This post I think is a long time coming, because I know so many photographers who have mixed feelings about attending styled shoots, and those feelings have nothing to do with styled shoots themselves. It’s all about other photographers misrepresenting themselves (ie telling or implying to a potential couple that a styled shoot is real wedding).
For those who don’t know, a styled shoot is a very put together version of a wedding, however, it doesn’t have the same timeline that a real wedding would and there isn’t any pressure to get a specific shot, a lot of photographers used styled shoots to get shots that they would never have gotten otherwise or to network with other photographers and vendors (I was able to shoot a beautiful beach wedding last October with a photographer I met through styled shoots). Newer photographers will use them to gain content for their portfolio as well. Your other vendors use styled shoots as a way to get content for their website and social media. It’s virtually impossible for vendors like florists, makeup artists, dress or suit shops, to get that kind of content without styled shoots. Most couples don’t think to send those vendors links to the full wedding gallery once it’s delivered.
Typically a styled shoot is going to look much more extravagant than a real wedding. It’s a chance for vendors to shine and showcase their best work, but not all couples can afford thousands and thousands of dollars worth of florals. Below is an example of a floral setup from a styled shoot that was done last summer, as much as I know I would love to have a floral installation like that at my wedding, I know it’s just not in the cards, but it’s beautiful to look at and wonderful to see what this florist is really capable of.
Okay, so now let’s get into the real point of this post. How to tell if your photographer is pretending that a styled shoot is a real wedding. I honestly hate that I have to even acknowledge that some of my fellow photographers would lie to potential clients, but I’ve seen it happen first hand 😢
Some photographers will get around this by tagging the vendors only in the images (styled shoot etiquette is to tag everyone in the caption and then tag the vendors visible in the image). You can check to see if this was a styled shoot by clicking on one of the vendors, like the florist, and taking a peek at what else they’ve been tagged in. If you see a bunch of photos from the same “wedding” but by different photographers, then it was a styled shoot.
A photographer is one of the most important vendors you can hire for your wedding, they are the ones who will make sure that your wedding lives on forever.
If this was helpful at all, let me know! Or if this was non sensical rambling let me know that too 😂
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Dahlia Orchid was founded on the belief that the marriage is more important than the wedding. The feelings you have on your wedding day might change throughout the years, but if you're committed to the journey it'll be the best adventure you take