17 Things I've Learned from 17 Styled Shoots

Over the last 5 years I've done shoots of all shapes, sizes, and styles... and let me tell you, I have learned a thing or two! From my very first shoot that I planned alongside Gabriela Ines Photography and had literally no idea what I was doing, to the one I am currently planning that is my biggest and most involved yet... styled (or editorial, which is the word I prefer these days) shoots are a wonderful way to create content, showcase your work, network with others in the industry, and exercise your creative freedom! So without further ado, here are 17 things I've learned from putting together 17 styled shoots:

1. Have a clear vision in mind for publication + purpose

Before you reach out to any vendors, or really begin planning - make sure to have a super clear vision in mind. Why are you doing this shoot? To build your portfolio? To be featured on the cover of a magazine? To submit to your favorite wedding blog? Or simply just to have a creative outlet and put together something beautiful? Whatever it may be, don't overlook this step. You should be thinking about the end goal the entire time you are working on the shoot. 

2. Preparation and careful planning is key

Once you have a solid vision and purpose in mind, create a design board with images that depict the overall look and feel you are going for. This will be used to keep everyone on the same page throughout the shoot (you will email this out to all potential vendors), and to guide the attire, decor, rentals, cake, stationery, and so on. At this point, you can begin reaching out to other wedding pros about collaborating together.

I would start with finding photographer that fits within the style you're going for (dark and moody? fine art? timeless?), and securing a venue that will act as the perfect backdrop. Make sure to give yourself plenty of time to pull all of the details together. While it's definitely possible to pull something together in a couple of weeks, you will be much less stressed out if you give yourself a few months and really take your time with all of the details, big and small. 

3. Don't expect everything for free

While many wedding pros are happy to provide their services free of charge in exchange for beautiful images and potential publication, please keep in mind that some vendors will (and should) charge a portion for their time and/or products. When you're coming up with all of the details for your shoot - create a budget! This is something that is looked over far too often. After being in the industry for this long, I am so much more aware of how expensive things are (read: flowers) and how valuable ALL of our time is. 

4. Have a backup plan

If your shoot is taking place outdoors, you'll want to have a backup plan in case of inclement weather. This may mean having an entirely separate location on standby, using the indoor location at the venue instead of outside, or having a backup date to move the shoot to. If you want to avoid the stress of all of this, go for a beautiful, natural light indoor venue or studio. 

5. Show appreciation for your creative team <3

I'm sure this goes without saying, but here's the bottom line: you are bringing people together to work hard for a day (or more), many of whom have provided their services or product free of charge or at a discount, and they deserve to feel appreciated. There are so many ways this can be done (and I'll be the first to say I have failed at some of these in the past), but here are a few ideas to try:

- Provide snacks, bottled water, sandwiches, etc for all of the vendors on-site during the shoot
- Create a "vendor appreciation station" - Keen Events and Amanda Meg Photography nailed     this at a shoot that my daughter modeled in, and I was so inspired!
- Send hand-written thank you notes after the shoot     
- Leave a positive review on each person's business page after the shoot
- And perhaps the best way tor repay someone from a shoot that you had a great experience with... recommend and refer them to your wedding clients!! 

6. The more details, the better

The wonderful thing about editorial shoots is that you can bring in all of the details that you want -- this is the fun part! Little things like ring boxes and vow books, or big floral installations and ceremony setups. The more details and decor, the more photos for the photographer to capture, and opportunities to submit for publication. 

7. It's okay to keep it simple

In the same breath, I can also say, it's totally okay to keep it simple! If you just want to secure a model, hair and makeup, a beautiful dress and stunning bouquet with some gorgeous natural scenery - this is also a great option. You may be a little limited on publications for more simple shoots, but if your purpose is creativity and creating new content, then go for it!

8. Think outside the box

It's super easy to get stuck inside the Pinterest bubble, where you keep seeing the same styles and types of decor over and over again. It's always a good idea to look for inspiration in other sources entirely (art, nature, interior design, etc)! Stop looking at what everyone else is doing, and think of something completely different and unique that you can showcase. 

 Photo by Greater Than Photography

Photo by Greater Than Photography

9. Build connections, grow your network

One of the best parts about editorial shoots is the opportunity to network, and the wonderful relationships that can form. Take advantage of this and get to know those you are collaborating with! As we all know, the wedding industry runs on relationships and building your network is something to always be working on.

10. Set clear expectations 

The more questions you can answer ahead of time, and the more details you can give to everyone contributing, the better. Be sure to let the creative team know when they will receive the photos, when the shoot will be submitted for publication, if there are any guidelines for posting to IG, etc. It's also super helpful to send a complete list of all vendors along with their IG handles so everyone has it ready to go when they start sharing images. 

11. Don't get discouraged if the shoot doesn't get picked up

Not every single shoot is going to get picked up for publication, and that's okay. I've had a handful of shoots that never made it in to a blog or publication, but I certainly don't consider it a waste! I put together my own blog posts to showcase the images, and I along with the other vendors can still use them for marketing, etc. 

12. Don't worry about what others are doing

It's really easy to see constant reminders of what everyone else is doing and to think "Ah! I need to be planning a shoot! I need to be doing this, this and that!" Or "oh, everyone is doing shoots with this style, so I need to also..." [Not true]. Do what inspires you, when it inspires you, and don't worry about what others are doing. (I know.... easier said than done!)

13. Hold off on posting too much on social media until the feature goes live

If the shoot does get picked up for publication (yay!), make sure everyone knows to limit posting to 1-2 sneak peek images, until after the post or magazine goes live. Once that happens, you can go crazy sharing/posting. 

14. Choose publications wisely

Make sure to do plenty of research before submitting. You'll want to make sure the style of your shoot lines up with the style of the blog or magazine you're submitting to. Be sure to check out recent posts to see what type of content they are turning out and to know if it's a good fit. I always recommend choosing which publications you plan to submit to before you truly begin planning the shoot.

Also, consider the benefits of submitting to local magazines/blogs versus national. While national blogs can definitely draw more eyes, local publishers might be a better fit for reaching your ideal client.

15. Create a comprehensive timeline for the day

I've heard it several times, that the photographer wishes they would have had more time to capture all of the details, or that they missed certain shots they were hoping to get.

Just like a wedding or any other special event, you should put together a complete timeline for the day which includes all vendor arrival times, getting ready schedule, when all of the details will be shot, setup and breakdown details, and so on. 

16.  Give credit where credit is due

When it's all said and done, and it's time to share the photos... make sure to tag and credit all vendors who participated! Nothing is worse than scrolling through IG or FB and seeing your image/cake/styling/flowers/etc and no credit in sight. 

17. Don't overdo it -- it's OKAY to say no. 

One of the hardest lessons I've had to learn is simply that it's okay to say no. I am a people pleaser at my core and for a long time I wanted to say yes to every single project that came my way - and if you live like that, it's really easy to overdo it. These days, I only take on projects that align super well with my personal brand aesthetic and that represent the type of weddings and events that will attract my ideal client.

Phew, you made it! Did you find any of this useful? Do you have any other lessons you've learned from shoots? Leave a comment below!

 

What to Expect at Your Ceremony Rehearsal

After coordinating 50+ ceremony rehearsals, you learn a thing or two about how to run them in the most efficient way. My goal when coordinating a rehearsal is to make things as clear as possible, and to be very thorough and anticipate questions before they're asked. I thought it would be helpful to put together a brief run-down of what to expect at your ceremony rehearsal for my current (and future) brides, and anyone else who wants to know what this whole rehearsal thing looks like. 

I will say, when I first started coordinating weddings over 5 years ago, I was terrified and SO nervous to run the rehearsals! These days I genuinely love them and it allows me to get to know the wedding party and family a bit more before the big day. All of my wedding planning packages include a ceremony rehearsal (which you also might hear me refer to as a run-through) that is typically the day before the wedding, but depending on the venue and any restrictions, it may fall on a different day. 

So, how long will this whole rehearsal thing take?

You should set aside one hour for the ceremony rehearsal, but depending on the size of your wedding party it can definitely be a bit shorter or longer. 30-60 minutes is usually a safe estimate, but I've had them as short as 20 minutes and as long as 1.5 hours. 

Who should be present for the rehearsal?

In a perfect world, we'd have all of the bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girls, ring bearers, officiant, parents of the bride, parents of the groom, any guests being seated (grandparents, etc), along with the DJ or live musician. I definitely know that isn't always possible and some wedding party members might be getting in to town later, etc. In this case, I just use a family member as a "stand in" so we can still get spacing and everything correct.

I've done plenty of weddings without officiants or DJs/musicians present and it's really no big deal if it's not an option, they are experienced in their jobs and I will touch base with them early on in the wedding day to make sure we're all on the same page. 

 Photo by  Catalina Jean

Photo by Catalina Jean

What's the purpose of the rehearsal?

The purpose of the rehearsal is to make sure everyone in the wedding party (bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girl/ring bearer, immediate family, officiant, etc) knows exactly where to be, what order to walk in, and when. It's also a time to answer questions and make sure everyone is on the same page for the big day. 

Here is a quick run-down of how I coordinate the rehearsal:

  • Once everyone has arrived, I gather them together and introduce myself, and I like to go around and have everyone introduce themselves as well. I make sure everyone knows that I will be the point person for the day of the wedding - and that if there are any questions tomorrow (or whenever the wedding is), to please come to me and not the bride and groom.
  • Next, I get the bride and groom, officiant, bridesmaids, and groomsmen lined up at the ceremony arch/alter/arbor/what-have-you. I go over some notes with the wedding party at this point, including how to hold the bouquets, how groomsmen have their hands, how they angle their bodies, etc.
  • After that, it's time to run through the recessional (the music that the bride and groom exit down the aisle to). 
  • Lastly, I get everyone lined up for the processional (and since we started with everyone lined up at the front, everyone knows exactly where to go). If there are family members being seated, we run through that at this point as well.
  • Depending on how everyone is feeling and the size of the wedding party, I usually run through the recessional and processional 1-2 more times until everyone feels confident.
  • Before I leave, I check to see if anyone has any questions and just make sure everyone is feeling good about things. I also make sure to touch base about who will have the rings on the wedding day, who will have the marriage license, etc. 

Rehearsal + Ceremony Tips!

  • Try to schedule your ceremony rehearsal for the same time as your actual wedding ceremony! This way, you'll see exactly how the light will be and you'll know just what to expect the next day.
  • As mentioned, try to have your entire wedding party, special guests being seated, both sets of parents, officiant, and DJ/musician present, if possible
  • Sometimes it is not possible to do the rehearsal at the actual wedding venue -- and that's okay! I've done plenty of off-site rehearsals, and things still run just fine. Just try to find a park, backyard, or another convenient location for everyone to meet at. The most important thing is that everyone knows the order to walk in, who they're walking with, and so on.
  • If you want to have your officiant run through the ceremony during the rehearsal, he/she totally can, but you can also keep it a surprise for the big day!
  • It's always a good idea to remind the officiant at the rehearsal to try and step out of the way when it's time for the kiss, so that he/she isn't photo bombing all of the kiss photos.
  • Make sure to consider commute and possible run-over time when scheduling the rehearsal dinner -- you won't want to plan a 6:00 pm rehearsal and a 7:00 pm dinner. Shoot for 7:30 instead. 
  • As far as the ceremony goes - you don't have to do the "traditional" sides with bride on the left and groom on the right if you don't want to; I have SO many couples who switch this up for various reasons.
  • Traditionally, the bride's parents sit on the "bride's side," but it's actually a much better view for parents if they sit on the opposite side of their child! 

Alright, are you still with me? I hope this wasn't too much of an info overload! If you have any questions, comments, or even some tips I may have missed, please leave a comment below or email me directly at becky[at]eventcrush[dot]com! If we're currently working together, I'm super excited to coordinate your rehearsal and make sure things run smooth as butter! 

Colorful Jasper House Farm Wedding

Last Summer I had the pleasure of planning and coordinating Dana and Zach's beautiful wedding at Jasper House Farm in Pleasant Hill. Dana and Zach came all the way from New York, where they currently live, to have their wedding back in their home state. They included lots of fun details including custom enamel pins of their faces for their guests, beautiful custom signage, an abundance of colorful florals, 3 different wedding cakes for their guests to try, and so much more. It was an incredible day and Cassy Berry captured gorgeous photos of it all.

Dana and Zach are the sweetest people, and Dana was also an incredibly organized bride. They made my job a breeze that day!

This was my 4th wedding at Jasper House Farm and I will just never get tired of the beauty of this darling filbert farm.
If you're planning a wedding at Jasper House and find yourself needing some help, I'd love to chat with you!

Floral design: Passionflower
Catering: Sheild Catering
DJ: NR Entertainment
Cakes: Sweet Life
HMUA: Cosmetics by Anna

Jasper House Farm Wedding
Jasper House Farm Wedding Pleasant Hill Oregon
Jasper House Farm Wedding
Jasper House Farm Wedding
Colorful wedding bouquet
Jasper House Farm Bride
Jasper House Farm Wedding
Jasper House Farm Ceremony
Jasper House Farm Ceremony
Jasper House Farm Wedding Sign
Jasper House Farm wedding decor
Jasper House Farm reception
Simple rustic seating chart
Colorful cake table
Jasper House Farm reception
Jasper House Farm first dance
Jasper House Farm first dance
Jasper House Farm wedding reception
Jasper House Farm wedding reception
golden hour bridal photos
Jasper House Farm wedding

2018 Event Crush Internship Program

Event Crush is seeking 3 interns for the upcoming 2018 wedding season!

This part-time internship will run from May – October, 2018. This is an unpaid position, but Interns who are committed and highly successful in the program may have the opportunity to move into a paid assistant position in the future (but there are no guarantees).

Hannanwedding-Ceremony-0009.jpg

Are you the right fit?

We are looking for candidates who…

  • Have a love (or obsession) for weddings and events, and are interested in pursuing a career in this field
  • Are passionate about hospitality and serving others
  • Are creative and driven
  • Are reliable and dependent
  • Have great attention to detail
  • Enjoy problem-solving and don’t shy away from a challenge
  • Aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty
  • Work well independently or in a team
  • Bonus… are tech and social media savvy, and enjoy writing about weddings!


What will the internship entail?

Selected interns will have these opportunities:

  • Shadow and assist on wedding and event days and rehearsals
  • Behind the scenes access to how a wedding planning business is run
  • Exposure to the wedding planning tools and workflow that planners use
  • Assist at editorial photo shoots
  • Occasionally attend client meetings, vendor meetings, and site visits
  • Attend industry networking meetings and make connections
  • Assist with blog posts and social media
  • Monthly educational meetings
  • College credit (if applicable)


Requirements for Candidates:

To be considered for the position, you must:

  • Live within 30 minutes of the Eugene/Springfield area
  • Have reliable transportation
  • Be available on weekends throughout the course of the internship
  • Be able to lift up to 40 pounds
  • Be able to be on your feet for up to 8 hours
  • Have a high school education or equivalent


Ready to Apply?

To be considered, please complete the online application here. We will be review all applications, and you will hear from us by mid-March to set up an interview if you were selected as a candidate.