When the boys at Creatiques decided to produce their own shoot, they planned every stage meticulously. Was it worth it? You bet! Andrew and Rob Pearce share the whole experience
The wedding industry is still a small community and recommendation from other suppliers is the best kind of advertising there is. That formed the basis of our platform – we wanted to bring the various bridal sectors together to create a stylised shoot from which we could all benefit. After many months of pinteresting, planning and negotiating, we had the ingredients for the perfect recipe.
Where did we start?
The venue is key – you want one that will include your images on their website as this will benefit all your shoot ‘partners’. We chose the Queens Hotel in Southsea.
We recognised early on in the planning process that the suppliers you tend to work with and recommend to your own clients should be your first choice as this will make the process flow and it is, without question, much better than introducing new people to the equation who do not necessarily
know how you operate.
Planning the shoot is one of the most crucial parts to the whole thing. It is imperative that everyone is on the same page and that one person is directing the styling. We created a Pinterest board of concepts, which all parties were included in so they could also add their ideas to the boards and styles. For example, we really wanted our flowers to be as ‘wild’ looking as possible, and through our sharing of the Pinterest board, Nia from Luvshifting Flowers knew exactly what we had in mind, and her flowers on the day were perfect.
Make a detailed plan of the day, and outline what you would like to create within the allotted times; anyone who has produced a shoot accepts that it will always run over, but with a balanced time-scale in place you are better placed to control everything. It goes without saying that the clothes were picked in advance and accessorised and ready to go on the shoot day.
Our plan went like this
Walk the photographer around the venue showing them your mood boards and talking through what you would like to see happening where. They will then look at what lighting might be required, meter the light areas, and take test shots to see exactly what is required.
Allow one hour for the photographer to set up in locations.
If you have one person doing hair and makeup it will take longer than two separate artists.who can work faster together, especially if you have several models on your shoot.
Reckon on two hours for hair and make-up.
Make a precise plan of the models and the clothing you want to shoot in each location and allow for changes of hair and makeup to create the best effect for each look.
Allow 20 minutes to get your models dressed.
Define your objectives
Who wants what from the shoot? Many suppliers want a really good choice of images and that’s where your mood boards will help the decision-making process. When each ‘look’ is being shot, teamwork among suppliers taking part is vital so you can agree content and direction. Having a hive of creative people, all working to achieve the same objectives, does make things easier – though it can be frustrating, too – but always remember who is in charge.
Put a marker down on the floor using tape so you know exactly where the model will stand to maximise on the light – one of the images that we took was of the model coming through the Victorian doors, with natural sunshine behind her. The result was sensational.
Sorting the all-important detail
Collaborate with the venue in advance. See what they want to include for their own portfolio update. For example, do they want to see particular features of the building and the grounds? And importantly, you need to know how long you will have at the venue on your shoot day.
Think about the models – the right face can make the difference between average and excellent. How many models do you want? Will you pay for a professional model? How much do you want to spend? Our models were brides of Creatiques and both had worked with us on bridal fashion show events in the past.
And when it comes to choosing the right photographer, you need to meet potential candidates, and look at their portfolios. Ask yourself if they are right for you. Who do you recommend to brides in your shop? We used a trusted, highly-sought-after photographer, who we had already worked on many weddings so he knew our style and exactly what we wanted to create for the day. It was a perfect partnership.
Pull in local talents – the hair and makeup artists you would suggest to your customers – or check out if there is someone in your area who is creating a buzz on social media. Work with them and you will benefit.
You will want change from picture to picture and mood to mood. Our chosen makeup artist was a well-known multi-award-winner and our hair stylist was Hampshire’s bridal hair stylist of the year; he changed the look for every shot, from sleek chignon to hair up in curls and added hair extensions for length and volume while our bridal makeup went from soft tones for a classic bridal gown to sheer drama for a dress in black. Even our flowers were changed to complement the look, from fresh and natural to dark and goth. And our cake was created from an outstanding local cake decorator.
Knowing what you want to achieve and how images will be used is vital. Every picture tells a story and when we put story boards together we had a clear idea of the direction we wanted to take.
We met our objectives of six shots. We had a huge amount of fun. Our business has had a great boost and sharing the story via social media will be great. And we formed new relationships and developed existing ones. All in all, a pretty good result.