I am starting a new series on Loved By Lizzi called ‘Blogger Life‘ you can easily find this section under Lifestyle. I am keen to share with other bloggers and my readers life behind the scenes as a blogger.
Over the passed few months I have been collaborating with the John Lewis & Partners team in Oxford, showcasing to you the various personal styling sessions that they offer, and so hopefully Lindsey Francis on the far right of this photo is not that new to you! In our most recent session themed around ‘Holiday’ (due to go live this Bank Holiday Monday) we were also joined by Mechac Josephs, a stylist who has over 20 years experience in the industry and he is available for styling men and women. We decided that for this personal styling session, especially as the theme was “holiday” that the photos should be taken outside in the gorgeous city of Oxford.
And that’s not quite as easy as you think! A photo shoot takes a lot of planning beforehand and on the day a two-hour session can go by in a flash; getting the outfits on, discussions on accessories (sometimes the planned accessories, once you got them on, simply don’t work), getting to location, taking photos, content for Instastories and so on, but most importantly as the clothes are on loan they need to stay in pristine condition.
I absolutely love doing photo shoots – for me it brings my own blog to life! I spend hours in front of my computer writing, but with the photo shoots it’s a part of the job that you are very much in the moment, having to be quick on decisions, being creative whilst making sure that the outputs are what you need. At this stage you may not have written your blog but you do need to know what you plan to put in it – or the photos simply will not work.
If you are new to blogging or have never done a photo shoot here are a few tips to help you on you way!
Plan, plan, plan!
Without a plan, how do you know what to do? Start with a theme, start to understand what the imagery needs to be to represent that theme. What do the outfits need to be and against what kind of background. You need to have the outfits planned before you start your photo shoot session. Winging it is not going to produce your best content. I find accessories are key to most outfits and readers pick up on the smallest of details – so you need to think the entire outfit through.
Communicate with your team
Communication is key when you are working with a team; share as much of the details you can beforehand so that every team member knows what they need to do in the session, espeically what they are responsible for. You also need to trust them to get on with it. A well communicated team who knows what they need to do will really help with time management in your photo shoot
Personal Stylists on the shoot
I am a qualified stylist – I know all about colour, body shapes and fashion trends etc – but one of my biggest supports on a photo shoot this big for my Loved by Lizzi blog, is the support that other personal stylists can give. I think it brings a whole new dimension to my blog content and it’s something different for my readers. I fail to understand why stylists avoid working with other stylists – having the knowledge is simply the foundations, collaborating with other stylists takes creativity to another level – the outputs can be very exciting!
It’s very simple maths really if you have two hours and five outfits, that’s 24 minutes on each outfit – but getting change, getting to location to shoot, taking shots – time just flies. So my advice is get one of your team to be responsible for time – they should tell you when you have 10 minutes left, you need to listen to them if they are advising you need to work quicker – by not keeping time you may not get to style every outfit and if you are working on a collaboration you may have promised to deliver X number of outfits. And I like to keep my promises.
Yes you might have a plan, but things don’t go to plan on the day – so trust your team to support you and be quick on making decisions so that you can still produce the content that you need – this may have to me less shots or perhaps an unplanned outfit but having some flexibility in your mindset keeps stress levels down.
Watch out for our Holiday post coming up this Monday and if you haven’t had the chance to read the others so far, why not check out THE COMPLETE STYLE AND BEAUTY EXPERIENCE WITH JOHN LEWIS & PARTNERS / A STYLE SESSION WITH JOHN LEWIS & PARTNERS’ PERSONAL STYLIST / PERFECT PAIR OF JEANS WITH JOHN LEWIS AND PARTNERS