Putting together a Styled Bridal Shoot with £0 Budget - Part #1

Updated: Apr 30, 2021

One thing about being a photographer who wants to get into wedding photography: It is hard.


When you start out as a family photographer you have an endless supply of family and friends who will willingly let you photograph them to help build your portfolio. But, a wedding is such a huge responsibility! No one wants to put their faith (as much as the rest of your portfolio might be stunning!) in a photographer if they haven't already got a portfolio of beautiful wedding photos. Which, in all honesty, is absolutely fair enough!


So how can we get around this? We arrange a styled bridal shoot of course!


But where do I start? What vendors do I choose? How do I get people to want to work with me? What even is a styled bridal shoot?!


In essence, it's a staged photoshoot that can simply be just a bride in a dress, or the whole hog - from the getting ready to the i-do's. Staged for the benefit of you taking beautiful photos! Plus, any vendors that you work with, get the wonderful photos to add to their portfolio, or social media/website content.


The idea is you all win, you all get something from the day/shoot, you build relationships and maybe even find vendors who will be willing to recommend you! You get out of it what you put in, if your willing to go the extra mile for others, they will do the same for you.


Getting started with something like this is a big task, especially if your a mum like me with limited cash flow (in the middle of a house sale trying to organise mine, my daughters and my husbands life - endless washing let me tell you). Unfortunately, I was not in the position to spend money bags on hiring wedding dresses, and all the extras to put together a day which I envisioned.


Firstly, I needed some content to get me going. I took a couple of photos in my home with my wedding rings and flowers I was given by my husband for valentines day. I also got some invite samples from Tree Of Hearts to style out some detail shots.



I started by simply posting an add to my local Facebook pages shouting about a possible opportunity to work with local vendors on a styled shoot. I added the example photos to showcase some talent. The feedback I got was overwhelming! I


In total, I had 35 potential vendors reply to me, and 1 wedding enquiry! Quite a result, I had enough vendors to arrange my own wedding twice over!


I also joined a couple of groups on Facebook dedicated to styled TFP wedding shoots:


https://www.facebook.com/groups/kentstyledshoots/?notif_id=1614524670180316&notif_t=group_r2j_approved&ref=notif


https://www.facebook.com/groups/792881361289275/?notif_id=1614526558535103&notif_t=group_r2j_approved&ref=notif


From here, I wrote down all of the names of those that replied to me, and what services they provided. I contacted Findon Manor as they kindly said they could provide a venue for the shoot! I created a style board, and I'm sure as the weeks go on I will end up re-doing this again.


I wanted a colour palette of rich burgundy's and greens, along with some dusty pinks.


Once I nail down the venue and the date, I will start to add the rest of the details in. I had a few wedding planners also say they wanted to work with me, so I have reached out to them. With them on board, they will be able to help pull together a day that I have been dreaming of creating since becoming a photographer!


Stay tuned for part 2, where I will document the process of actually communicating with the vendors and how we put the plan into action...