Ok so let’s start with the basics. What is a styled shoot? To keep it simple, a bunch of wedding/event vendors and photographers get together to stage a photo session. The photos are used for marketing and to add to a portfolio (plus, who doesn’t love a little bit of networking). I have been looking for a styled session in the New Orleans area FOREVER. So when the amazing Carlie Lormand posted about this on Facebook, I was so excited! Of course, COVID-19 got in the way and the shoot wasn’t what was originally planned, BUT it still turned out to be so much fun and I got some great photos!
There were 5 other photographers from across Louisiana at the shoot and we were split into two groups. Our groups went around to three different stations: engagement couple, details, and bridal. First, let’s talk details. I am obsessed with detail shots. There’s just something about the delicate jewelry and family heirlooms that make these photos so special to me. As an avid Amazon shopper, I also love finding cute trinkets to incorporate into detail shots (bride and groom). As much as I love these shots, they are definitely not easy to design. The perfect detail shot takes a lot of time to get right. Where do you put the invitations? Do you put all of the rings or just the bride’s? Would the flowers look better in the top corner or the bottom? So many questions float through my mind when I shoot details, so it was great to get feedback from other photographers and to get a glimpse at their process. Personally, that pink ring box photo is the perfect example of my bright, but simple photo style.
I had a blast with the “engaged” (they were just dating) couple – who brought their adorable dog, I might add – and I loved arranging the details, but the bridal setup was definitely my fave. Oak and Willow Florals along with Knot Your Average Event Rentals hooked us up with some killer bohemian rugs, a beautiful wedding arch, and greenery and florals that were to die for. Lindsey Letters created the cutest welcome sign and we had a naked cake created by Maria Kass. This setup combined with the backdrop of City Park came together SO well. Oh, and if you ever need a model, Victoria Alleman is your girl. She killed every pose.
It was such a great learning experience to see how other photographers pose a model or use different lighting techniques. I shoot at City Park ALL THE TIME and I was surprised at how many poses and locations I would have never thought of when taking photos. Every photographer had their own style that they brought to the table and they were so open to sharing their tips, tricks, and ideas with others. Besides, I always need people to “talk camera” with (my husband is bored to death every time I try to explain something to him). My goal for this shoot was to (hopefully) make new photographer friends, gain some amazing portfolio images, and practice my posing. I accomplished them all and I am so excited with how everything turned out.
As a wedding photographer, I am always on the lookout for ways to make my portraits stand out, whether its through posing or lighting or accessories. When I am shooting a wedding, time is often of the essence. I plan a chunk of time for portraits, but sometimes plans change and I get my basic (but stunning) portrait shots. Don’t get me wrong, I love any portrait time that I have with a bride and groom, but I sometimes don’t have as much time to try out new poses. Well this shoot had everything I needed to practice all of the poses I have been wanting to try! We did standing shots, sitting shots, and even spinning shots. We even had two different bouquets to use! And just when I thought I was out of posing ideas, another photographer would throw out an idea or think of something that I had forgotten. I was able to get great feedback on my posing and even added a few new poses to my bag of tricks.
Overall, this experience was such a refresher for me. I had the time to slow down and truly perfect every element of my shooting. Sometimes, my photography habits become so routine that I forget to explore all of the things that my camera and my clients can do! Wedding photography is a competitive business, especially in New Orleans, and as a newer wedding photographer, I am often so intimidated by the experience and skills that other photographers have. I think this shoot gave me such a confidence boost. I am so in love with all of my images and I can’t wait to add more images like these to my portfolio in the coming years.
So do you want to know the most exciting part? We’re all trying to plan another shoot for December! We had so much fun at the session that a few of us photographers went to get some margs afterward. After chatting, we all realized that we had so many vendor connections that it would be easy to put together a shoot of our own! We are still in the very early stages of planning, but I am so pumped about this opportunity. Stay tuned to see how it turns out!
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