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The Beauty of Styled Sessions


Have you thought about offering styled photo sessions to your clients but it seems too overwhelming to plan? Perhaps you have a vision of a creative shoot you’d like to do but you just don’t know where to start. I’m here to encourage you to use your imagination and make that vision come to life! The first thing I recommend is creating a mood board. Collect images of things that serve as inspiration for the shoot. For me, it can be a color, a dress, a makeup look – anything that gets the creative juices flowing. I use Canva to create mood boards but you can create on Photoshop as well. Put all your inspiration pieces together and like a puzzle, the vision will start to come to life. Pinterest serves as a wonderful resource for styled shoots. Just type in some keywords and you’ll instantly have thousands of images at your fingertips. The more detailed the keywords you use, the better your results will be. Be sure to follow Summerana’s Pinterest board as they have a variety of genres of shoots to view and gather inspiration.

Wardrobe and styling play a huge role in a styled shoot. Since you are essentially telling a story through a photograph, you’ll want your models to look the part. Etsy is a fantastic place to find some out-of-the-ordinary costumes or clothing. I also highly suggest renting for your styled sessions. Renting a gown or costume is a cost-effective way to add some real style to your shoots without investing the $$$ it would cost you otherwise to purchase a designer piece. To bring your look together, don’t forget about hair and makeup. Hair and makeup will polish the look off and enhances the mood of your photographs.

Sets and props can be key components in a styled shoot as well. If you are crafty, you may want to create your own props or sets that fit perfectly within your theme. If not, you can probably find what you need (small props, florals) at a craft store such as Hobby Lobby or Michaels. Don’t forget about all of the fun backgrounds and actions from Summerana to enhance your finished product! These will help to take a great photo to amazing with just a few clicks.

Why offer styled photography? One huge reason for creating a styled shoot is to let your inner child come out to play. This is your chance to create something completely of your own imagination and start to hone those creative skills. Another reason to offer styled sessions is to keep things fresh and interesting for your clients. If you can offer your clients something unique such as styled sessions or mini sessions, it will set you apart from the competition and keep them coming back time and time again. Some fun styled/themed sessions that I have been a part of are: unicorn, princess, glitter, sweet treats, Marie Antoinette “Let them eat cake”, themed sessions based on a movie or show such as Wizard of Oz, Beauty and the Beast and Bridgerton, mermaid, lemonade stand couture, Nutcracker, vintage Christmas, Disney Villains, strawberry patch – the list goes on and on. The only real limit here is your imagination so dig deep and find what inspires you and lights that fire and do it!


Images courtesy of Allison A. Thomas Photography.
This article was featured in Summerana Magazine | May 2021 issue

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