The ABCs of Editorial Style Shoots

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The ABCs of Editorial Style Shoots

By Wendy Lee

Editorial style shoots are currently all the rage in the wedding and event industry. The strategic benefits of participating in these style shoots – whether you are a florist, floral retailer or floral importer/wholesaler – were outlined in last month’s issue. These include a) pushing your design skills forward, b) publicity and exposure, c) professional photographs for your business to use and d) increase your networking pool. If you’re interested in getting involved in a style shoot, there are a few crucial elements to consider.

A) TEAM LEAD Decide if you want to be the team lead for the shoot and/or if you’d like to work with a wedding/event planner. A planner can help alleviate the stress of putting the production schedule together, coordinating the series of plan-ning meetings, help reach out to other creative partners and garner exposure for the shoot. Jessica McEwen, of Periwinkle Flowers, a brick-and-mortar floral shop in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, found that “not only does having a planner on board to organize and execute the details help things run smoothly on the day but it also is a wonderful way to build new friendships and creative partnerships that last well beyond shoot day.”

In many cases, especially with large-scale shoots, having another person overseeing the entire timeline for the shoot day is important. As the florist/floral designer, you can then focus on making sure the florals look impeccable. You won’t be distracted by anything else that needs to be attended to during the shoot – other than your floral creations.

B) BUILDING THE TEAM Whom do you need on it? A skeletal team generally includes a florist, a photographer, the venue and décor rentals for tablescapes. This size of team would be considered a small-scale production. The focus would likely be on only the tabletop presentation.

If you wanted to broaden the scope, you might add a cake table and/or a sweets table. Should you decide to feature models, you’ll need appropriate attire, accessories, shoes, hair stylist, make-up artist and other styling details. Some teams showcase more diversity including same-gender models and/or mixed-race models.

Incorporating any paper-related items, like invitations, place cards, menu cards, table numbers, seating chart and other signage, will increase the number of pretty details that can be photographed. Other vendors can include vinyl flooring or large format vinyl printing for backdrop and/or floor detailing.

The ABCs of Editorial Style Shoots

C) DESIGN CONCEPT You might have a great idea, or you might be happy to be a part of a shoot where the concept, color palette and overall aesthetics have been established beforehand.

Kelly Gojmerac, of Ooh La La Designs, a wedding and event specialist in Niagara, Ontario, advises, “Ensure that you have a clear and concise outline in the form of storyboards and written descriptions in regard to requirements.” The outline helps keep everyone’s focus on track and streamline specific detail selections. The design process typically will still ebb and flow, so don’t be surprised if there is some evolution to the initial design concept.

D) TIME COMMITMENTS You will need to look at your calendar and see when the ideal time frame would be for you to commit to producing the floral designs for the shoot. Obviously you wouldn’t want a shoot to prevent you from pursuing any moneymaking opportunities.
Generally wedding and social events are held toward the end of the week and on weekends; therefore, most shoots are held on a weekday, at the beginning of the week. This minimizes the venue and vendors’ potential loss of business opportunities.

E) VENUE LOCATION Working in a nonpublic space is generally easier, especially for your first style shoot. Public spaces, including museums, art galleries and libraries, will generally have more complex planning requirements. Because they are open to the public, you will need to consider the timing of the shoot, load-in and load-out concerns, photography restrictions and lighting limitations in the midst of other specific considerations.

Todd Kjargaard from Jackie O, a wedding and event specialist in downtown Toronto, suggests considering the following things when choosing the location for your shoot:

  1. Does it correlate with the overall creative vision?
  2. Can the venue benefit from the exposure?
  3. Is the venue a place your target clientele would consider using?
  4. Does the venue reflect your brand well?
  5. Do the other collaborators feel it is the right space?

“Some venues will be grateful for the exposure and will assist in your production, and others will not,” Kjargaard shares. “So find one that would be excited to work with you; it’s much more enjoyable. Every venue has unique things about it that could become part of your visual story, so do your research before you make all your design decisions.”

F) COST INCURRED Establish how much money you are willing to spend on/contribute to the shoot. Include labor as well as the cost of materials. There may be other costs involved that can be divided among all participating team members. Be sure that there is clear communication with the team upfront. Gojmerac, of Ooh La La Designs, states, “Florists often shoulder large expenses for style shoots; therefore, set your budget moving forward.”

G) GARNER EXPOSURE Establish how to pursue publicity for the shoot and from whom. Most magazines and blogs have a submissions area on their websites that will include the details about the requirements.

Kjargaard, from Jackie O, feels that “targeting the right publications and getting feedback from them as to what they would be interested in will help you define your production, theme and overall vision. Reach out in advance to see what the editorial teams are looking for because it will be a much more focused and concise production if you have goals and specific ideas in mind.”

H) HAVE FUN McEwen, of Periwinkle Flowers, states, “I view shoots as creative experiences. Being able to explore creatively without the pressure of a client means that I can try new things and build my portfolio with designs that couples may not ask me for but that I’ve always wanted to create. They’re also a great way to connect with other creative talents, and I enjoy working with a team toward a common goal.”

So, now that you have you are armed with more information about style shoots, you can start planning your very own. Although these shoots do take a fair amount of work, they are supposed to be fun and enjoyable experiences – so enjoy the creative design process!