I first heard of inspiration shoots when I was planning my wedding. Only back then they were called styled shoots. I loved the wedding gowns, bouquets, and place cards. But most of all I loved the delicately styled tables that sat underneath weeping willows and eucalyptus that covered the backs of chairs. Inspiration shoots can be used in a lot of different ways. These shoots can help you build your portfolio, get connected with other vendors, and expand your list of publications. So where do you begin with organizing an inspiration shoot? Today I am sharing how to put together your first inspiration shoot so that you can grow that business!
Decide on the purpose of the shoot
Before you get others involved in your first inspiration shoot, decide on the purpose of the shoot. Do you want to use the shoot to solely grow your portfolio? Do you want to get it published? Once you know what's important for this shoot, you can move forward and get others on board with the shoot!
When I was first starting my photography career, I organized inspiration shoots with the purpose of building my portfolio. Because of this, I asked vendors to get involved who had the same interest.
Direct the focus of the shoot
If you can imagine it, it can be translated into an inspiration shoot. Blogs and magazines are interested in all types of inspiration shoots: weddings, engagements, lifestyle, etc. If you are still the only one involved, then you can make this decision by yourself! Think about your target audience and what would be the best move for your brand.
The focus of your shoot will help you to pitch your idea to the wedding coordinator (or vendors) so that the coordinator feels connected to the idea. You don't want someone to join the team and not know exactly what they are getting themselves into.
The focus of my brand is documenting love because I was first loved. I focus the majority of my business on weddings, so the majority of my inspiration shoots are weddings as well. However, if there is a lifestyle shoot that fits the heart of my brand well, then I am on board!
Connect with a Wedding Coordinator
After I planned my very first inspiration shoot, I realized that wedding planners were vital to the wedding team. They are there to design the shoot, pull out the strengths of each vendor, keep everything organized and make sure that things go off without a hitch.
If you are interested in a wedding inspiration shoot, it's definitely possible for you to plan the whole thing yourself! In fact, I planned my first several shoots by myself. But it was exhausting: physically and creatively.
Once I brought on a wedding coordinator to connect the team, develop the concept, and run the setup for the shoot, everything changed. I was then able to focus on doing what I love and what I do best. The whole team benefited from a wedding coordinator!
Connect with the team
Make a list of everyone on the team. Include their websites and social media links for your convenience. Follow them and recommend them to your audience. It's nice to be on the receiving end of that kind of endorsement and they won't be able to forget who you are. Especially after you deliver an amazing gallery of images.
Bring your business cards to the shoot
Always keep your business cards handy. I even try to keep a few in my purse because I never know who will ask for one! When you're at the shoot, ask for the business cards of the vendors who are able to stick around. You will gain a better understanding of their business and the heart of their brand.
Send the vendors the gallery
Every vendor is going to be waiting for the gallery of images to arrive in their email inbox. Once the gallery is ready, email them and let them know why you loved working with them. Include the link to the gallery, password and download pin (if applicable).
I always ask the vendors to credit me by pointing people to http://jordanbrittley.com or @jordanbrittley. Because I already have their website and social media links, I am prepared to return the favor!
It can be intimidating when you are planning your first inspiration shoot! But if I can encourage you to do one thing as you walk into these vendor relationships, it's this: serve. Be eager and ready to serve the people you encounter in your business.