3 REASONS WHY STYLED SHOOTOUTS ARE A GOOD IDEA

Angie and I are heading to Vegas the last week of February for our first shootout of the year and we can't wait! Our models are all secured, our dresses have been picked out and we have all sorts of visions dancing in our heads!  One aspect of running Blush that Angie and I really enjoy is putting together styled photoshoots. In 2017, our first year operating Blush, we hosted 4 shootouts and 1 wedding workshop.  As we go into our second year, we will be kicking off our first shootout in Las Vegas on February 27th and can't wait to share a detailed blog post about the location, models lined up and the styling we will be doing!

*Images from our first shootout in February, 2017.  We had a Flower Marketplace theme with the younger children and we had a few styled seniors on hand to photograph. 

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THERE ARE SEVERAL PROS TO ATTENDING A STYLED SHOOTOUT:

*At Blush, we believe that if we are going to plan a shootout for you, we want to provide you with several opportunities to grow your portfolio, learn how to better run your business and to have fun while spending time with us. 

*We put a lot of time into choosing locations that are unique and different, models that will give you quality images and we style them and the set in a way that you can be proud of.  Styling our models and choosing our locations is just like getting ready for a session for either one of us.  When we plan sessions with children, we each have dresses on hand that our clients can choose from and we help them choose outfits that will pull a look together that looks polished and complete.  The same can be said about the locations we use in our everyday sessions.  So it's important to us that our shootouts are run the same way.  We want you capturing images at our shootouts that your clients can easily see themselves doing.  While it's fun to do fancy styled sessions, there needs to be a balance if you are going to do multiple shootouts during the course of a year.  Otherwise potential clients will look at your shootout images and think you only work with models and not regular, everyday people.  

*Along with providing you everything you need to take beautiful images, we strive to educate you on being a better business owner during your time with us.  Angie and I have a combined 21 years of running a photography business, so we get it!  It's hard sometimes.  There are always questions that need asking and with social media constantly changing, you want to turn to people who are going to have the answers.  That's exactly why we started Blush!  To help you.  To educate you when you are learning.  Not to do it for you.  But to teach you how to do it for yourself. We like to start each shootout with some type of education and then lead you during the shootout portion, not just let you run free.  Of course, if you are comfortable taking over with the posing, feel free!  But we're also there to help with that and to explain our own camera settings, why we moved a model to a particular spot and what light works best as we're shooting.  

*Images from our full day Wedding Workshop held in July, 2017.

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SOME TIPS WHEN DECIDING TO ATTEND  A STYLED SHOOTOUT:

*Make sure you are photographing different models, venues and styles.  While we would love to work with the same models every single shootout, we know that wouldn't be fair to those that sign up for the shootouts.  So we try to rotate our models, knowing that not every photographer will be at every shootout, at least not usually!  It's also important that they style of what you are shooting isn't always the same.  As I prepare for our next wedding workshop, I need to make sure that what I find aesthetically pleasing to my eye isn't repeated from the last workshop.  Color schemes, flowers and most props should all be different.

*Be sure that you are attending a shootout that won't be oversaturated with photographers and that you'll have ample time for photographing your models.  Having 30 photographers trying to photograph 3 models in a tight area is going to be hard on everyone.  You won't be able to get the shots you want and you'll be competing for space.  When Angie and I hosted our first shootout, we had 2 separate groups of models.  We had the little kids and seniors.  Angie took charge of our little models and I had the seniors.  Halfway through our time, we switched so each group could get pictures of each group of models.  There was only one flaw in our plan.  We didn't quite switch halfway through, so the second group had less time with their models.  But one thing we like to do after our shootouts is ask for immediate feedback.  We like to end our shootouts with going out to dinner and doing a Q & A while things are fresh in our minds.  It was so valuable for us to learn that more time was needed in the shooting portion of the workshop. 

 * Images from our Summer, 2017 Greenhouse Shootout 

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*Do styled shootouts with photographers you admire or whose work you like.  Chances are, what they style is going to reflect their own brand.  Angie and I make a really good team both in business and when it comes to doing these shootouts because we compliment each other's style.  Angie does more work with younger children than I do and I work more with seniors than she does.  So we've found that incorporating both age groups in our shootouts allows photographers to capture more than just one genre.  We also share the same business philosophy, so as we educate our attendees, we aren't contradicting each other.  

*Be willing to travel for a styled shootout.  What you invest into your business will reflect on how you run your business.  Styled shootouts are a great way to add some beautiful images to your facebook newsfeed, Instagram and website portfolio.  They will give you several blog posts of information.  Think about it, you can do a behind the scenes post, what you learned about styling a session, sharing images from each model could be a separate post and you could share how you would like to incorporate more styling into your own sessions by creating your own style closet.