Organizer of comments an inspiration shoot
What is an inspiration shoot? It’s a photo shoot gathering several providers with the same objective: often, it will be to allow each one to add photos to their portfolio, or to ask to be published in blogs. In this article, we will talk about wedding-related shoots, but there can also be shootings inspired by pregnancy or birthdays… !
Why do an inspiration shoot?
An inspiration shoot is very useful for the communication of the company you are in. It allows you to:
get to know quality service providers in order to create or expand your network
test new techniques, new material, take risks
build or expand your portfolio
be published in blogs and magazines
5 steps to follow for your shoot:
Define the intention of the inspiration shoot
You’ve decided to do a shoot? The first thing is to define your intention:
Do you want to get published in a wedding blog? If yes, which one? What are their conditions? Their editorial line? Look at some of their inspiration shoot publications and see what you can do to be in the same line.
Do you want to create or expand your portfolio? If so, who are you targeting? What is your brand image and how will you put it in your shoot? What do you want to show to attract your target audience?
Define your level of involvement
If you are a photographer like us, you can choose different levels of involvement in the shoot:
You can come only on the day of the shoot and take the pictures, but this requires to accept sometimes to move away from your initial idea since it will be someone else, probably a wedding planner, who will choose everything.
You can share the tasks with a wedding planner with whom you will share the same vision of things: you can for example find the models, the make-up artist, the florist and the place, and that the wedding planner takes care of the stationery, the decoration, the cake, the jewels… The big advantage: the wedding planner has a book of contacts which will allow you to meet people that you would not have approached yourself!
You can finally organize everything yourself, which requires a lot of time, but which has the advantage of being able to direct everything according to your expectations and your vision of things.
How and when to approach a planner?
If you are already working with a wedding planner, the ideal is to do the next step with him or her. You can also approach wedding planners once you have found the general idea, to allow them to evaluate if the shoot will be in their editorial line or not, so once the next step is done.
Generally, planners have a lot of proposals from photographers or other providers, and a shooting whose idea is already well advanced will surely tempt them more! You can even have already chosen your place, your models and your dress for example before contacting them.
Our advice: work with a wedding planner who will also use the photos, or a wedding planner with about the same experience as you and the same clients. Working with the wedding planner who has the biggest clientele in the area and who doesn’t need to use your photos will bring you less!
bridal inspiration shoot mirror look
Enter into a creative process
First thing to do: brainstorm! What do you envision for this shoot? Write down your ideas, no matter if they are feasible or not, write down everything that comes to mind! You can be inspired by everything around you: a movie, a book, photos, music… You can also choose two ideas that you like and put them together to create a new one that will be really unique!
Choose a story to tell through your shoot. It can be simple and short but it will give all the suppliers an idea of what you want to do and will give the models an atmosphere, a character to embody. Is it an elopement wedding? A destination wedding? How to tell an atypical story?
The next thing to do is the moodboard: an inspiration board that will guide the different collaborators in their performance and allow everyone to have the same atmosphere and the same colors in mind. The moodboard is what will set the tone for your entire inspiration shoot! In addition to the photos, you can add some text to describe the atmosphere you hope to achieve and the story you want to tell.
Choose an inspiring location
The choice of location is very important and should match what you have chosen in terms of inspiration, it should allow you to tell the story you want to tell and be consistent with your moodboard. You can even choose the location during the brainstorming and put it on your moodboard.
Even if it’s a public place, remember to ask for permission to do the shoot at the town hall before the day and to detail what you plan to do (a campfire is not allowed everywhere for example). Some places will ask you a financial compensation, others will make you sign a contract…
Choose your collaborators
Once your intention is defined, your moodboard established, and your location chosen, it’s time to choose the service providers you want to work with! The ideal is to choose service providers who have the same clientele as you, a style that corresponds to the shoot, and who correspond to your brand image: if you want to be very green in your ways, choose service providers who are also green!
Your inspiration shoot can be as simple or as complex as you choose. Here is a list of providers that are most often found in inspiration shoots and that can very well serve as a basis for a simple shoot:
The wedding couple: you can choose a couple or models, they can even be your friends! Choose them carefully according to the atmosphere you want to give.
The dress and the costume
The make-up artist/hairdresser
The photographer and videographer (why not us?)
Depending on the story you want to tell, you can add to this list all the necessary providers:
A ceremony officiant
Extras who will play the role of guests
A wedding cake or cakes
Stay in touch with them until the big day!
Establish a schedule to get back in touch with the service providers, especially if you contacted them a long time before, and double-check one or two weeks before your shoot that all the service providers are ready and have understood what you expect.
Get back in touch with your models for example a week before to check that they have your instructions in terms of schedules and possibly of dress, and call them back the day before to check that everything is still good for the D-day!
Have the objectives of the shoot in mind
All the work done before the D-day must bear fruit on the day of your inspiration shoot.
You can make a checklist of photos not to forget and a precise schedule for each thing, each photo or atmosphere to photograph. Don’t hesitate to ask the photographer at what time of the day it would be best to do the shoot if you have a specific inspiration in mind in terms of light for example.
Pay attention to details!
Only the photos and video of the inspiration shoot will remain, so pay special attention to the details. Think of highlighting the work of all the providers who participated, an inspiration shoot must be beneficial for all if you want to be recommended!
Our advice: take each detail in photos from several angles, with and without the « bride and groom », so that the providers can choose what they want to publish in their portfolio. To see what it looks like on a real shoot, we invite you to watch this great video from John Branch IV.
Here is a small but not exhaustive list of details to remember to photograph on the big day:
The decoration alone then with the models
After the shoot
Think of tagging correctly the providers each time you will use one of their pictures: on your website, on instagram, on facebook, on youtube… The collaboration between you will give its fruits with the shares of your providers! By the way, here are our partners from the shoot that served as an illustration for this article!
Stationery: September Wedding planner: lesmomentsm Photographer and videographer: instant_shooting_mariage Flowers: pimpantes. atelierfleuriste Dress: cousu_de_fil_blanc_ Location: hotelabbayelyon Location 2: grandhoteldieu Shoes: chaussure_danse_et_mariage Hairstylist: lora_cazalas Makeup: camelia.rainbow.makeup Makeup: plscosmetics Bride: alicialenoir_ Jewelry: chavanybijouterie et aronine
Publish your inspiration shoot on a blog
Your first goal may have been simply to build a portfolio, but publishing the photos (and the video) of your inspiration shoot on a blog may bring you some customers and especially bring more visibility to your work and your website thanks to the backlinks of the blog in question!
The first thing to do is to target the blogs you are going to approach. Look at their editorial line, read the conditions in which they share your work. A blog that publishes moody and bohemian images will not publish fine art photos, and vice versa.
To get published, your inspiration shoot needs to tell a story that is out of the ordinary. Blogs are looking to inspire brides and grooms with original ideas!
Be aware of the season: a winter shoot will not be published in the middle of July.
Should I send the photos in a particular format? In any case, make sure your photos are not too heavy or too light.
When blogs ask for exclusivity on your shoot, approach them one by one! Take into account the response time indicated by the blogs and send them a reminder before offering your inspiration shoot to another blog.
Remember to add a list of the providers who participated in the shoot to the photo gallery with their Instagram, Facebook and website so that the blogs don’t have to ask you again. Rename your photos strategically, for example with the name of the location of the shoot or the name of the shoot if you chose one so that your photos don’t get lost.
Finally, a no today may turn into a yes tomorrow: don’t give up if you don’t get published right away! The editors of these blogs and magazines have editorial lines to follow and receive hundreds of publication proposals every day. Maybe another shoot in the line of yours has already been accepted and they don’t want to duplicate it. Maybe your shooting is liked but does not correspond to the evolution sought by the blog.