How to create a styled photography session

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In the twelve years I’ve been immersed in the beautiful world of photography, styled sessions were surprisingly an outlet I had yet to tap into until the beginning of this year. However, after taking the plunge I have to say I’m completely addicted!! There are so many wonderful benefits waiting in this realm of creative freedom.

While deep in the audio to the Thriving Photographer program, the subject of styled sessions arose. This was something I’d ALWAYS felt was a scary task to undertake. 
“How will I approach the vendors and ask for help? … Will I need to compensate them? … Will they say NO?! … How do I find a model, clothing, etc? … What theme do I want to do? … Do I even have the creative mind to accomplish this!?”

The answer to these questions are all quite simple, and I hope today I can put YOUR fears to rest so you can leap forward into styled sessions and never look back!  

It all stems from a basic principle & belief that Thrive helped me find within myself: CONFIDENCE.  

That’s right, confidence. Seems simple right? Unfortunately I think we all struggle with confidence in our work at some point. 

Below are questions and concerns that I first had and what I’ve found to work for each of them! 

What theme do I want?:
What inspires you is a great place to start! The first styled session I tackled was all about a gypsy bride in a field.

How will I approach the vendors I want involved and ask for help?:
Get those fingers ready….to dial that telephone. That’s right, CALL them first if you can!  I love hearing someone’s personality over the phone. But if you have to leave a message you’ll want to write up a personable, professional email telling them about that inspiring idea you have and that you’d love to get together for a meeting to see if they’d like to be involved. SELL that idea! You’ve been dreaming about it, so just let that passion shine through!

Will I need to compensate them?:
In my personal experience, the incredible vendors I’m blessed to work with are thrilled with having copies of the photos when all is said and done. However, it is definitely a necessary question to bring up in your meeting to be sure of everything before the session.

What if they say NO?!:
Don’t freak out! Some vendors aren’t able to devote the time necessary to styled sessions and need to focus on their clients 100% of their business hours. This is OK. Just move on to next vendor on your list.

How do I find a model, clothing, etc?:
A model can be as simple as posting a ‘Model Search’ on your Facebook page or even asking a friend or client to help out. They usually LOVE the chance to have their hair and makeup done and being pampered for an afternoon!  
Clothing shops/boutiques are a great place to start. You can work out a trade where the shop is permitted to use the photos for their advertising, and I’d even offer to hang up some of the photos inside the shop itself! Wonderful way to advertise for you BOTH!

Do I have the creative mind to accomplish this?:
YES YES YES!!!! 🙂 You CAN do this! Confidence remember? Now get your inspiration journal out, and start making that list of fabulous ideas! I promise you it’s going to come together even better than you’ve ever dreamed.

Do I have the creative mind to accomplish this?:
YES YES YES!!!!  You CAN do this! Confidence remember? Now get your inspiration journal out, and start making that list of fabulous ideas! I promise you it’s going to come together even better than you’ve ever dreamed.

To see the incredible vendors involved go to my original post on my blog, HERE. And PLEASE be sure to check out the final video cut of this session HERE. Video courtesy of chrisdscott Cinematography.


thrive-spiration headshot_MWBefore investing in Thrive, I was always soooo close but couldn’t quite reach where I dreamed of going.  After Thrive I saw my schedule and my sales go up with in only a few weeks and my whole level of confidence rise to a new level. 

I’ve never been so confident in my worth as a professional; and I have The Thriving Photographer to thank for this!

Melissa Wilson invested in The Thriving Photographer™  in July, 2012.  She lives in Pensacola, FL. with her adoring husband.  

The Thriving Photographer™ offers a step by step road map to success for professional photographer’s who are tired of excuses and ready for results. The Thriving Photographer™ by Leah Remillét is about maximizing your earning potential while working way less so that you have time to love  the life you live.

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  1. Gorgeous Melissa! Thank you for sharing your tips. 🙂

  2. Melissa says:

    Aw Amanda, it’s completely my honor to be able to share what I’ve learned from this whole process!! I hope it helps those who are trying to dive in as well! 🙂

  3. One of my fave gals on one of my fave blogs!! Dose it GET any better than this?

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