your own private styled shoot. I'll be focusing on detail shots today, but will definitely dive into other related topics (how to pick models, how to approach vendors etc) in later posts!

First things first

You need to pick a theme. The vibe. You can pick something your portfolio is missing, you can browse Pinterest for inspiration, or search hashtags on Instagram. For the sake of this post I'm going to keep the wedding theme since I've done more than a few of those, but you can literally create anything your heart desires. That's the beauty of doing this for yourself, it's much more tailored to what you want to showcase.

Let's start with flat lays. This is the perfect way to practice your flat lays so you already have ideas in mind the next time you go to shoot an actual wedding. There are so many great print shops that have ready made invite templates. All you need to do is plug in a few made up names, a date, some times, print them off and you're ready to go!

Rings & Details

Obviously one of the most important pieces a couple will carry on their wedding day is their rings. They likely spent a pretty penny on having top quality rings to cherish for the rest of their lives (I know my husband and I did) but you can duplicate that look for mere pennies by comparison. Add in a vintage looking jewelry tray, a few florals, and you've just styled an easy ring shot!

So now you've got your shot lined up, but you can't afford a fully macro lens yet. These filters screw onto the front of your lens and allow you to get a more close up shot on just a basic 50mm lens. Make sure you find the right diameter to fit your lens, the size should be listed on the inside of your lens cap. You have to be extra precise with your focus as well, there is no relying on autofocus here.

You don't have to go overboard

Seriously. Vow books, rings, ring box, flowers. You can mix this up with your invitation suite to create a more extravagant full set. You can use little blocks underneath certain items to create a really nice depth to your image. Or you can simply lay them out and snap away. You can use and reuse these items for multiple settings as well, don't think you need to buy a new look every single time. I've linked to a lot of these items on Amazon because it's so easy to grab it all from the comfort of your couch, but I'm also a huge advocate for supporting small business. The invitation suite pictured was done for me by my friend Timee who runs Soleil Baby. And another fantastic place to find really cool treasures for these types of images is your local vintage shop! You can usually find stuff even cheaper than Amazon if you're willing to put in a little legwork for it.

Hopefully this has helped some spark some inspiration and shown you how easy it is to create stunning setups that suit your own portfolio needs! Again, if you want to spend $300 to photograph a couple in the woods, you do you. But personally I'd rather put that money into items I can use over and over for the same effect.

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