If you’ve followed us for more than, well, five minutes, you know that Alli and I have both loved weddings since we were tiny tots. You probably know, too, that we love the couples we get to work with. And we love art. And photography. We talk about this stuff a lot. You have to get to know us to feel comfortable hiring us, after all!
Styled shoots combine all these loves. They’re basically heaven for the two of us!
Styled shoots sound a little weird. The photoshoots are styled? The models in them are styled? The photos are staged? Huh? What does it all mean?
They’re a huge part of our learning process and pretty common for wedding photography in general. These shoots allow us to grow as artists and photographers, to sharpen our eyes, to take inspiration from our friends in the industry, all to better serve our couples. You guys deserve the best from us!
So. What is a styled shoot, exactly?
Essentially, they’re a fully-planned wedding, minus the dance floor. Minus the guests. Minus the food. (Well, except desserts. Even fake weddings need sweets, of course!)
Okay, that sounded funny, didn’t it? Weddings minus all the stuff that makes weddings special?
Think about it, though. Unless you’re actually planning a wedding, it’s easy to forget that money, time, effort, and intricate planning all go into every aspect, from venue to libations to decorations. Photographers need to be able to practice and hone their craft; we don’t want our couples and their families to be guinea pigs. (Unless they’re literally guinea pigs. A guinea pig wedding would be adorable though.)
So, styled shoots are fully set-up weddings. Hosts will choose venues, bakeries, models, and everything, all so photography studios can come in and experiment with techniques. They’re also super helpful for anyone planning a wedding–can you say inspo?
Our most-recent styled shoot was put together by the talented owners of The Confetti Studio and Darling Found: Tara and Deanne. They found a really cool venue called Hidden Lake Events, in Buckeye. It’s exactly what it says on the tin: a lake hidden in the midst of suburbia. It’s a little piece of nature in the middle of Phoenix’s westmost suburb, and it’s pretty dang gorgeous.
This intimate, elegant, blush-pink wedding setup was next to the lake itself. The vibe was inspired by quiet romance that could lead to adventure–the tables, bar, and ceremony pedestals were all adorned with flowers from The Floral Theory and complemented with beautiful tableware from none other than The Confetti Studio itself. Take a look: like we said, it’s elegant and intimate, not a big bash. Everyone has different tastes, after all. It would be weird to ignore that!
The main wedding setup wouldn’t have been complete without the minimalist masterpieces of the tables and chairs from Gather at the Grain. We love us some ornate, showy pieces sometimes, but man, these were so. freaking. pretty.
Some venues focus primarily on the dining and dance areas, but we love seeing the creativity people bring to their events. Beautiful Things Rentals had full-on lounges set up for cocktail hours, designed to let guests schmooze while the wedding party gets ready behind the scenes. It’s a really nice idea that lets guests get comfortable and settle in while feeling camera-ready, saving their feet for the dance floor. The lounges even were paired with a great idea: The FotoBooth Bus! Having an actual photobooth set up is great for guests and the wedding party alike–it gives everyone an area to mess around in, to play with props and take pictures without having to worry about finding a quiet area or the perfect spot for a group picture. The FotoBooth Bus was especially great for this shoot, lending to the outdoorsy vibe while staying classy and picture-perfect.
Remember how we talked about desserts? Take a look at the mouth-watering cake and petite dessert pieces here. We know not everyone likes macarons, but they’re one of those things that really pulls together a shoot–they’re cute and tiny, but packed with flavor. Dessert First did a great job, don’t you think?
The glue that brings any wedding, even fake styled ones, to life: stationary. Without it, where would we be? There’d be no save-the-dates, no invites, no guestbooks, thank-you cards, nothing. A party’s nothing without people, and you can’t have people without invites! The whimsical rosy stationery pieces were the masterful work of Flourish Hand Lettering.
Again, though: people. You can put together the most gorgeous wedding facade, but it’ll always feel stale without brides and grooms. Our bride, Stephanie, and her groom, Joey, were simply breathtaking, and the bridesmaids (Jasmine, Christina, and Jocelyn), were darn near as pretty. Does that old saying about not upstaging a bride count for photoshoots too? Either way, their gorgeous dresses were provided by Bella Lily Bridal, with Joey’s suit by Celebrity Tux and Tails. The women’s hair was the work of Hair by Madison, with makeup by Pearl’s Make Up. They did a fantastic job!
Tara and Deanne, if you read this: thank you SO SO SOOOO much for putting this together and bringing your ideas to life! We’re so grateful to have had the opportunity to participate–we can’t thank you enough!
Check out our website!
Venue: Hidden Lake Events
Florist: The Floral Theory
Tableware: The Confetti Studio
Tables & Chairs: Gather at the Grain
Lounges: Beautiful Things Rentals
Photo booth Bus: The Foto Booth Bus
Desserts: Dessert First
Stationary: Flourish Hand Lettering
Make Up: Pearl’s Make Up
Hair: Hair by Madison Riley
Gown: Bella Lily Bridal