Styled shoots are a popular and strategic way for wedding vendors to get their work published during off-season months. It takes time coming up with a design, identifying vendors, vetting models, setting up and shooting. And then more time waiting for or editing the photos and working to get it published. With all the invested time, it’s important to plan your styled shoot thoughtfully to ensure its success. We’re sharing our favorite wedding PR tips to keep in mind when planning your next styled shoot.
Spend as much time as you can researching wedding publications when designing your styled shoot.
If there’s a target wedding blog or magazine you’re wanting to get featured in, familiarize yourself with the aesthetic of the publication. Scroll through their blog and Instagram. Read their submissions guidelines to get a feel for the types of styled shoots they publish. This will be so helpful when honing your design and even selecting your vendors. Particularly a photographer! No matter how beautiful your styled shoot is, the photography can fall flat and prevent your work from getting published. That is, if it doesn’t reflect the style of the blog or magazine.
Create a shot list and know how many photos will be required for your styled shoot submission.
Once you’ve identified your ideal publication(s), plan around any photo requirements. Green Wedding Shoes requires 50-200 images for weddings and styled shoots, while others may only require 20
or so. Some publications, like Ruffled for example, have a list of shots they generally look for in submissions. This means you might have to get creative when shooting to reach the number of photos and requirements for submission.
Consider taking photos of elements in multiple ways to offer a wider variety of shots to choose from. Use the bride’s shoes unworn against pretty backgrounds, on the floor beneath the veil, etc.). Or the bouquet in multiple environments or being held in different ways. Really think about how you can make the most of each element to come up with as many photo options needed for your styled shoot submission.
Once you have the photos edited, be patient – don’t share them just yet.
Wedding publications like to be the first to share your styled shoot, which means your chances of getting it published are better if you wait to post any images until the feature is officially live. Most photographers will pull a couple sneak peeks to share on social media in the meantime. Sharing a couple behind the scenes iPhone pictures of the styled shoot is fine too. But, blasting the styled shoot on your website, blog and social media – not ok. If you choose to share the photos with the participating vendors before the feature is live, make sure this is clear!
Getting a shoot featured can be a lengthy process, but it’s worth the wait to do it correctly.
Don’t mass email your styled shoot to a handful of publications at once. We’ve heard horror stories of multiple editors accepting the shoot, and then the planner or photographer is forced to turn one of the opportunities down. As you can imagine, this doesn’t result in a positive first impression – or the desire to want to work with you in the future.
Instead, create a prioritized list of where you would like to see your shoot featured. Reach out to your first choice publication, and if you don’t hear back by their specific response time (most specify on their submissions guidelines) and you’ve followed up with no luck, move on to the next outlet. It can sometimes be a lengthy process, but it’s well worth the wait.
We’re putting the finishing touches on our Wedding Vendor Guide for Getting Published, featuring your favorite wedding blogs and magazines + tips for getting your shoots and weddings published on each. If you’d like to be on the list to be notified when it’s ready, comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.