Often referred to as Creative/Collaborative photoshoots, you may on occasion see part of a wedding vendor’s portfolio containing images of their inspirational work. These types of images are meant to accent a body of work, to provide for additional on line content and, in addition to real weddings, for submission to wedding blogs and publication in print material. Some are great…and some not so much. They are featured everywhere, grace many a Pinterest page and can lead to some serious misconceptions with clients and vendors alike.
I am not sure how it works for my colleagues but inspiration for both my couples and styled shoots often comes to me when I am trying to fall asleep after my boys and flowers are tucked away for the night or after a glass of wine whilst hanging out with my industry gal pals.
When I first started taking part in these inspirational shoots I looked to styling them as “fake weddings”. Now they are so much more. They are a huge creative outlet for me; a way to continue to master my artistry. I am blessed to have worked with other incredible artists and to have work that I have collaborated on published on some of the best wedding blogs worldwide and most recently a magazine print feature. Whether it be myself and my team that styles and coordinates the entire shoot or that we have fabulous floral arrangements ready for a stylist to pick up, inspirational shoots are an incredible way for YOU, my client, to get a look at my creative brain.
As I am sure you have guessed, styled shoots don’t sit well with everyone. Some bloggers simply don’t publish them because they strongly believe that this type of inspiration exasperates feelings of insecurity with one’s appearance and/or affordability level. Many argue that the theme and quality of images are simply not attainable in a real wedding situation. Also, some photographers and vendors prefer not to take part in something in which they are not paid for their time and materials or simply do not desire to have this form of inspiration as part of their portfolio. I understand and respect both sides of the argument and for this reason am selective with the shoots I design or take part in. Often the models are real clients from past or upcoming weddings (yes; we also work with professional models) and the thematic elements, materials (floral, rentals, personal styling like hair and makeup), coordination/styling and labour are presented in an overall styled shoot portfolio to accommodate different levels of affordability. Experienced wedding photographers are very knowledgeable with lighting and posing, have great people skills and are more than capable of making you look your absolute fabulous best on your big day.
The Responsibility of Vendors
I strongly believe shoots that are organized and shot with the intent of being inspirational and styled must be labelled clearly as such on the vendors’ webpages and social media outlets. As a consumer you should not be lead to believe that inspirational shoots are real weddings or events. It is the responsibility of every vendor to remain true to their clients as well as their colleagues. Most importantly, all work by each vendor must also be credited in relation to the work in a particular photo or the feature as a whole within the copyright laws of their province/country.
Lastly, ask your vendors to show you pictures of all facets of their real wedding and event work. You will be absolutely amazed by the talent out there and how you can incorporate some or all of an inspirational shoot into your REAL wedding!
Collage 1: As Seen on Style Me Pretty Living Jan 2015 | Photography:Jennifer Xu Photography | Styling & Coordination: Shaw Events | Floral Design: Ooh La La Designs | Stationery: Bueno Market | Glitter Doughnuts: Sweet Celebrations Weddiong Cakes | Headpieces: Headmisstress | Jewellery : Hattitude Jewellery | Makeup: Karen Kim Beauty | Venue: Private Studio
Collage 2: As Seen in Elegant Wedding Magazine W/S 2015 | Photography: Eva Derrick Photography | Styling & Coordination: Gush Weddings & Events | Cinematography: Love Madly Wedding Films | Floral Design: Ooh La La Designs | Stationery: Paper Damsels | Cakes and Cookies: Sweet Celebrations Wedding Cakes | Mini pies: Itty Bitty Pie Company | Linens, Draping, Chandeliers: Simply Beautiful Decor | Vintage Furniture: Warehouse 84 |Flatware, Stemware and China: Chairman Mills | Makeup Artistry: Makeup Worx | Hair Stylist: Studio 440 | Bridal Couture: Whyte Couture Toronto | Menswear: Collins Formal Wear | Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Venue & Catering: Honsberger Estate
Collage 3: As Seen on Grace Ormonde Wedding Style: Jan 2015 | Photography: Destiny Dawn Photography | Styling: The Barefoot Stylist | Floral Design: Ooh La La Designs | Vintage Furniture: Warehouse 84 | Linens & Chandelier: Simply Beautiful Decor | Stationery: Defining Moments Stationery | Cakes: Sweet Celebrations | Makeup Artistry: Love Me Makeup | Hair Styling: Hair by Rio | Flatware, Stemware and Ghost Chairs: Chairman Mills | Couture: Catherine Langlois Bridal Design – Toronto | Menswear: Vera Wang: Moores | Headpiece: Nini Creations | Venue: Dyment Estates