Posted by Liz Zimbelman on
I couple of months back I participated in a stylized shootout put on by a vintage furniture rental company called Seventh Heaven Vintage. A couple of vendors put together a couple of vignettes for us photographers to shoot. I have never done anything like this before (stylized shoots where I was the only photog, yes, but not where there were 20 other photogs) so I was unsure as to what to expect. Here are a few pros and cons about participating in one if any of you photogs ever decide to.
Pros: Everything is gorgeous. The furniture, the dresses, the models, the venue. It was an absolute dream to shoot there. The gorgeous background and setting made it tough to produce a bad photo. If you are a new photog trying to build up a portfolio I would definitely recommend participating in a stylied shootout. You get to see the fruits of your labor, practice your shooting and editing and get some great photos to market yourself. Though I am an experienced wedding photog, I wanted to try this out just to see what it was all about. It wasn’t a portfolio building experience for me.
Cons: Everything is gorgeous. I told my friend that I felt as if I was cheating if I were to use these as a representation of my work. Sure these are photos that I captured, but what is missing are the time constraints, the real hustle and bussle of the day, and the stress that all goes into wedding photography; real challenges under the not so perfect circumstances. I didn’t feel like I earn these photos because the whole thing was given to me. The photos that I am most proud of are those creative ones produced with challenges. Being able to create something beautiful when beauty isn’t around.
Another con is that there are 20 other photogs shooting over your shoulder and capturing the same thing you are. You give your directions and have the models do something super cute and then *snap, snap, snap* those photos are also captured by the other photogs and the originality of what you thought you created is gone. Since this was my first one I was not prepared for so many photogs to share such few models. I thought maybe we would be able to get 1 on 1 time with each for at least 5 mins. But what I got were 5 other photogs barking poses to the models all at the same time which is kind of discouraging. You feel like you are fighting for that models attention so she can do the pose you want her to. That would be something I would recommended be changed for futured stylized shootouts.
So those are my thoughts on stylized shootouts. Would I partcipate in another one? Maybe during my slow season so I don’t feel rusty, but honestly I do it for the love of shooting. Thoughts? I’d love to know!