So You Want to Plan a Styled Shoot | Notes from a Charming Charleston, SC Wedding Inspired Shoot

I’ve heard a lot of photographers talk about wanting to plan a styled photo shoot to build their portfolio, but get discouraged because they don’t know anyone who would contribute or are new, and might not be able to afford the cost of planning a well executed shoot. Or maybe, they don’t know a couple who would model. In the end, they feel defeated, and give up before ever really trying. I hate hearing these stories, so today I am sharing with you how I pulled together an amazing styled shoot in less that 24 hours with only $60. Last week I traveled to the beautiful southern city of Charleston, South Carolina for fun with some of my wedding photographer friends. This was not a work trip, but you know us creatives, we were itching to do something amazing while we were there! Like most professional wedding photographers, we are all romantics at heart, and when we decided to visit Boone Hall Plantation (location of film set from The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks) I thought what a great idea it would be to try to pull together a romantic low country, Notebook inspired shoot. I’m obviously not from Charleston, so I didn’t know anyone in the area. Not a vendor, not a couple, no one. But what I did have with me was my laptop. So I harnessed the power of the internet and hit social media. The Rising Tide Society group, which I am a part of, was an amazing resource. I posted a call for collaborators and found our gorgeous model Kate, a local to Charleston travel photographer. She had her own bridal gown and was willing to dress up for us There was a local floral shop just a block from the amazing VRBO we were staying at so one morning before our group hit the town for carriage ride tours of the city, I walked in and asked if they could help up. Unfortunately, it was the week before Mother’s Day and the shop was buzzing with preparations for that huge flower giving holiday, and wouldn’t be able to offer us anything custom. But Manager Diane, did graciously provide us with one of their pre-made bouquets for only $25. Not knowing what other elements were going to come together, we selected a mixed floral bunch in whites and greens. At this point we had the minimum requirements for…

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