PROS AND CONS OF STYLED SHOOTS

If you follow anything wedding related, there’s a 99.999999% chance that you’ve stumbled upon a styled shoot or two in your browsing, pinning and wishlist making. If you’re not familiar with styled shoots, they are pretty much just what they sound like! A group of wedding professionals get together and put all of their skills together to create a fake/styled wedding scene to be photographed and marketed to potential brides. They are incredibly fun to participate in and yield such beautiful scenes. Like most things, styled shoots have their own set of pros and cons so lets take a look at some of them!

PROS:

THEY ARE INCREDIBLY FUN

As a wedding professional and creative one of the best things is to hang out with other wedding professionals/creatives and get to all work your magic together.

THEY HELP YOU NETWORK

Styled shoots are a great way to meet new wedding professionals and get a chance to work with them before being hired together for a real wedding. This can be really beneficial when brides are booking vendors and asking the ones they’ve chosen for referrals!

YOU GET MORE IMAGES FOR YOUR PORTFOLIO - OF EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT

If you’re the one who had the initial vision for the styled shoot you’re guaranteed to get awesome images for your portfolio of exactly the type of wedding you want to be hired for. Whether you’re a photographer or not, you’re going to get something awesome to boost your portfolio for future clients to look at.

THEY GIVE YOU TIME TO PRACTICE YOUR CRAFT

Since styled shoots aren’t real weddings, there’s a lot less pressure and a lot more time to make sure everything is exactly the way you want it to be.

CONS:

THEY CAN GIVE BRIDES FALSE EXPECTATIONS

Styled shoots can give brides false expectations about what their own wedding photos will look like. When working on a styled shoot the photographer has plenty of time to make sure everything and everyone is placed just-so and can shoot and reshoot moments as many times as they want. On a real wedding day you get one chance to capture a lot of moments as they are happening.

THEY CAN MAKE BRIDES FEEL BAD ABOUT THEIR REAL WEDDINGs

The vendors in a styled shoot put forth the very best they’ve got and while that’s great for them, most of the time the people admiring the work aren’t considering the real cost of all of the elements. Styled shoots don’t have to worry about staying within a certain budget and sometimes get really over the top and can make brides feel bad for not being able to afford the things they’re seeing in styled shoots.

THEY CAN CONTRIBUTE TO BRIDES LOSING SITE OF WHAT’S REALLY IMPORTANT

Styled shoots can contribute to the “make it Pinterest worthy” mentality of the wedding industry. They can lead to brides trying to out-do each other to try and have the most beautiful or interesting or “Pinterest worthy” wedding and that can mean that they lose site of the most important part of their wedding - getting married to their love.

The amount of money you spend on your wedding or the amount of “Pinterest worthy” elements you have doesn’t matter - focus on you and your love and make intentional decisions about your day that reflect the two of you together!


I think that styled shoots can be really great and as a photographer I love doing them. As a bride, however, I’ve found myself being disappointed that I can’t afford all of the beautiful things I see in styled shoots. I’m so thankful for the experiences I have on both sides of styled shoots. My experience as a bride helps me to approach the styled shoots I’m a part of with more intention and thoughtfulness. My experience as a photographer helps me view styled shoots as a bride with understanding and an appreciation for the beautiful things I’m seeing without giving into the fear of having a less than “Pinterest worth” wedding. I know that what matters the most is that I get to marry my love and everything else is just a bonus!