April Meeting Recap: Designer Secrets for a Successful Styled Shoot
Kathy Peterson Inspired
Kathy Peterson is a professional stylist and designer. Her passion is styling bohemian vintage photo sessions and stylized workshops for photographers. She has years of experience, has been featured in several publications, made numerous appearances on national television, and is also a prolific author. At the April TCPPA meeting, Kathy presented her designer tips for creating and photographing a beautiful styled shoot. Her point of view as a design expert is invaluable for photographers as she reveals the benefits of styled shoots.
The three key points Kathy covered included:
1) Why styled shoots are important to photography businesses
2) Stepping out of the cookie cutter mode
3) How to shoot with your target market in mind
Why Styled Shoots are Important
Kathy believes styled shoots are a great way for photographers to achieve several goals in their business. For one, photographers can learn new things by photographing something new, and maybe even photographing it in a new way. Styled shoots also serve to expand one's portfolio, and consequently attract new clients by showcasing new work that perhaps offers a new product or service. Another benefit of styled shoots is the opportunity to get published. Finally, styled shoots are instrumental in experimenting with your camera gear and posing techniques. This is important for all photographers, from beginners and hobbyists, to professionals with years of experience. For example, if you acquire a new camera or a new lens, styled shoots are the perfect way to test them out! Learning new posing techniques and unsure if certain poses will provide the look you want to achieve? A styled shoot is the place to explore these possibilities.
Step Out of Cookie Cutter Mode
Kathy is a proponent of being different, especially when everyone looks the same. She implores us to step out of "cookie cutter" mode, and disregard fleeting fads, because "fads are bad!" Instead, get creative with a styled shoot. Kathy's steps include creating a unique theme, maybe even one with multiple looks or in an unconventional location such as a studio. Then, establish a color palette. She suggests simple colors so as to not confuse the eye. Above all else, Kathy recommends that you take time planning the shoot, because it is a thought process. Definitely experiment with different looks, because that provides you with even more content to photograph.
Shoot with Your Target Market in Mind
Last but not least, shoot with your target market in mind. As a photographer, you are often shooting first for the client, and then for yourself. So take into consideration the client that you want to attract through your portfolio. Kathy reminds us that we also must shoot for the vendors, too! This is especially true for styled shoots where other vendors collaborate with you. You want your amazing vendors to benefit as much as you do from any styled shoot you execute, so don't forget to get the detail shots for their portfolio as well.