You guys! I’ve got such an exciting post to share with you today!
Back in August I was out in Boulder, Colorado to style and photograph a shoot for an awesome granola company called Purely Elizabeth.
Their amazing marketing director contacted me to style and photograph a shoot for their new website that they have crafted. This was a project I could NOT say no to! Obviously, I run my own food and lifestyle blog but behind the scenes I usually have a few projects that I am tackling that aren’t necessarily part of my own brand.
Before I started The College Housewife, I always saw myself in the styling and photoshoot space. I can also say that it is totally okay to wear multiple hats for your career skill set. Some days I’m a photographer, other days I’m a food stylist but no matter what it’s creative and they all feed off of each other. You don’t really take a ‘minor’ in photo shoot styling at a regular University; so much of what I do is creative work and a lot of self taught skills. I thought I would break it down in a few steps!
I’ve done a few styled shoots in the last year. One for Whitney Port and her line of paper plates for Cheeky, and one for Emily Schuman of Cupcakes and Cashmere for her new online shop! These projects are my absolute favorite. I thought I would take this post and share with you how I create a story/mood board for each shoot before executing a master plan!
TEXTURAL INGREDIENT SHOT THAT BREAKS DOWN THE GRANOLA PRODUCT IN AN ARTISANAL AESTHETIC SAMPLE GRANOLA BOWLS TO FEATURE THE PRODUCT: CLEAN AND MINIMALLY STYLED WITH MARBLE BACKGROUND & HANDMADE CERAMICS CREATIVE BOARDS MADE TO DESCRIBE THE LOOK & FEEL OF THE SHOOT FEATURING FOUNDER, ELIZABETH STEIN
4-6 Weeks before the shoot:
Intro Call– The intro call starts with the brands marketing team to find out the whole vision of what they are wanting from this shoot. The purely Elizabeth team was looking for a clean look filled with tons of white and bright shots. They knew that they wanted a variety of recipe photos featuring each granola and a mixture of lifestyle shots that showcased their founder, Elizabeth, and her lifestyle values.
2-3 Weeks before the shoot:
Mood Board– I usually create a formal shot list (so I don’t miss a thing!) and a mood board for each scene. These include a color palette, similar photos, and maybe some inspirational words that describe each scene. I went through a phase in college where I thought I might want to design movie sets, and I think these projects totally give me the best of both worlds. I try and work closely with the marketing team to make sure we are feeding off of each other and always on the same page for the final product.
1-2 Weeks before the shoot
This is the time to secure a hair and makeup team if necessary, nail down a location (we used Elizabeth’s gorgeous mountain home in Boulder!) and gather any and all props. This includes food, kitchen prep, props for each shot and tons of backgrounds to choose from. Luckily, Elizabeth’s team was incredible and had an insane collection of props to use from laid out and ready to go when I arrived. We secured a hair and makeup artist so Elizabeth’s day would run a little smoother. I also make sure I have a strict ‘run of show’ ready to go so I know what I’m doing each hour. This, of course, changes a bit on the day of depending on lighting and other random scenarios but it is always good to have a roadmap for yourself!
This was a 2-day shoot for Purely Elizabeth. They had a wide range of shots including different recipes, features of Elizabeth (their founder) and other lifestyle scenarios that showcased the brand’s values. The first day was focused on shots of the granola and all of the scenes that Elizabeth would be in. Day two was more nitty gritty in the food space. We made sure to get a large variety of every day looks for the granola, savory shots and sweet recipes.
Edits & Reshoots
Afterwards, I take all of the photos (we’re talking thousands!) upload them and send them to my amazing editor, Abagail. She color corrects, edits, filters, etc to make sure all of the photos are in tip-top shape! I then send the best batch over on a website called Pixieset. This site allows the client to look at the photos at their own convenience and ‘heart’ which ones they would like to choose. Purely Elizabeth went with 25 photo package but this is all interchangeable! If need be we will take any reshoots afterwards.
The whole concept for a shoot always takes me back to wedding planning during my college internship. We carefully craft each detail and pretty much take a business’s wedding photos. They are just as important and it’s a huge day for the brand! It’s a lot of pressure for me, but I honestly really thrive on it.
If there is one thing that you can invest in your business, it is great content and portrayal of what your brand is all about. A styled shoot can instantly update your brands aesthetic. The name of the game these days is content, content, content. If you aren’t putting out what you’re properly trying to portray then you’re going nowhere, my friends. And I’m not just saying that because I want to take your business’s photos (even though I totally do! Ha!). If you think you might be ready for an updated look take a look at your site or your Instagram feed and ask yourself, could it be better? Are these the images what I love to look at? Do they resemble similar brands to yours?
If you’re still reading, gold star for you! Also, I hope you enjoyed seeing how the process is broken down. If you’re an aspiring photo shoot stylist, keep going, girl! Put out as much work as possible to show off your style! If you are a brand looking for a brand makeover, let’s chat! The whole photoshoot process if probably one of the most fun things you will get to do for your business!